Page 1

FUNERAL... FOR THE STATUS QUO CAS

ENQUIRER EDUCATORS DISMOUNT THE DEAD HORSE

PRINCIPALS DEMAND FEWER CRISES

If the principal must be Superman Wonder Woman, the least we can do is to provide adequate phone booths


CAS - CIAC TIME LINE 1921

1953 In 1953 CASSP merges with CIAC to become the Connecticut Association of Secondary Schools (CASS)

In 1921 the The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) is established

2

I w a P C – P c

1935 In 1935 The Connecticut Association of Secondary School Principals is established.

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1990 In 1990 Elementary schools are admitted into membership – CASS becomes CAS.


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

2007 In 2007 the Executive Coaching Program begins.

2000 In 2000 CAS merges with the Elementary and Middle School Principals Association of Connecticut (EMSPAC) – the Connecticut Principals Center is created

2005 In 200 the Executive Coaching Program begins.

1991 In 1991 Unified Sports was introduced.

2010 In 2010, after 30 years in the CAS Central Office, Mike Savage Retires and Dr. Karissa Niehoff becomes Executive Director.

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3


CAS POISED FOR 21st CENTURY WITH NEW SITE ON WWW CAS-CIAC went “on-line” this summer with the

vide updates and summaries of pending ed-

introduction of its new site on the World Wide

ucation-related legislation;

Web. The CAS-CIAC home page, at http://www.

• an on-line school directory which contains

casciac.org, allows member schools instant

direct links to the e-mail addresses and web

access to information about Association-relat-

sites of member schools;

ed events and activities as well as general information about education in Connecticut and nationwide. The web page, which posts notices, mailings, and many of the Association’s fre-

• recent survey results and report findings involving Connecticut students and schools; • announcements about upcoming workshops and conferences; and,

quently requested documents, will provide a

• information about the Association’s history,

new, more efficient means of communicating

mission, organizational structure, publica-

with member schools. The site is organized into

tions, services, and, central office staff.

two separate links — one for CAS and one for CIAC — each offering a number of features that

The CIAC site offers:

hopefully will benefit our members.

• the CIAC Eligibility Rules, printed in their

The CAS site contains:

entirety;

• a 1997-98 Calendar of Events;

• Fall Tournament Information;

• the monthly BULLETIN;

• recently enacted changes to the CIAC By-

• a month-by-month listing of SABC- approved activities; • a “State Legislation Report” which will pro4 PAGE

Laws; • new policies and procedures; • 1997-98 Game Limitations and Practice


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

Dates;

“This is an important step forward for the As-

• all CIAC sports committees;

sociation, one which we believe will not only

• a message board where coaches can post

better serve our member schools, but will fa-

“games wanted;”

cilitate the operations of the Central Office.

a Unified Sports® link; and,

While our web page is not intended to replace

• a CAIO Page which allows individuals to register for CAIO on-line. The site provides access to all Central Office

traditional paper communication -- at least not at this stage! -- we hope that, in certain areas of operation, communication with the Central Office will be faster, easier, and less expensive. We expect that our new web site will be a powerful public relations tool which will open up lines of communication not only with member schools, but with the media and the general public as well.” We encourage members to browse the web site and offer feed- back on ways it might be

staff via e-mail (see addresses below).

improved or expanded. Please direct your com-

Executive Director Mike Savage commented,

ments to knastri@casciac.org. PAGE

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CAS-CIAC WEBSITE HAS NEW LOOK! From October 1998

CAS-CIAC is pleased to unveil its newly updated principal at a and upgraded website! The website, at www.cas-

neighboring

ciac.org, has been improved in both design and school? function and offers a number of new features,

Use

our Member-

including a Position Vacancies Board and a site ship Directory search system. The site is very user-friendly, al-

to find staff names, school addresses, phone/fax

lowing visitors to easily navigate between CAS numbers, and e-mail/website addresses for all and CIAC-related pages and links.

CAS-CIAC member schools.

Hiring a new assistant principal? Using our new message boards, members can post position va-

Seeking elementary schools which offer a devel-

cancies, help wanted notices, materials needed opmental achievement class? Perform a search requests and other general announcements.

in our Membership Database. The database provides extensive information about the athletic, academic and administrative program offerings of CAS-CIAC member schools. Visit our chat rooms and message boards for principals, assistant principals, and teachers. CIAC WEBSITE OFFERS MESSAGE BOARDS, E-MAIL LISTS The CIAC website has been expanded and improved in response to the many suggestions received from our constituents. In addition to its previous features, the CIAC site now offers:

Looking for the name and e-mail address of the 6 PAGE

• “The Sports Scoreboard,” which allows coach-


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

es, administrators and other school officials to • Sports e-mail lists which allow subscribers post and read regular season game results in

to receive information, pairings, results and

any CIAC-sponsored sport. • “The CIAC Sportscenter,” which posts tournament pairings and results, tournament information — including sites, dates, divisions, and rules — and tournament forms. Sports tournament packets can now be viewed and downloaded in their entirety through the “Sportscenter”. The “Sportscenter” also posts National Federation rules changes for each

schedules directly via e-mail (during tourna-

sport.

ment time only).

