This presentation will focus on an urban high school's journey from “corrective action” to “good standing” status where disciplinary incidents were reduced by 70% as a result of a whole school redesign where students are teamed by career academies they select. We will discuss how changing our instructional philosophy from delivering instruction to ensuring student learning was the key to a genuine turnaround. Successful student engagement strategies will be detailed including the introduction of innovations such as “one lunch” for all students, our "free bookstore" and the “texting principal.” Developing an accountability system that is data driven, using a formalized continuous improvement process, and demanding growth that leads to a positive educational focus will also be discussed.
Dr. Kessler has been the principal of Hunters Lane High School since 2008 and is the most senior high school principal in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools district. As co-author of The Principal’s Survival Guide-Where Do I Start? How Do I Succeed? When Do I Sleep (2015) Dr. Kessler has also written articles that have been published by Principal Leadership (NASSP) and Educational Leadership (ASCD) and has ten years of experience as an adjunct faculty member teaching undergraduate and graduate classes. Dr. Kessler testified (2015) before the United States Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions as an invited expert about her work in developing innovation in schools as part of the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
April Snodgrass has been an instructional coach and assistant principal at Hunters Lane High School for the past 12 years. She is co-author of The Principal’s Survival Guide-Where Do I Start? How Do I Succeed? When Do I Sleep (2015) and numerous articles.