Friday, January 31, 2014

Principal Input Survey Results

Evansdale Elementary Principal Input Survey Results

Approximately two thirds of the responders were parents or caregivers at Evansdale.
About one quarter of the responders were Evansdale staff.

How important do you believe it is for the new principal to have an understanding of and experience in each of the following initiatives?

The following responses were rated “Extremely Important”

·         Recruiting and retaining quality teachers and staff
·         Promoting high academic achievement for all students
·         Maintaining open lines of communication with parents and community members
·         Providing for student safety
·         Meeting diverse student academic needs (e.g., gifted, special education, etc.)

Please indicate the initiative you feel is the MOST important priority for Evansdale.
Top-rated responses:
1.       Recruiting and retaining quality teachers and staff
2.       Promoting high academic achievement for all students
3.       Meeting diverse student academic needs
4.       Facilitating implementation of STEM

How important do you believe each of the following qualifications is in a new principal?
The following responses were rated “Extremely Important”

·         Skilled at communicating with and engaging parents and community members
·         Expertise in maximizing FTEs (staff) based on points assigned to school by district
·         Experience as an administrator in a high-performing elementary school
·         Capability to serve as the primary agent for innovation, reform, and change for the school
·         Ability to successfully prepare and manage the school budget

Please indicate the qualification you feel is the MOST important, of those listed.
Top-rated responses:
1.       Experience as an administrator in a high-performing elementary school
2.       Skilled at communicating with and engaging parents and community members
3.       Capability to serve as the primary agent for innovation, reform, and change for the school
4.       Educational work experience in a school environment similar to Evansdale Elementary
All of the following qualities are important characteristics for a principal. Please indicate THREE of the following personal characteristics you feel are the MOST IMPORTANT in a new principal at Evansdale Elementary.

Top-rated responses:
1.       Student focused: all decisions lead to the betterment of the student
2.       Motivator: able to move staff and students to maximize their potential
3.       Collaborative: seeks out relationships with all stakeholders, builds strong teams
4.       Flexible: a listener, open to ideas of others, willing to change when wrong
5.       Trustworthy: acts believably, inspires confidence

The following job responsibilities are all critical parts of the role of Evansdale’s principal. Please indicate THREE of the following job responsibilities that you feel are MOST IMPORTANT.
Top-rated responses:
1.       Providing services to meet all students in varying academic abilities
2.       Recruiting and selecting teachers that are highly qualified
3.       Addressing equity and diversity socially, emotionally and academically
4.       Evaluating and developing employees

Summary of Feedback from Principal Input Survey

We also included an open-ended comment question for responders to provide their perspectives on the characteristics of an effective principal for Evansdale. Some highlights of their responses are below, and provide a snapshot of their perspectives. Not all responses are included in the table below. Responses that disclose the writer’s identity were removed. Also, responses that name or identify other individuals were removed. There were many responses that also addressed identical or very similar themes. Some of these were not included to avoid redundancy. The responses were organized by themes.

Open communication with parents and the Evansdale community
As a new parent to Evansdale this year, the one area that I felt was lacking from the experience was more open, proactive communication from the school/administration. The PTA is very strong and provides updates but that should not be a substitute for information from the school. On a few occasions, I was misinformed or redirected by school administration on topics where they were the responsible party (language immersion lottery, registration timelines). I hope that the new leader takes responsibility for communicating with parents and the community as their responsibility and doesn't leave it to the PTA to serve as the only voice of information.
The last principal, Dr. McGuire, seemed nice but he never seemed comfortable communicating with parents. I was also concerned about his experience level at a top performing magnet school. You MUST have principals who are passionate about what they are doing and who are willing (and able) to communicate that passion with enthusiasm.
First and foremost, our new principal must see his or her self as a not someone apart or ahead of the community (although they do lead the school), but as a part of it, perhaps, its heart. It would be nice to have a principal willing and able to integrate the school more deeply into the fabric of the community in order to build confidence in Evansdale among new residents to our community.
Listening and collaborating with the community. Approachable. Collaborative.
A principal who understands and values a school with high parent involvement and great diversity, and who can communicate effectively with teachers and parents will do well - there is a lot of expertise and energy so the principal doesn't have to know or do everything, if s/he is an effective manager and leader. Integrity is an absolute must, without it there cannot be effective communication and leadership.
Leadership through change
We need a principal that is not afraid to bring change to the school for the benefit of all students/staff.
It is important to have a principal who is a true leader who can effectively inspire and lead the troops.
It is easy to envision that as the school transitions from a "school where children of CDC and Emory employees go" to a "Title 1 schools with a large ESOL" population with flagging test scores, fewer young families would want to relocate to this neighborhood and send their children here. We need a principal who can tackle this looming crisis head on and ensure that we continue to recruit and attract a diverse student population. It would also be nice to have a bilingual principal or one who, with the support (read budgeting) of DCSS, can hire a full-time translator to assist and further meet the needs of our ESOL population and ensure student success.
Leading collaboration between parents and teachers
The new principal needs to be from outside of Evansdale. Someone who will not play favorites with the teachers, and push them to become better.
The new principal should be able to equally support the teachers while serving the students. I think we should avoid candidates who are only advocates for teachers or who lets parents run the show. It has to be someone equally trusted and respected by the staff as well as the students and the parents. It would also be nice to have someone who is not afraid to make hard decisions and who communicates effectively.
Passion for education and the Evansdale community
A passion for education at Evansdale, teachers, and the children is something I will look for in the new principal.
The relationship with all faculty and students is so important to the working of the school. A loving caring personality along with a sincere need to protect the members of the building creates confidence in the leadership. People before things!
Student-focused leadership and strategic planning
One of the qualities that I [would look for] most is a willingness to engage with data and set targets/ goals for improvement in various academic areas.
I'm much more concerned about hiring a new principal who is focused on student (vs. parent) needs. Someone who is student and staff focused, who is able to manage the budget and deal with county constraints, who has experience working with an engaged PTA and foundation, and who is innovative and forward thinking are much more important traits for Evansdale at this point in time. We need someone who will help Evansdale realize its full potential more than someone who will make parents feel warm and fuzzy by smiling and saying the right things in the right ways.
It's time for someone to come in and do what's best for the students and teachers. Also - gifted needs more money and more focus.
The new Evansdale Principal should be someone who can manage the resources (maintain teachers, administer the budget, great communicator, etc.) and continue to build the strong reputation that Evansdale has been known for. Someone with experience at a highly regarded school, who can manage to recruit and maintain strong teachers who will continue to strengthen our community.
Continued investment in STEM initiatives
Parents have invested a huge amount of resources in Evansdale in the form of both monetary and time contributions. The focus groups held last year clearly indicated that STEM was a MAJOR priority of our community. The new principal should support and work to advance the established priorities of our community and further
advance the academic potential at Evansdale. This individual must also be able to work extremely well with highly engaged parents without becoming defensive or divisive.
Principal must be able to build trusting relationships with students and parents, Experience with implementing STEM is key given our current goals for the school.
Enabling students to reach their full potential in a safe environment needs to be the central focus. Everything else feeds into that central focus.



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