Leadership Skills and Innovative Practices Outlined at Principals’ Retreat

Elementary school principals plan to implement what they have learned

June 16, 2011

HISD principals are focused on helping boost student achievement, but the school leaders are also lifelong learners themselves. In mid-June, 180 administrators attended an Elementary School Principals’ Retreat designed to help them strengthen their leadership skills and provide information about innovative instructional practices.

“I am energized and ready to make a difference in the next school year,” Kennedy Elementary Principal Darryl Sherman said, after attending the retreat. “The speakers forced us to take a long, hard look at ourselves and our practices, and to find ways to improve those practices.” During the workshops, Sherman learned about several new strategies that he would like to implement in the coming school year. “We are going to do some things differently based on what I have learned in this session,” Sherman said. “We are going to incorporate the five areas of reading into our daily program. We are going to make sure those things are done daily.”

Reading and math instruction are two of the major subjects covered during the retreat. School Improvement Officer Patsy Cavazos served as a leader for several of the sessions. She said the program was created, in part, to highlight ways for principals and teachers to help close the achievement gap.

“It’s all about meeting the individual needs of the students, because they don’t all come to us with the same needs,” Cavazos said. “If we are able to give our teachers different strategies to meet the needs of our students, then I think that will eventually relate to student achievement.”