• The entire CIAC Handbook, or individual chapters, can be downloaded in the printable Ado-

We encourage members to browse the website

be Acrobat (.pdf) format.

and offer feedback on ways it might be further

• A message board for posting coaching vacancies.

improved. Please direct your comments to: knastri@casciac.org.

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7


ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: ACCESS THE INTERNET By Doug Duval, CAA, and Mike Swank, CAA

Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

of the equipment available to you in your school. What Do I Need to Hook Up to the Internet? You need a computer with at least eight megabytes of mem-

Is it Difficult to Use the Internet?

ory and a phone line. Some people use their regular phone

No. You do not need to be a computer genius in order to get

line and hook it to their modem. The problem with this is

on and use the Internet.

that when you are on the Internet, no one will be able to use your regular phone. Most people prefer to get anoth-

The Internet sounds wonderful but very confusing. Will

er phone line which is called a “dedicated” line. This way,

there be any help for novices?

someone can use the phone and other family members can

Yes. High schools, community colleges and other groups are

be on the Internet. You also will need a modem which serves

offering courses for Internet users. Ask your computer lab

as the communication link between the computer and the

technician for assistance. Jump into the Net!

phone. And you also will need an account with an Internet Service Provider. In Addition to the Monthly Rate for Internet Service, What Else Will this Cost Me?

What is the Internet?

Why is the Internet important to an Athletic Director?

You will need to buy the items explained above. Comput-

The Internet is, essentially, millions of computers hooked

E-mail—With one message, you can communicate with

ers cost anywhere from $700 to $2,200 or more. Modems

together with telecommunication lines. The Internet is not

your peers across town or across the world about issues

can run anywhere from $75 to $300. The faster your mo-

owned by any particular company or country. To connect to

like game scheduling, common problems, and happen-

dem, the faster you will be able to work. It is recommend-

the Internet, you need only to call one computer and from

ings and events.

ed that your modem have 14.4 or 28.8 bps. You will also

Maps — On the Internet, quite a few sites provide an

pay a monthly phone bill on your “dedicated” line. Your rate

ternet, which spans the entire globe.

opportunity to create maps on how to get from one lo-

will depend upon your telephone service for local calls and

Although you might be talking to someone in Australia on

cation to another. This can be a great service for your

range in price as to the time of day you are making Internet

the Internet Relay Chat (IRC -- which is similar to a CB Radio

bus drivers, parents and spectators on how to get to

communications. You also will pay a one-time set-up charge

for the Internet) or downloading a file (ftp) from a provider,

your next game.

with your Internet Service Provider. You probably have most

there, that computer will connect you to the rest of the In-

you are only paying for the account that connects you to the

local computer and for the local phone call.

Reprinted from Interscholastic Athletic Administration, Summer 1997 Doug Duval is the director of athletics at Mundelein High School in Illinois. He has been a member of the NIAAA Publications Committee since 1990. Duval serves on the executive board for the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. He has appeared on the program for two national conferences and has made several presentations at state conferences. Mike Swank is the activities director for Bay Village City Schools in Ohio. In 1991, he successfully completed the Certified Athletic Administrator process. A member of the NIAAA Publications Committee since 1996, he has written articles for IAA, including the Ideas that Work section.

News—Keep up with current events like drug testing, pay for play, legal issues and scores. With the Internet, you can search for the exact information that you need.

The Internet provides a great deal of services, information

High School Activity/Athletic Associations — Many of

resources, books, articles and files that you can download

the National Federation member state high school ath-

for free. You can subscribe to USENET groups (huge bulle-

letic/activity associations are going on-line. Scheduling

tin boards for special interests or things in common, like

notices, surveys and other materials will be delivered

TV shows, hobbies, political views, games, contests or used

via the Internet in the future. The National Federation’s

equipment where people post and read messages and ar-

website can be found at http://www.nfshsa.org.

ticles). You can download entire books from different com-

Scholarships — Quite a few sites offer information on

puters, go through the Library of Congress’ files, get weather

scholarship opportunities for your students. Also, many

from around the world, browse the Help Wanted section or

universities and colleges have their own websites that

talk to a friend in Moscow.

your students could visit and check out.

Grants/Funding — Many foundations and corporations

The Internet is about communication and sharing of infor-

now list their giving and application guidelines over the

mation. It is basically a community of computers and people.

Internet. Search for those groups that may be able to help support special projects or ideas.

