We would like to welcome you to the fourth year of the SAVMP (School Admin Virtual Mentor Program). To start off the program, we are going to focus on a blog post that George has written previously on “5 Questions You Should Ask Your Principal”, over the next 5 installments of this blog, we are going to give you and your mentor time to discuss each question and use it as the basis of your program.

The first question we are going to focus on is in based on the idea of creating strong relationships to build a solid foundation in your school. From our collective experience, we have seen many administrators focus on the idea of being “innovative” before focusing on the spending time with staff, students, and understanding classrooms. As George would say, “Innovation is a human endeavor”, and it is important that we focus on these connections first.

So here is the first question, whether you are a principal, vice-principal, or on any part of a leadership team:

“What are some ways you connect with your school community?”

Please feel free to write comments on the blog, discuss this with your mentor/mentee, and then share a post on your own blog, whether it is through writing, video, or some other medium.

If you are not an “official” member, but would like to contribute, please leave your link in the comments below.

Thanks for your dedication to this program! We are looking forward to learning from one another!

(Thank you Amber Teamann for this great post!)

12 Comments on Connecting….#SAVMP

  1. mcguirp
    October 14, 2016 at 9:48 pm (8 years ago)

    Thanks for this first post Amber. Have we set up a Voxer Group yet? Great first question. I have a post that came out earlier that fits this topic
    Agree totally with George, Amber and Theresa for starting us off on the right foot!

  2. Christypost9
    October 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm (8 years ago)

    So excited to get started. This is something I think about all the time. Such an important part of what we do every day. At times much more important than anything else we do. Thanks!

  3. Aqila Malpass
    October 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm (8 years ago)

    If you want to maximize your school’s effectiveness in educating and growing students, get as many hands on deck as you can!

    As an instructional leader in a district with great economic and cultural diversity, it is a priority for me to take steps to actively invite and include all members of our school community. Some of the ways that I have made connections with the school community are as follows:

    *Hold a parent orientation/parent night where teachers are able to meet with their child’s teachers and ask questions about the new school year (for those families that are not able to attend, post a powerpoint or google presentation to the school’s website).

    *Create vlogs that deliver important information to families.

    *Invite family members to school for breakfast or lunch with their student – Pancakes With Pop, Muffins With Mom, Lunch With Loved Ones, Donuts With Dad…the titles are endless!

    *Invite community businesses to present their profession or career to students on Career Day.

    *Invite family members to serve the school in various capacities:answering phones in the front office, making copies, laminating, cutting out, secret reader, teacher perk day, lunchroom duty, library book helper, recess games etc.

    *Postcards to students in the summer welcoming them to the new grade level written by the teacher or administrators.

    *Encourage regular communications from school to home- Newsletter, SeeSaw App where students upload videos of their work explained and parents view their videos (digital portfolio), EduCreations, Twitter, Voxer, Remind, RoboCalls etc.

    *Culture Day where students are able to represent and present their culture and customs to the school and invite the community.

    *Hold faculty or grade level meetings in teacher classrooms so that teachers are able to host and welcome each other.

    Having worked at a school where these practices were common, their positive impact was very evident. The performance of the school was outstanding and the culture was amazing because we had many hands on deck!

  4. jess
    October 24, 2016 at 2:38 am (8 years ago)

    This is a great reminder about the real cornerstone of the job. Luckily I have worked in the school prior to my new role so I know many people. Now it’s getting to know people in a new way. I’m trying to do this by getting into classrooms, joining common planning times, and looking for staff input as we institute new changes. A staff shout out board and surprise Ice cream sundae afternoon are another way we’ve tried to support and honor those we work with and for.

  5. Kyle
    October 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm (8 years ago)

    I connect to the community in a lot of ways. Social media was my first plan of connecting and my school connects through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Remind. However, I think the most effective way to connect with the community is to be visible. I do this by being out at the beginning and end of the day when parents are around the school the most. I visit classes. I sit on the carpet with kids. I wave. I help with traffic flow. I come out and dance with the kids before school and at recess. I’ve started to walk home with some kids as well. I know there is more I can do, but these are a few ideas that have help with PR.

  6. Staci
    October 25, 2016 at 10:46 pm (8 years ago)

    I use social media a lot. I also try to be present a lunch because we have a lot of parent visitors during that time. I will also attend board meetings and rotary club when I have a chance. No addition to that I try to attend as many home games as possible and help coordinate events where we invite the community. This may be a a reading festival night or breakfast with Santa.

  7. Alex
    October 27, 2016 at 10:31 pm (8 years ago)

    Establishing school community connections is extremely important. My school creates these connections is so many ways. Some of the ways I work to create these connections follow. I share pictures and make posts on Twitter to share the great things occurring in my building and throughout the school. In the past, I have written/co-written the weekly parent newsletter sent on behalf of the building administration and posted to my school’s Facebook page. Being visible is a great way to form these connections too. I am out at the bus or parent loop before and after school and in the lunchroom during lunches. I also attend after school events, both at my building and at times, other buildings. At times, I attend Board of Education meetings. Working alongside my building’s PTO has been a great way to establish connections. Additionally, I am a community member and current participant in my city’s leadership institute.

  8. Mr Stoner
    November 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm (8 years ago)

    After being awarded my current principalship, my wife and I sold our house in a neighboring community and moved to this one. I wanted to live in the same community I lead in. It has been a fantastic idea. I loved being able to stand on my front porch and talk with parents last night during trick-or-treating. I like for the students and parents to see me outside of the school. For them to know they can approach me and talk with me. I have not yet, in my two years, had a parent want to talk about school concerns in public. I have had a couple ask if they can set up a meeting with me, to which I take out my phone and schedule it right then with them.


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