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The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal

Packed with essential forms, letters, charts, and checklists, this easy-to-use kit offers solutions for virtually any leadership or administrative challenge that elementary school principals commonly face.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: K-6
  • ISBN: 9781412972772
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2010
  • Page Count: 408
  • Publication date: February 26, 2010

Price: $55.95

Price: $55.95
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For Instructors

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"I wish I'd had this useful desktop guide to help me through the challenges of my early years and as a reference guide for the later years. The authors have done a remarkable job of anticipating the daily needs of principals and offering practical suggestions that can be used within minutes! This book is eminently useful, up-to-date, and full of rich professional perspectives."
—Ella Reiss Urdang, Elementary Principal
Tenafly, NJ Public Schools

"The school leader's position is often the loneliest position in any school, but this excellent resource is the equivalent of having a mentor 24/7. This book should accompany all newly appointed school leaders into their new positions."
—Neil MacNeill, Principal
Ellenbrook Primary School, WA, Australia

Creative, real-world approaches for responding to the fast-changing demands of school leadership!

Designed for the busy administrator, The Survival Kit for the Elementary School Principal addresses daily challenges faced by all elementary school principals and offers expert solutions for virtually any leadership or administrative issue.

Based on the authors' extensive experiences in public and private schools, this easy-to-use kit includes time-saving forms, sample letters, charts, and checklists for successful day-to-day school administration. The book is a complete desktop reference with solutions for immediate problems or challenges. The authors' pragmatic, tested strategies assist readers with:

  • Systems thinking
  • Negotiating the maze of NCLB requirements
  • Using data to inform practice
  • Understanding the key role that new technologies play in schools
  • Succeeding as leaders, arbitrators, evaluators, disciplinarians, and more
  • Gathering support through positive parent and community relations

Suitable for diverse settings and school sizes, this comprehensive resource is a virtual library of essential information and support for effective elementary school leadership.

All forms, letters, and checklists available online at Corwin.com/elementarysurvivalkit upon publication.

Key features

  • Contains forms, sample letters, charts, lists, and other items that can be of invaluable assistance to principals
  • All of the recommended practices have been proven to work in actual schools, are based on years of experience, and have evolved from discussions with countless principals in urban, suburban, rural, private, and public settings
  • The suggestions are suitable for schools of any size, regardless of how they are organized
  • The book's many letters, forms, and checklists are available on the accompanying CD-ROM and can be customized with school logos, letterheads, and names that meet local and individual user needs


Abby Barry Bergman photo

Abby Barry Bergman

Abby Barry Bergman has been involved in the field of education for over 40 years, in both private and public educational settings. Initially a kindergarten teacher, he has taught at the university level and has filled a variety of positions in school administration. Since 2002, he has served as the Regional Science Coordinator for Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, a service organization for a consortium of school districts in New York State. Previously, he was principal of the Ralph S. Maugham School in Tenafly, New Jersey, for over 20 years—an elementary school in a nationally reputed “lighthouse” school district.

Having received his bachelor of arts degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York, he went on to engage in graduate study, earning the master of arts, master of education, and doctor of education degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1996, Bergman received the Administrative Excellence Award presented by the Bergen County Administrators Association.

Bergman has also served as an independent consultant in educational product development and evaluation. He has authored books in the field of science education and written several professional articles, pamphlets, and curriculum guides.

Judy Powers photo

Judy Powers

Having earned degrees at both Barnard College and Teachers College, Columbia University, Judy Powers began her career teaching at the elementary level for 10 years. As both a teacher and a policy board chair of a New York State Teacher Center, Judy conducted professional development courses in the areas of mathematics and classroom management. During her 16 years as an elementary school principal, Judy continued to conduct district- and building-based training and led schools based on a continuous improvement model. While a teacher, principal, and interim assistant superintendent, Judy consistently worked to build strong connections between school and community stakeholders. She led several regional workshops on teacher evaluation, supervision, and staff development. Judy now is a consultant to educational organizations. She has coordinated a mentorship program and now coordinates regional professional development, oversees curriculum development, coaches elementary administrators, and conducts staff development in the areas of leadership and curriculum development in both public and private schools.
Michael L. Pullen photo