Publications & Resources: http://cas.casciac.org/?page_id=49 8 PAGE

PAGE

9


ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: ACCESS THE INTERNET By Doug Duval, CAA, and Mike Swank, CAA

Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

of the equipment available to you in your school. What Do I Need to Hook Up to the Internet? You need a computer with at least eight megabytes of mem-

Is it Difficult to Use the Internet?

ory and a phone line. Some people use their regular phone

No. You do not need to be a computer genius in order to get

line and hook it to their modem. The problem with this is

on and use the Internet.

that when you are on the Internet, no one will be able to use your regular phone. Most people prefer to get anoth-

The Internet sounds wonderful but very confusing. Will

er phone line which is called a “dedicated” line. This way,

there be any help for novices?

someone can use the phone and other family members can

Yes. High schools, community colleges and other groups are

be on the Internet. You also will need a modem which serves

offering courses for Internet users. Ask your computer lab

as the communication link between the computer and the

technician for assistance. Jump into the Net!

phone. And you also will need an account with an Internet Service Provider. In Addition to the Monthly Rate for Internet Service, What Else Will this Cost Me?

What is the Internet?

Why is the Internet important to an Athletic Director?

You will need to buy the items explained above. Comput-

The Internet is, essentially, millions of computers hooked

E-mail—With one message, you can communicate with

ers cost anywhere from $700 to $2,200 or more. Modems

together with telecommunication lines. The Internet is not

your peers across town or across the world about issues

can run anywhere from $75 to $300. The faster your mo-

owned by any particular company or country. To connect to

like game scheduling, common problems, and happen-

dem, the faster you will be able to work. It is recommend-

the Internet, you need only to call one computer and from

ings and events.

ed that your modem have 14.4 or 28.8 bps. You will also

Maps — On the Internet, quite a few sites provide an

pay a monthly phone bill on your “dedicated” line. Your rate

ternet, which spans the entire globe.

opportunity to create maps on how to get from one lo-

will depend upon your telephone service for local calls and

Although you might be talking to someone in Australia on

cation to another. This can be a great service for your

range in price as to the time of day you are making Internet

the Internet Relay Chat (IRC -- which is similar to a CB Radio

bus drivers, parents and spectators on how to get to

communications. You also will pay a one-time set-up charge

for the Internet) or downloading a file (ftp) from a provider,

your next game.

with your Internet Service Provider. You probably have most

there, that computer will connect you to the rest of the In-

you are only paying for the account that connects you to the

local computer and for the local phone call.

Reprinted from Interscholastic Athletic Administration, Summer 1997 Doug Duval is the director of athletics at Mundelein High School in Illinois. He has been a member of the NIAAA Publications Committee since 1990. Duval serves on the executive board for the Illinois Athletic Directors Association. He has appeared on the program for two national conferences and has made several presentations at state conferences. Mike Swank is the activities director for Bay Village City Schools in Ohio. In 1991, he successfully completed the Certified Athletic Administrator process. A member of the NIAAA Publications Committee since 1996, he has written articles for IAA, including the Ideas that Work section.

News—Keep up with current events like drug testing, pay for play, legal issues and scores. With the Internet, you can search for the exact information that you need.

The Internet provides a great deal of services, information

High School Activity/Athletic Associations — Many of

resources, books, articles and files that you can download

the National Federation member state high school ath-

for free. You can subscribe to USENET groups (huge bulle-

letic/activity associations are going on-line. Scheduling

tin boards for special interests or things in common, like

notices, surveys and other materials will be delivered

TV shows, hobbies, political views, games, contests or used

via the Internet in the future. The National Federation’s

equipment where people post and read messages and ar-

website can be found at http://www.nfshsa.org.

ticles). You can download entire books from different com-

Scholarships — Quite a few sites offer information on

puters, go through the Library of Congress’ files, get weather

scholarship opportunities for your students. Also, many

from around the world, browse the Help Wanted section or

universities and colleges have their own websites that

talk to a friend in Moscow.

your students could visit and check out.

Grants/Funding — Many foundations and corporations

The Internet is about communication and sharing of infor-

now list their giving and application guidelines over the

mation. It is basically a community of computers and people.

Internet. Search for those groups that may be able to help support special projects or ideas.

Publications & Resources: http://cas.casciac.org/?page_id=49 8 PAGE

PAGE

9


PROVERBS FOR THE MILLENNIUM 1.

Home is where you hang your @

2.

The E-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.

3.

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

4.

You can’t teach an old mouse new clicks.

5.

Great groups from little icons grown.

6.

Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.

7.

C:\ is the root of all directories.

8.

Don’t put all your hypes in one home page.

9.

Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.

10. The modem is the message. 11. Too many clicks spoil the browse. 12. The geek shall inherit the earth. 13. A chat has nine lives. 14. Don’t byte off more than you can view. 15. Fax is stranger than fiction. 16. What boots up must come down. 17. Windows will never cease. 18. In Gates we trust (and our tender is legal). 19. Virtual reality is its own reward. 20. Modulation in all things. 21. A user and his leisure time are soon parted. 22. Know what to expect before you connect. 23. Oh, what a tangled website we weave when first we practice. 24. Speed thrills. 25. Give a man (or for that matter anyone) a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the NET and he won’t bother you for weeks.

