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The Hands-On Guide to School Improvement

The Hands-On Guide to School Improvement

Transform Culture, Empower Teachers, and Raise Student Achievement


This no-nonsense handbook from a working principal helps school leaders bring transformational change to struggling or underperforming schools. Based on the wisdom and experience gained during the author’s years as a teacher and principal in Chicago Public Schools, the book shows you how to become a visionary leader and build a culture of respect and harmony as a foundation for improvement. Look inside to find strategies, advice, and ideas for:
  • Developing rules and procedures that create a welcoming, respectful climate everywhere in your school, from classrooms to the cafeteria
  • Recruiting, coaching, evaluating, and supporting effective teachers—and initiating difficult conversations with teachers who are underperforming
  • Bringing staff on board with your vision and preparing them to make big changes
  • Making your school a visible, active part of the neighborhood and community, and forging partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Putting instructional leadership at the center of your work and spending more of your time in hallways and classrooms than in your office
  • Making high-quality professional development a priority
  • Empowering teachers to manage their classrooms effectively, deal with challenging issues, and boost student performance
  • Being ready and able to make tough decisions when difficult situations arise
Whatever your vision for changing your school, The Hands-On Guide to School Improvement gives you the tools you need to make that vision a reality. Digital content includes tools for assessing lesson plans and grade books, coaching teachers, surveying staff, and more.
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Paperback $24.99 80251W Paperback 80251W $24.99

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ISBN: 978-1-63198-025-1
Audience: Principals, administrators, school leaders K–12
Trim Size: 7.25" x 9.25"
Page Count: 208
Digital Content: Includes customizable forms from the book
Praise for The Hands-On Guide to School Improvement

“Randle-Robbins’s smart and practical book is full of the kind of concrete advice that can only come from years of solving problems at every level in schools as teacher and administrator alike. It’s bound to be immensely valuable to educators with high aspirations and real work to do.”—Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion

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User Reviews

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March 6, 2016 / Stephanie - Virginia Beach
Leadership at its finest

As a School Counselor, I got this book under the impression that I could learn about improving school culture and proper communication for positive teacher response. Knowing Free Spirit materials, I knew that it would be clearly written and easy to follow, but I anticipated a book for principals that I would sift through around admin-centered information. To my very pleasant surprise, I have found that this book is really written for any party invested in their school and who plays a part in their school environment. Many of the ideas and interventions mentioned in the book can be easily carried out by any teacher, counselor, or other instructional staff. School leadership is not only for admin, and this book carries keys to transforming their school for any stake-holder. I do plan to show some of the materials to my admin, but more than that, I plan to take the information in and make conscious decisions regarding the way I carry myself in school and the contributions I make to my school culture.


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