Michael L. Pullen

Michael L. Pullen currently works as an elementary school principal in upstate New York—a capacity he has served in for the past six years. Prior to becoming an elementary principal, his teaching career saw him work in urban, suburban, and rural districts in upstate New York. As a principal, Michael has led several district curriculum initiatives and had made regional presentations about science curriculum development. Under his leadership, his buildings have been recognized by the state education department as either high-performing or gap-closing schools four times. Michael received his B.A. from St. John Fisher College, his M.S. from Nazareth College, and his Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About This Resource


About the Authors

1. Your Role as Principal: "All Things to All People" or "Principle-Centered Leadership"

The Nature of the Principalship

Define Your Own Belief System

Systems Thinking, the Learning Organization, and Strategic Planning

Instructional Leadership

The Importance of Diplomacy

The Need for Positive Community Relations

Learn From Experience

Effective Time Management Practices

Maintain Perspective

2. How to Plan for the School Year: Setting Goals and Maintaining Focus

The Context for School Goals

The Power of Goals

Goals Should Make a Difference

Setting Goals: Broad-Based Involvement

The Elements of Well-Designed School Goals: SMART Goals

Keep the Ball in the Air

Reporting on Goal Fulfillment

3. Shared Decision Making: The Key to a More Effective School

What Is Meant by Shared Decision-Making?

What Are the Benefits of Shared Decision-Making?

What Do Effective School Leadership Groups Do?

What Steps Are Required to Establish a School Leadership Team?

What Is the Relationship of the Leadership Team to the Larger School Community?

What Are the Skills Required for Effective Team Meetings?

The Role of the Principal in Shared Decision-Making

How to Assess the Effectiveness of a School Leadership Team

4. Improving Teacher Observation and Evaluation

The Purposes of Supervision and Evaluation

How to Establish a Positive Climate for Teacher Supervision

How to Clarify the Criteria for Supervision and Evaluation

Achieving a Balance Between Formal and Informal Observations

Reviewing Professional Development Plans

The Pre-Observation Conference

How to Conduct Effective Teacher Observations

The Post-Observation Conference: A Time for Sharing and Learning

Other Means of Observation and Evaluation

How to Make the Most of an Annual Evaluation Conference

How to Make Effective Decisions About Rehiring Teachers

How to Deal Effectively With the Marginal Teacher

Evaluating the Supervisory Process

5. The Principal's Role in Curriculum Development and Renewal

What Is the Curriculum?

The Content or "Course of Study"

The Methods or Techniques to Be Used

Establishing a Timeline for Examining the Curriculum

A Process for Curriculum Renewal

Preparing a Curriculum Document

Curriculum Articulation

Curriculum Supervision and Accommodating Teacher Choice and Flexibility

6. Assessment in the Elementary School: Purposes and Practices

The Purposes of Assessment

A Few Useful Definitions

Assessment Versus Testing

Gaining Consensus on Learning Outcomes

Aligning Assessment to Instruction

Different Assessments for Different Needs

Steps to Follow in Designing Assessments

A Balanced Approach to Assessment

7. Using the School Testing Program to Good Advantage

The Purposes of Standardized Testing

The Kinds of Standardized Tests Often Given in Elementary Schools

Effective Ways to Approach the Testing Situation

Administrative Responsibilities in the School Testing Program

Helping Children Perform Their Best on Standardized Tests

Effective Analysis and Use of Test Results

Understanding the Limitations of Standardized Tests

"Value-Added" Assessment

Reporting the Results of Tests to Parents and Students

8. Reporting Student Progress to Parents

First Things First: Getting to Know Students

When Should Student Progress Be Reported?