10 PAGE


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

PAGE

11


All Principals Need On November 6, 1997, all CAS principals were invited to

remediation plan.

hear Attorney Tom Mooney present a “Legal Update for School Principals.” The meeting, hosted

Expulsion -- (off-campus and on-campus) --Students may

by Michael Buckley and the CAS High School Board at Avon

be expelled for violation of board of education policies,

High School, proved, once again, to be a very valuable use

serious disruption of the education process, and/or en-

of our time. The following are highlights:

dangering persons/property. If it can be shown that the

Non-renewal hearings – Non-tenured teachers have the right to have a hearing if they are recommended for non-renewal. This hearing is only for non-renewal for cause and not for reduction in force. By standards, non-renewal is “a discretionary act for a probationary employee.” When appearing in a non- renewal hearing, don’t take the easy or polite way out; state why a teacher is being non-renewed to avert potential problems later. Exercise your judgment now as courts could reverse non-renewal hearings if your reason is arbitrary and capricious. The following have been used by various school systems: “This is a fine person, but s/he does not measure up to our high standards;” “...failure to demonstrate excellence or potential for excellence...” Use due and significant cause. This process encourages principals to intervene early and work with a teacher during non-tenure

behavior outside of school resulted in a serious disruption of the learning process and/or a violation of board policy, a student can be moved for expulsion. On campus violations include any school-sponsored activities, including away games. Grounds for Mandatory expulsion include possession of a real gun on campus and/or possession of and use off campus. Possession on school property of a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument (have to threaten to use it and it can cause serious bodily injury), or martial arts instrument (including a billy club, blackjack, switchblade/butterfly knife) is also grounds for expulsion. In your BOE policy, be sure to include the statement “ ”to cover all incidents. A school system may dismiss a student up to 180 days for any threat to a teacher or administrator when s/he crosses the line between order and chaos in the learning environment.

status.

If a student is in possession of drugs with intent to sell over

Supervision and Evaluation of Tenured Teachers -- If your

must be followed for sale or distribution of drugs.

concerns are competency issues or if the teacher is marginal, document your supervision and evaluation with a written remediation plan; write what the teacher is responsible for and what the teacher agrees to do; itemize what should happen in the classroom with appropriate follow through of action plan by teacher. Be careful of the administrative pitfall that anything written in the plan is binding in a hearing; be careful that the tables don’t get turned on you, the administrator, for not doing what you said you would in the

12 PAGE

the summer, it is an expulsion offense. Mandatory expulsion

Special Education and Discipline -- You may unilaterally move a student into another learning environment up to 45 days for bringing a dangerous weapon into school (object which can cause bodily harm, i.e., knife over two and a half inches) or selling, soliciting or offering drugs for sale. You can move for an extended period into an alternate setting if you can prove by substantial evidence that the student’s possession would likely result in injury or put students at


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

A Tom Mooney In Their Lives substantial risk. (Mooney has seri-

den disability may be identified by

ous concerns about this latitude.)

parents requesting an evaluation.

All children with dis- abilities, if

excluded for more than 10 days

dents or 50 days of suspensions,

from the learning environment,

or more than ten days of expul-

must have a PPT. Previously, it had

sion, before you can move to full

to be determined if the disabil-

expulsion, you must first go for a

ity caused the conduct. Now it is

special education review.

assumed it did unless you prove

otherwise. An IEP must be appro-

must be put in students’ cumula-

priate and in place. You must show

tive record.

the child’s disability didn’t impair

the ability of the child to control

notify the superintendent of any

the situation. You have up to 10

arrests. With the law amended this

days for this. If a student is exclud-

year, police may now appear as re-

ed for more than 10 days, you are

quested by the BOE in any matters

obligated to convene a PPT and set

involving arrests and possible sus-

up behavioral plans. The IEP could

pensions/expulsions. Police have

state that education would be in

a duty to cooperate with informa-

an alternative setting and/or could

tion given as “confidential to the

provide services in another way.

hearing.”

• You cannot remove a student

You are encouraged to read and

from a class more than two

have for your personal library Tom

If a student has ten inci-

Disciplinary interventions

The Chief of Police must

times a week or six times a year without going to an

Mooney’s book on School Law. It may be one of the best in-

informal suspension hearing. In and out of school sus-

vestments you could ever make. Our thanks to Tom Mooney

pensions are viewed as the same.

for sharing his time and expertise with us.

• In regular education, there is no such thing as a “hidden disability;” however, in special education, the administrator’s knowledge of a disability is presumed or a hid-

PAGE

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MOONEY ADVISES PRINCIPALS HOW NOT TO “MESS UP” By Tom Galvin, Assistant Executive Director As part of his presentation to high school adminis-

beyond a police report, even if the student is found

trators at Maloney High School in Meriden on Octo-

not guilty in court), harassment (school must have

ber 13th, Attorney Thomas Mooney of Shipman and

actual knowledge of student to student harassment

Goodwin outlined a list of 18 ways the high school

and not act on it to be at fault under Title IX), and

principal can “mess up.” Included in his list were

the importance of non-involvement of the school

negligent hiring, defamation, termination without

in budget elections or referenda. No public funds

due process, quick reaction to information that a

may be used, including sending flyers home or hav-

child does not live in district, talking about a child

ing students deliver them. Indemnification of the

without using a name but still making it possible

responsible school officials in these cases is illegal.

to identify, and inadequate evaluations of special education children.

