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Maintaining High Standards for Hiring, Personnel Management and Professional Development

As an effective building leader, I will evaluate and advocate for ethical and legal decisions with moral and legal consequences. Thus, my choices and actions must be calm, confident, and deliberate during any challenges and opportunities, especially when hiring. Morally, I must provide and evaluate the candidates with the same standards and questions. I must also be mindful of my unconscious biases as I consider the candidate's responses and ensure the hiring process is a collective effort with input from students, faculty, and staff. Legally, I must ensure that the candidate meets the certification requirements and avoid asking questions about classes protected by discrimination laws. By calmly, confidently, and deliberately addressing these challenges, like hiring a new teacher, my actions and decisions are more likely to succeed through moral and legal viewpoints.

I will foster practices throughout the building in various ways that evaluate, cultivate, and advocate for a supportive and inclusive culture. By incorporating inclusion into the mission and vision statements, I will ensure that the commitment to inclusion is clear and transparent throughout the building. I will integrate inclusion presentations and discussions into new faculty and staff orientations and new student or moving-up days. Professional development focuses on promoting inclusion in instructional practices and strategies for faculty. I will invite students, faculty, and staff members to join an Inclusion Advisory Committee to identify barriers to inclusion within the building and provide recommendations on how I can better support these stakeholders. For example, to better meet all student's needs and ensure success, the committee, the director of special education, teachers, and I may develop a co-teaching model that blends students with disabilities into general education classes. Thus, I can better create equitable, inclusive learning environments for all stakeholders. 

I will develop, implement, and evaluate coordinated, data-informed systems for hiring, retaining, supervising, and developing the faculty and staff members to support the district's collective instructional and leadership capacity. During the interview process, I will employ more selective, more rigorous legal interviews to attract highly talented, certified candidates who desire to work in the building. Once hired, I will collaboratively develop a five-day orientation program that includes staff logistics, handbook review, school tour, time to work in their classroom, and most importantly, time for me to work one-on-one with the new hire. Around every two weeks, the mentor teacher will collaborate with new teachers to focus on student learning outcomes by creating SMART goals, lesson planning, and developing parent communication. In addition, the academic year will present new hires with significant, new tasks for the first time, such as submitting progress reports and grades, formal observations, parent-teacher conferences, and participating in the regent's examinations. Before each occasion, I will meet with the new hires to review the procedure, model the expectations, and address any concerns. In addition, I will plan to visit each faculty member at least eight or more times a year. These visits would encompass formal, informal, and walkthrough observations to provide feedback through conversations, phone calls, or emails. I can further support the faculty and staff by seeking to understand their professional goals and assist them in reaching them. Thus, providing time for faculty and staff to participate in valuable professional learning opportunities that are well planned and well facilitated. Therefore, I will invite the faculty and staff to participate in workshops, conferences, in-service professional development, and graduate programs offered by the district, BOCES, state, and not-for-profit organizations, and higher education. Finally, I must also create opportunities for the faculty and staff to advance and usher out those who consistently struggle. This feedback develops a positive, honest, and trustful relationship between the new hire and me, thus encouraging a culture where new hires can do their best and seek support.

To achieve the district's shared mission and vision,  I will commit to representing the district, advocating for district needs, and cultivating a respectful and responsive relationship with the district's board of education. Similar to the culture of the building, these statements are dynamic and continually evolving. The vision statement outlines all stakeholders' desire for what is the "future" and answers, "Why do we care?" The mission statement outlines what all stakeholders will do to achieve their "future" and answers the question, "What will be accomplished by the building?" These statements reflect a core set of values and priorities, including data use, technology, equity, digital citizenship, and community. I can guide all stakeholders' actions and decisions by providing a solid foundation for stability and sustainability throughout the building. When restorative justice is a part of these statements, it empowers all stakeholders to make decisions and take actions that will help all students learn to resolve their disagreements, take account of their behavior, and provide an opportunity for forgiveness. For example, when a student uses cannabis, the policy would reflect this value by asking the student to actively participate in community service in a drug rehab center or volunteer to attend a rehab program instead of implementing an out-of-school suspension or expulsion. In the classroom, these statements influence teachers to use a gentler tone and show more understanding when a student misbehaves rather than using a loud, strict voice and blaming the student in front of their peers. I can guide stakeholders' decisions and actions while upholding the building's mission and vision statements.

By developing and engaging staff in a collaborative professional culture designed to promote school improvement and teacher retention, I encourage the success and well-being of each student, faculty member, and staff member. As the leader, I will model professional norms, including fairness, integrity, trust, perseverance, reflection, and self-awareness. I also demonstrate collaboration, transparency, digital citizenship, lifelong learning, and continuous improvement. Creating a strong culture of excellence also requires me to understand what occurs daily in the building by conducting mini classroom visits, holding conversations, and being invited to extracurricular activities. This approach will allow me to praise effective teaching practices that support student development and address ineffective methods early in the school year. These visits also enable me to bond with the faculty and staff by better understanding what they face daily. In addition, it provides an opportunity for me to learn about and address struggles that faculty and staff may encounter out of their control. These struggles may include weak wifi access throughout the library, inadequate family and consumer science kitchen ventilation, insufficient lighting in the art room, or student tardiness. By collaborating with the district directors to improve these situations throughout the building, faculty and staff can succeed better and are more likely to remain with the school. 

As a building leader, I will participate in collaborative decision-making around, implementing, and appropriately communicating the district, state, and national policy, laws, rules, and regulations. This collective effort includes advocating for long-range planning and management of resources. For example, a building will typically see more economical, effective, and practical benefits by collaborating with BOCES to provide cooperative educational services and programs under New York State Law Article 40, Section 1950. It is also essential for me to develop programmatic knowledge. For example, during the budget, I must account for therapeutic providers, such as speech teachers, music therapists, and art therapists' equipment, supplies, and contractual needs. IEPs can legally require these items to be budgeted to support students' needs. The development of the master schedule best demonstrates this collaborative effort. The master schedule is developed jointly and proactively between the central office, guidance department, faculty, staff, and me. This cross-level collaboration aims to support the best teaching practices that meet most students' needs while remaining compliant with regulatory and contractual expectations. These contractual expectations and associated laws vary among teachers, school-related personnel, and civil servants. Therefore, I will also perceive the schedule as the solution that can change year to year and not the problem when addressing concerns related to budget, staff, student services, and faculty and staff contracts.

Maintaining High Standards for Hiring, Personnel Management and Professional Development
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