Clarifying Reporting Practices With Teachers

Helping Parents Understand the School's Reporting System

Improving Progress Reports

Reporting Progress in Special Subject Areas

Tips and Techniques for Holding Effective Parent Conferences

Student Self-Evaluation

9. Administering Effective Programs for Students With Special Needs

The Role of the Principal in Overseeing Special-Education Services

Identifying Special Needs of Students

Developing a Continuum of Services for Students

Inclusion and Its Implications

Creating a Pupil Support Team

Prereferral Strategies and Response to Intervention

Procedures to Follow in Section 504 Referrals

Referral for Special-Education Services

Dealing With the Outcomes of a Special-Education Evaluation

Discipline Regulations and Special-Education Students

Administering English-as-a Second-Language Programs

Administering Gifted and Talented Educational Programs

Staff Development Needs in Dealing With Unique Learners

Assessing the Effectiveness of Programs to Meet Special Needs

10. Student Discipline: Approaches, Alternatives, and Solutions

Causes of Discipline Problems That Principals Are Likely to Encounter

Approaches to Effective Discipline

Elements of a Preventive Discipline Program

Advice for Teachers About Classroom Discipline

The Principal's Role in the School Discipline Program

The Importance of Parent Communication

Alternatives in a School Discipline Program

11. Improving Your School's Professional Development Program

The Need for Ongoing Professional Development

How to Begin: Conducting a Staff Development Needs Assessment

Staff Development and Behavioral Change

The Principal's Role in Devising a Staff Development Program

Implementing an Effective Staff Development Program

The Faculty Meeting as a Forum for Professional Development

Staff Development for School Service Personnel

12. Promoting Effective Communication: Internal and External

The Importance of Effective Communication

Keeping the School Staff Informed

Obtain Requested Information in an Organized Fashion

Electronic Communication With the School Community

Keeping the Parent Body and the Community Informed

Face-to-Face Communications

Tips on Preparing Presentations

Establishing a Network of "Key Communicators"

The Written Letter: A Lost Art

13. Promoting Positive Parent and Community Relations

Begin With Your Own School Community

Developing a Unity of Purpose

The Importance of Availability and Visibility

Working With a Principal's Advisory Council

Establishing Procedures for Handling of Parental Complaints

The Importance of the Role of the School Secretary

Dealing With the Media

Becoming Skillful at Creating Positive Publicity for Your School

14. Technology and the Elementary School Program

Clarifying the Purposes of Technology in the School

Planning for Effective Use of Technology in Schools

Integrating Technology Into the General Curriculum

Technology and Educational Reform

Planning for Appropriate Staff Development for Using Technology

Using Online Services

Evaluating Content and Software Programs

Ensuring the Proper Use, Maintenance, and Inventory of Equipment

Evaluating the School Technology Program

15. Effective Budget Preparation and Control

Advance Planning: The First Step

Preparing Budget Documents

Budget Review and Approval

Implementing and Controlling the Budget

Securing Alternative Means of Funding in Your School

16. Maintaining a Clean, Safe, and Secure School Environment

Caring for the School Building

Maximizing the Use of Building Space

Working With the Custodial Staff

Securing, Storing, and Maintaining an Inventory of Custodial Supplies

Maintaining a Safe and Clean School Site

Improving the Appearance of Indoor Spaces

Long-Term Planning and Capital Projects

Safeguarding School Equipment and Materials

School Safety and Emergency Planning

17. Developing and Implementing Effective Class Placement Policies

Fair and Appropriate Organization of Classes

Inviting Parent Input Into Class Placement: Benefits and Drawbacks

Developing Class Lists

Forming Incoming Kindergarten Classes

Dealing With the Retention of Students in a Grade

Announcing Class Placements to Parents

Handling Parent Complaints About Class Placements

Placing Students Who Enter During the School Year

Reviewing and Evaluating Class Placement Practices

18. Effective and Creative School Scheduling Practices

Setting Goals for the School Schedule

The Effect of the Schedule on the Climate of the School

Defining Premises, Assumptions, and Contractual Considerations

Models and Approaches for School Scheduling

Getting Down to Business: Developing the Master Schedule

The Trend Toward Year-Round Schooling

19. Staffing and Hiring: Critical Decisions for Principals

Projecting Staffing Needs

Forming a Selection Committee

Developing a Candidate Profile

Recruiting Suitable Candidates

Paper Screening

Developing Interview Questions

Developing an Interview Schedule

Conducting Interviews

Checking References

Making a Hiring Recommendation

Notifying Applicants of Their Status

Announcing Hiring Decisions to the School Community

Orienting New Staff Members

Evaluating Hiring and Orientation Practices

20. Fostering a School Culture: Traditions and Ceremonies

Making Schools Great and Memorable With Traditions and Ceremonies

Developing a School Culture

Planning for Ceremonies and Maintaining Traditions

Examples of School Traditions and Ceremonies

Passing Down School Traditions From One Generation to the Next




Price: $55.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

Related Resources

  • Access to companion resources is available with the purchase of this book.