The presentation was sponsored by the High School Board of Control, Dr. Mike Buckley, Chair.

Other topics discussed were new legislation (required weighted grade policies, not required weighted grades), bilingual education (a parental choice), pesticide application policies, and accountability-promotion policies.

Attorney Mooney also explained some of the recent changes in special education, discipline, expulsion, (e.g. if a student is arrested for a crime, he may be expelled for it if the school has evidence

14 PAGE


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

PAGE

15


TIROZZI URGES EDUCATORS TO

“DISMOUNT THE DEAD HORSE” 16 PAGE


Connecticut Association of Schools Nearly two hundred administrators and teachers attended the 1998 CAS High School Principals Winter Conference held at the Cromwell Radisson on January 13th. The theme of this year’s event, was “Breaking Ranks,” the celebrated school reform report published by NASSP in 1996. John Lammel, Director of High School Services for NASSP, conducted the morning workshops, presenting an overview of “Breaking Ranks” and guiding participants in developing action plans focusing on the report’s recommendations. Luncheon speaker Dr. Gerald Tirozzi, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and former Connecticut Commissioner of Education, delivered an inspirational address on topics ranging from school reform to the president’s educational agenda. With words of insight and experience, Dr. Tirozzi urged educators to “dismount the dead horse” -- that is, to challenge the status quo, to abandon the traditional educational practices that have failed to bring about success for all students.

ENQUIRER

Have a funeral service for the status quo in your building... But pick your pall bearers carefully. The afternoon workshops were conducted by the staff of Souhegan High School, Amherst, NH., a school which exemplifies the “Breaking Ranks” model. Robert Mackin, principal of Souhegan, stated that the key to his school’s success has been its “unabashed belief in kids.” Souhegan has established a democratic culture where students have a voice, where students are empowered and become active stakeholders in their own education. “We have no bells, no hall passes, no cafeteria monitors. We trust kids. And, they live up to that trust,”

“Never underestimate the power of the forces that are working to preserve the status quo,” he cautioned. He called upon educators to make dramatic changes in educational philosophy and practice, suggesting sweeping reforms such as expanding the 180-day school year, beginning the school day at 9 or 10 o’clock, and introducing all children to formal education instruction at age 3 or 4. He acknowledged the difficulties of promoting change and reminded principals that leadership is all about “vision, persistence, and courage.” Dr. Tirozzi spoke briefly about the impending teacher shortage, the challenges of urban education, the importance of technology in schools, and America’s changing demographics. He examined at length President Clinton’s educational agenda, expressing support for the president’s national assessment initiative.

said Mr. Mackin. Mr. Mackin was a finalist for the 1997 NASSP National Principal of the Year Award. Many thanks to Portland H.S. Principal Donald Gates and members of the High School Program Committee for an outstanding conference! PAGE

17


THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF MAKING TELEVISION NEWS 1. Thou shall not lie to the press. 2. Thou shall not flee the television camera. 3. Thou shall not put they hand up in front of the television camera, angrily demand the reporter turn off the camera, or otherwise look guilty as sin. 4. Thou shall not wear sunglasses while on camera. 5. Thou shall not guess about an answer. 6. Thou shall not let the reporter put words in your mouth. 7. Thou shall not talk past thy prepared statement. 8. Thou shall not assume anything is off the record. 9. Thou shall not be seen smiling and laughing at sad and troubling moments. 10. Thou shall always remember, they can’t report it if you don’t say it.

18 PAGE


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

PAGE

19


“Fewer Crisis: A Simple Pr Principalship” Part I – How Principals View Their Pool of Candidates A generation ago the typical principal probably

to improve the job, said poignantly “fewer crises.”

walked to work every morning, ventured out at night for an occasional dance, meeting, or game

Simply put, principals sometimes feel set upon

and attended the monthly Board meeting if need-

from all sides by misbehaving students, unreason-

ed. Parents and staff were much less likely to ques-

able parents, non-supportive superintendents, mi-

tion the principal’s authority in that gentler age.

cromanaging board members, demanding teachers and inadequate support staff. What’s worse, school

Today, the principal’s lot is far more hectic, holding

districts across the nation are reporting that the

responsibility for a much broader and more diverse

pool of candidates for administrative positions is

program of studies and activities. Federal man-

diminishing, and it is becoming increasingly diffi-

dates, unheard of fifty years ago, and increasing

cult to fill these jobs with qualified individuals.

state demands add to the burden. Continual nighttime supervisory activities and meetings are part of

Some parents, say the principals actually “enable

the picture. The world wasn’t perfect in 1948, but

poor behavior in their children.” These are par-

it most certainly was easier being a school admin-

ents who “challenge everything,” refusing to sup-

istrator.

port school efforts to teach youngsters to accept responsibility. Principals often see themselves as

Calls from principals to “reduce the number of hats

educators of young families, “helping parents to be

we wear,” and to cut the “social agency” roles the

caring and positive.”

school now plays are falling on deaf ears. The complaints from elementary school administrators are

But often parents come to school demanding their

essentially the same as those from principals in up-

rights and insisting on providing “everything for

per grade levels. One veteran principal, asked how

their child regardless of others.” Public education

20 PAGE


Connecticut Association of Schools

ENQUIRER

escription for the Ailing

Positions And the Dwindling Pool has certainly become more legalistic in the 1990’s.

asks simply for a “rational teachers’ union that sug-

When it comes to a showdown between parent de-

gests team work rather than antagonism.”

mands and a school’s decision, all too often superintendents and board members give in.

