>Joyce Finley at Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii jfinley
Aloha to you too, Joyce!
Although my state of CA is fabulous, I miss your warm waters!!!
I don't know if this is what you are looking for but let me tell you about
our middle school situation and the status of our principal. It is somewhat
About 3 years ago we had a major blowout between staff and principal. Our
staff is a little over 50 strong with many, many chiefs and very few
indians! By that I mean lots of strong opinions and strong personalities.
There have been major clashes in the past with admin. The teachers in our
school, with the help of the Asst. Superintendent of our district, set up a
Governance Committee composed of 15 elected representative teachers. We met
once a month...the principal included...and discussed the major decisions
that go on in our particular school. We would run the meeting, the
principal was just a listener (so to speak). We then reported back to our
(each of us had 3-4) and took a poll on their opinions. We met again and
discussed opinions and made decisions based on what WE wanted. Some
decisions by the district we could not change but WE basically ran the
school-decision making. The principal had a hard time at first giving up
authority to us but it made, in the end, a smoother running system. We also
did alot of bonding workshops between the staff and admin. This committee
also discussed staff conflicts and made decisions in the best interest of
the entire staff. At least everyone could be heard here by their peers and
it helped several people and their problems. Everyone to be heard had to
submit their concern in written form 2 weeks ahead of our meeting so the
comm. members could be prepared to discuss it together. Saved lots of time!
Because of this system, there was no need for faculty meetings!
We have disbanded the Governance Comm. this year and are going back to
faculty meetings run by the teachers, timed by the teachers, planned by the
teachers and the principal will be sitting with the staff and not leading
or running the meetings. We have successfully blunted top-down management
and it is working great! The principal still meets with the parents, has
the big office, but we are all working together now and EQUALLY!!!!!
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, California 94526