What are the first steps that Ms. Flores, the school principal, and the School Improvement Team should take to support students with disabilities throughout the school system?

Page 2: Promote Collaboration Between Teachers and Principals

Research on Beacons of Excellence schools reveals a number of important ways that principals and teachers collaborate:

  • Teacher and Principal meetingPrincipals encourage teachers to participate in school-wide decision making.
  • Principals support teachers when they assume and carry out leadership roles.
  • Principals and staff share responsibility for the success of students.

Benefits to Staff and Students

When principals and teachers work together:

  • Teachers feel empowered to take responsibility for the success of their students.
  • School staff share a common mission (ERIC/OSEP Special Project, 2002).
  • Students feel safe and learn to trust and cooperate with teachers and school leaders.

beacons“Principals and teachers in Beacons of Excellence Schools all exhibit shared leadership. However, researchers noted that the focus of leadership may shift depending on the specific issues principals were facing—principals might be strong and directive, or they might exhibit a hands-off, facilitative role in which they guided or assisted staff members as they assumed specific leadership responsibilities. Principals were more directive in schools that were implementing recently imposed state or district-wide assessment and accountability systems. In contrast, principals assumed a more facilitative role in schools in which the staff was stable and cohesive, and in which a clear focus for the curriculum was evident.”

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