Many principals feel they could improve their schools if they could “hire more easily, highly ef-

Education has become increasingly politicized,

fective teachers.” And others say they would just

and most principals call for “more control of (my)

like the “ability to choose (our) own staff and get

school building.” One principal asked simply for

rid of dead wood.”

“the knowledge that there is a support system in place when the proverbial _____ hits the fan.”

American society has experienced profound social change since those principals enjoyed their lei-

Taking the principal away from the real business

surely strolls to work fifty years ago. Nowhere are

of dealing with students and teachers are exces-

the effects felt more keenly than in public schools.

sive “mandates and surveys with short turn-around time.” Support staff available to the principal to do

In the second and final part of this series next

paperwork tasks is often poorly trained. And most

month we will examine the mandates that have al-

principals lament the “continual budget fighting”

tered the role of the principal, and steps that are

year after year.

being considered to correct the ills of the modern principalship.

Doing right by students also requires cooperation of staff, and frequently this is not forthcoming. Most principals cite frustration with teachers’ unions and the tenure laws in dealing with staff. One principal PAGE

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“Fewer Crisis: A Simple Pr Principalship” Part II - The Mandate Crunch Burden of Principals

EDITOR’S NOTE: In last month’s issue of the BULLETIN we printed the first of a series of features examining the growing problem of administrative shortages in the nation’s schools. This month we give you Part I of a two-part commentary on the state of the principalship in Connecticut. “Fewer Crises: A Simple Prescription for the Ailing Principalship” is based upon the results of a mini-survey conducted by CAS earlier this year. The survey, which was completed by more than 80 of Connecticut’s most respected leaders, asked such questions as: What needs to happen to increase the quality and supply of principals? What are the most difficult aspects of the principalship? What would be your primary reason for leaving the principalship?

In part I of this series we examined the views of

few decades have tended to cast the principal in

principals toward their positions and noted that the

a kind of Superman/Wonder Woman role, and ex-

pool of candidates for principal vacancies is dimin-

pectations of a superhuman performance will con-

ishing. In this second and final article, we will look

tinue as long as the structure of school leadership

at the role of mandates in creating job stress for

remains in its traditional form:

school administrators and we will consider steps

• IDEA, the special education legislation, places

which might be taken to lighten the load of prin-

specific demands on principals at all levels and

cipals.

it has made for a legalistically charged relationship between school and family.

School administrators have called for a reduction

• CMT and CAPT, the statewide proficiency tests,

in paperwork, less selfish parents, and fewer night

place performance demands and accountabili-

commitments. It is unlikely that any of these wish-

ty upon all school personnel, especially princi-

ful thoughts of school leaders will materialize in

pals.

the immediate future. School mandates of the past

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• Teacher evaluation legislation is moving away


Connecticut Association of Schools

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escription for the Ailing and Some Steps to Ease the

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from an authoritarian model to a collaborative

job itself.

one, yet virtually every principal expresses ex-

asperation with the inability to deal with teach-

As previously noted, one principal said his lot in

ers who resist change.

life could be improved if only there were “fewer

Title IX has created a burgeoning sports pro-

crises.” What kinds of help might the state offer

gram, which places new burdens on many prin-

that would reduce daily crises in the schools if they

cipals.

were to sit down and truly listen to the needs of

Other state efforts such as BEST/Mentor, Strate-

principals?

gic School Profiles, Sheff v. O’Neill compliance, and Project Choice all beg for the principal’s attention. An examination of state efforts now underway to address the shortage of qualified principal candidates and the comments of respected principals on the same subject read much like parallel conversations.

If the principal must be Superman/Wonder Woman, the least we can do is to provide adequate phone booths. Principals say the burdens of paperwork are overwhelming: might the state initiate a training pro-

The state is considering standards-based assess-

gram for school support personnel equivalent to

ment and internships for aspiring principals. Prin-

paralegal training?

cipals have mixed views on the former measure and large majorities seem to feel that the latter will

Administrators report that they lack the tools to

produce some positive results. Both measures are

motivate reluctant teachers: is the current trend

aimed at attracting more and better candidates to

toward the collaborative approach really producing

the principalship, but nothing planned will ease the

better teachers?

daily burdens of the practicing school administrator. A nice new costume for the fledgling Superhero

Many leaders say they worry constantly about

principal, but not much help in righting the world’s

school building security: should the state be mov-

wrongs.

ing toward training school security personnel?

