Sustainability Essay

1340 Words6 Pages
Robbins Elementary, an urban school located in a large city in Texas, has defied the odds by attaining and sustaining high academic success rates for an approximate twenty-year time period. As Okilwa and Barnett (2017) noted, Robbins Elementary had grown to become homogeneous in race (majority Hispanic) and economic status (increased economically disadvantaged status). According to the article (Okilwa & Barnett, 2017), 2013 census data revealed that 50% of families in Robbins Elementary attendance zone earned less than $35,000 annually, with a median income of $35,282. Assumptions regarding high-need schools would, undoubtedly, portray Robbins Elementary as a school that would struggle academically with high teacher and principal…show more content…
Changing the culture and climate could not be achieved by barking orders or mandating behaviors; conversely, the principal and assistant principal engaged and modeled turnaround behaviors necessary to bring about change. Specifically, they shared a strong work ethic, embraced teamwork, and presented an unrelenting resolve to achieve. Modeling these behaviors while embarking in initiatives (distributed leadership, collective responsibility for student learning, curriculum alignment, enhanced teacher efficacy) set the stage for high expectations for ALL in the school (Okilwa & Barnett, 2017).
Distributed Leadership
Empowering teachers and staff in leading the learning was, and remains, a key component of Robbins Elementary’s success. Collaboration and instructional leadership became the norm, as “the administrative team created an environment where teachers and staff members felt comfortable sharing their skills and abilities in order to provide quality learning experiences for all students” (Okilwa & Barnett, 2017, p.307). To demonstrate administration’s trust in teachers’ expertise and expectations of the school, grade-level teams were delegated the task of interviewing teachers and recommending candidates for hire. In addition, teachers were encouraged and supported to pursue professional learning to enhance skills. This willingness to empower staff in decision-making builds morale and trust in the processes taking place within

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