The measure most frequently mentioned by prin-

It just may be that if the real needs of principals are

cipals to improve their situation is higher pay and

identified and addressed, we might be able to have

benefits. Like the initiatives proposed by the state,

schools with fewer crisis and more candidates for

this may attract more candidates, but it will do

leadership positions.

nothing to correct the structural problems of the

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CAS Memories...

Michael Litke: Having the opportunity to highlight my staff and school in front of their peers during the school of the year recognition Laurie Boske: My favorite moment happens each year when I select my special volunteers to recognize at the Volunteer Banquet. They are always so appreciative and tell me that they didn’t expect recognition that they do it “for the kids.” Paul Newton: I will always remember the CAS Holiday Parties that we had “back in the day”. I was fun to have all of the folks who are connected with CAS and CIAC to come together at such a festive time of year and to celebrate together. I also remember the excitement around CAS when we finally paid off the mortgage on the CAS Office Building. Mike Savage was so excited when we finally got to that point. Steve Wysowski: I remember the annual meeting years ago being packed. We were at St Clements Castle in Portland and there was almost no place to park. Most of the day was spent in meetings and we did not leave until late afternoon. We have certainly streamlined the event in recent years owing to increased demands on building principals. Scott Leslie: Favorite memory - Attending the Band Jam rock and roll competitions from a few years ago, certainly helped that a group of RHAM headbangers took second place at the first competition. It was thrilling to see students not always directly impacted by CAS (these are the students who may not have been athletes, traditional school leaders or connected to a formal arts program) engaged with CAS and receiving recognition. I also have many fond memories of seeing Dave Malony get so enthusiastic, not only about Band Jam, but any program he was involved with.

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Connecticut Association of Schools

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Brian Bodner: My favorite moments and memories at CAS surround my time as a UCAPP student and first year administrator when I attended great classes and professional development sessions aimed at supporting new administrators. Classes included a seminar where I reviewed IEPs with veteran administrators to a legal course with Tom Mooney. These programs/partnerships were instrumental in helping me develop a clearer understanding of school law and building administration. Similarly, ongoing programs offer continued support for veteran administrators. Richard Dellinger: With Earle Bidwell retiring, my thoughts go to how well Earle always treated people and CAS volunteers. I remember working with Earle on the Professional Studies Committee over the years. He was always passionate, knowledgeable, and kind. His kindness and appreciation was always evident at NELMS conferences too. When the afternoon state breakout social sessions took place at NELMS, he always brought an assortment of UCONN related items and raffled them off. CAS volunteers were also treated to dinner on night after NELMS conventions at an Italian restaurant in Providence. Earle set a very high standard in terms of his manner and professionalism. It seems to be part of the culture of CAS. Neil Rinaldi: I’m going back many many years ago when cast decided to start recognizing arts students in the state and created the arts banquet. Open until this point most recognition was given to athletes only. As a beginning art teacher at that time I felt that by doing this CAS was taking a step in the right direction to identify all students for their accomplishments and contributions. Gladys Labas: I was an urban high school principal, and I heard from my predecessor that I should be involve in this organization call CAS but mostly because we need to know what is going on with sports, so I attended all the annual meetings and events to my surprise I never saw my urban colloquies which I always meet in other state wide organization such as the Ct Association of Bilingual Education At these meeting I was the only urban and Latina administrator. Within 2 years I was asked to join the Board of Directors and I sat quietly listening to issues that many times were not the issues we in urban districts were struggling with on a daily bases , In one of the meetings someone brought the issue of why we don’t have more participation of urban leaders. I had suggested that we should have an Urban Coalition and we should ask the urban principals what they wanted to address in these meeting Some members were concerns because we should be one organization not urban and others but 3 members spoke up Mike Buckley, Dennis Cruthiers and Alan Greenspan they spoke so eloquently in support of the concept that the Board approved the PAGE

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Urban Coalition and for many years we provide valuable information, and support to urban leaders Also please remember in the early 1990’s the political environment was not very friendly to the populations we served in urban districts there was the “English Only Movement” and many states dismantle the Bilingual program , but even under this environment these individuals took a risk stood up in support of urban leaders and the population served in these districts I was so impressed that these 3 people who I didn’t know me and we had nothing in common stood up in support of urban leader, because of them I am still at CAS continue to support its mission. Mike Buckley: Two very moving events come to mind. The first was the the outside (and I think almost impromptu) memorial service we had with the staff at Barkers, our business park neighbors, in connection with 9/11. The second was the mass that was said in the CAS office on the one year anniversary of Bob Carrol’s death. Marie Glowski: Most of my professional experience as been at the central office level and for the last 11 years of my career, I worked at the CT State Department of Education. I think what I may have brought to CAS is the perspective of administrative leaders beyond those of a principal. This perspective may have been part of the impetus for changing our name to Center for Leadership and Innovation. Administrators who are school leaders- not only our principals - throughout the state can benefit from services and supports that CAS can offer. Our coaching models now include principals, assistant principals and central office personnel. Last year, CAS supported the inception of a new group - Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (CALAS) which is the local branch of the national organization Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS). This Saturday there will be a Gala honoring supporters and Karissa will be one of the honorees. Dale Bernadoni: My favorite thoughts about the numerous events that I have attended at CAS are all related to the fact that I could come together with other principals and leaders who were very knowledgeable but who also were able to maintain a sense of humor about the day to day “foibles” of school leadership. I especially appreciated the humorous interactions between Mike Buckley and Susan Kennedy as they worked with executive coaches. I also loved attending the June retreats in Southbury. They enabled me to simultaneously unwind from the recently completed school year while also focusing my thoughts on forming the improvement plans for the coming year. The informal afternoon walk abouts on the back roads were my favorites.

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Connecticut Association of Schools Richard Gonzales:

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My favorite memory of CAS involves being introduced as a new professor at UConn to a program I would someday lead. Earle Bidwell and Mike Buckley shared their time and knowledge to show me UCAPP in operation in real time across the state. They lent me their professional and human capital with the students, alumni, and professionals in the field to help me succeed. I will never forget that and will aim to pay the kindness forward however I can.

Why CAS? Michael Litke: I got started with CAS through the Program and Volunteer Recognition opportunities. I would make a point to highlight a part of the school each year and treat the teachers to a dinner and recognition. It was a great way to promote and support staff and families that were making a difference. I know there is conversation on possibly changing these, but I do feel that CAS is the only organization I am aware of that provides this valuable service, which is a nice niche. Laurie Boske: Lou Pear got me started in CAS with the Volunteer Banquet 10 years ago. I became interested in other activities and participated in some of the PD. I don’t really know how I was invited to be on the Elementary Board (maybe Lou?), then Board of Directors, but I have enjoyed every minute! I enjoy the collegiality with people who “get it”. I appreciate the programs and supports that CAS offers its members! Paul Newton: This one is easy. The thing that makes CAS so special is the people who are involved in the organization. Over the years, and for me it has been 24 years, I have been so fortunate to build up a group of people who share the same interests and desire to be part of something that is designed to help our peers. The network of friendships has been tremendous. Even though Connecticut is a relatively small state, the relationships that we have built through CAS and CIAC helps to make our state seem even smaller – which is a good thing!! The CAS and CIAC staff are a tremendous group of dedPAGE

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icated professionals whose sole mission is to help and support educators across the state. There is not a finer group of people than the staff and volunteers who make up CAS and CIAC. Scott Leslie It’s all about the CAS staff and members. As a young administrator I was always inspired by the “elder statesmen and stateswomen”. Now that I’ve entered the realm of one of the elders, I am consistently inspired by the new, and younger members at CAS. I always drive away from a CAS meeting humbled and inspired. Brian Bodner: I have always enjoyed going to CAS because it provides an opportunity to work with veteran administrators, some who may be retired and others who are still in the field. Regardless of where each of these individuals is in their career they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. In many ways I wish that I did not now work 6o minutes away from CAS and loved hearing that CAS is considering bringing some of its programs to locations around the State. Richard Dellinger: I have always been so impressed with the people at CAS. They make the organization very special for me. Currently, Karissa and Karen are wonderful examples of bright, cheerful, and hardworking leaders….as well as the rest of the CAS staff. The administrators whom I come in contact with there are an inspiration to me. CAS meetings are often seem like min-seminars on education. My favorite event is when I get a chance to do a school visitation to verify a CAS award and see firsthand some of the best schools in the state. I frequently say that I get much more from CAS than what I give to CAS….so that is why I keep active! Neil Rinaldi: I believe that CAS provides programs and opportunities that is advances the state of education in Connecticut. The work of the organization supports both professionals and students throughout Connecticut. I believe the organization is always trying to find meaningful ways to help improve our educational programs out the state.

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Gladys Labas: What keeps me coming back its support of social justice through its professional development, programs and mission? Mike Buckley There were so many special moments for me during my 15 years, almost all of them connected with the opportunity to work with the school leaders of CT. The ideas, energy, encouragement to do the right thing, all start with principals. Thank you for all of those times I called with a request and you found a way to get to yes. Much appreciated. Marie Glowski: CAS is really committed to spreading our wings in an effort to support many school leaders with a variety of options and resources. Dale Bernadoni I got started coming to CAS as a graduate student while getting my 092 certification. I attended several workshops that provided important information and clarity to the tasks that would be faced by beginning administrators. So it was logical that as soon as I became a principal that I would continue to attend workshops and eventually become a presenter and a member of numerous committees. I was an active member of CAS throughout the 20 years of my school leadership, and I have continued over the past 7 years since my “retirement� to work as a UCAPP clinical supervisor and an executive coach. I appreciate the opportunity to continue seeing and working with long time friends while supporting CT schools and their leaders.

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Thank You Karissa Niehoff Karen Packtor Judy Sylvester Bob Vojtek

Articles are reprinted with permission from the CAS-CIAC Bulletins @ www.casciac.org

CAS Enquirer  

This issue of the CAS Enquirer is a compilation of several articles from the CAS-CIAC Bulletins during the 1990's. It was used for a present...

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