Board approves Phase I — #112Leads

“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”
– Steve Young

We have the authority to move forward as a school district with the Long Range Plan Phase I! In this blog post, I’ll share excerpts of recent communication efforts with respect to our Board of Education making an historic step forward on behalf of all students in the District. Briefly, what we’re doing is shown below:

  • Investments in Northwood and Edgewood Middle School with costs not to exceed $75 Million
  • The use of up to $20 Million from the district’s fund balance
  • The issuance of $55 Million of Alternate Revenue Bonds
  • The formation of a citizen advisory committee
Snapshot of Phase I Impacts 2019-2023

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing excerpts from a letter to the community following the Board Approval

Haga clic aquí para ver la versión en español

Dear North Shore School District 112 Community,

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, our Board of Education made history — they voted to move District 112 forward with resources at our reach (with no direct tax increase in the Bond/Interest fund for construction) based upon the best information available (10-25 years of planning) to impact all students.

The Board voted 7-0 to:

  • Approve Northwood and Edgewood Middle School construction projects with a total combined cost not to exceed $75 Million
  • Use up to $20 Million from fund balance (savings account)
  • Proceed with the sale of $55 Million Alternate Revenue Bonds
  • Authorize the superintendent to form a citizen advisory committee for construction projects.

From now to May 2019, the administration will be focused on opening up Elm Place as the temporary middle school location for Northwood’s students in school years 2019-20 and 2020-21 (the next two school years). This means we’ll be conducting information meetings (i.e. PTO groups, teachers, staff, students, community, neighbors, etc.). We’ll be working with the architects and engineers to refine plans and cost estimates for the projects. We’ll continue to Inspire…Innovate…Engage all students every day in every classroom…

We are not forgetting about our PK or K-5 schools; we’ll continue to maintain, keep safe, clean, and provide the highest quality education that we can. Subsequent phases of community engagement, Board direction, and construction projects will take place as they would, and as they do, in school districts around the nation. One step at a time we will upgrade, modernize, and improve the conditions in which we facilitate learning…

We will continue to communicate, seek input, make plans in the best interests of students, and work to ensure that North Shore School District 112 provides high-quality educational access for all students. Stay up to date with the Long-Range Plan at the Long-Range Plan web page.

Thank you for your flexibility, support, and communication through the upcoming changes and transitions.

With regards,

Mike

From our Press Release

“With the passage of Phase I of the Long-Range Plan, the district now has the opportunity and great responsibility to achieve excellence for all students starting with investing in modernized learning facilities at the middle schools,” said Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools. “I would like to extend a special thanks to our students, staff, community members, the long-range planning committee, and board of education for input, support, and leadership, which has made approval of Phase I possible. Your continued engagement will only be more important in the months and years to come. Let’s get to work as the Future is NOW!”

The tentative project timeline overview and draft concept drawing information is as follows:

Northwood (DRAFT Concept)


NORTHWOOD:

  • Bid on construction projects – by end of May 2019.
  • Close Northwood for construction – Summer 2019.
  • Start Construction – September 2019.
  • Transition Students to Elm Place Middle School.
  • Completion – January 2021.

EDGEWOOD:

  • Bid on construction projects – by end of October 2020.
  • Start Construction – Spring 2021.
  • Close Edgewood for construction –  Summer 2021.
  • Transition Students using Elm Place – TBD
  • Full renovation and upper floor additions – through summer 2022.
  • Review overall schedule to determine completion for Aug. 2022 or winter 2022.

 

Edgewood (DRAFT Concept)

 

FUTURE PLANNING NEEDS:

  • Review dollars, funding, and elementary school needs in the 2022-2023 school year (Planning Year)
  • Re-prioritize needs and appropriations for 2023 and beyond

“I would like to thank Dr. Lubelfeld and his administration for recommending a comprehensive vision for the future of District 112,” said Eric Ephraim, NSSD112 Board President. “I am proud to be part of a board that approved a significant investment in our schools.  These improvements will positively impact the learning experience for all of our students. This is an important milestone for our district and our community.”

Our aim is for regular, transparent, clear communications!

Click here to read the Long-Range Plan approval press release  

Click here to read the full Long-Range Plan Final Report

Click here to view “The Recommendation” a video that offers an overview of the plan

Visit www.nssd112.org/Long-RangePlanning for more information

Superintendent’s Thanksgiving Note – #112Leads

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”– Napoleon Hill

Dear North Shore School District 112 Community,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share a message of thanks on behalf of the Board of Education and the leadership team of North Shore School District 112. In District 112, we have so much for which we are thankful. Each day, when I reflect on my service and work, I am so thankful for my job. I am lucky to work with so many talented, professional and effective educators in such an engaged and thoughtful community!

Teachers and staff: This year, especially: Thank you. You have been faced with change this year, and you continue to rise to every challenge on our journey of continuous improvement. The important work you do puts the children of our communities on the path to success. We are also thankful for your emphasis on kindness and caring. You help your students learn and grow into kind, caring, compassionate people who can work collaboratively to resolve problems and challenges. Kindness is perhaps the most important quality you teach.

Parents, thank you for raising children who come to us ready to learn, and do so with kindness for each other and respect for the adults who teach them. Thanks, too, for your never-ending support of our schools. You generously and continuously give your time and energy so our schools are happy places.

A special thanks to grandparents. You have modeled the way for your children to be excellent parents, and your unconditional love for your grandchildren stays with them throughout every school day.

To our community members who make supporting the local schools a priority and a focus – we thank you as well! We firmly believe in educating all children in a learning environment with high expectations. As the center of the community, all of the schools in Highland Park and Highwood are honored to Inspire, Innovate and Engage each and every person to the best of their abilities each and every day.

With warm regards,

Mike

Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


“No esperes El tiempo nunca será justo.”

– Napoleon Hill

Estimada comunidad del distrito 112,

A medida que nos acercamos a las vacaciones de Acción de Gracias, quiero compartir un mensaje de agradecimiento en nombre de la Junta de Educación y el equipo de liderazgo del Distrito Escolar North Shore 112. En el Distrito 112, tenemos muchas cosas por las que estamos agradecidos. Cada día, cuando reflexiono sobre mi servicio y trabajo, estoy muy agradecido por mi trabajo. ¡Tengo la suerte de trabajar con tantos educadores talentosos, profesionales y efectivos en una comunidad tan comprometida y atenta!

Maestros y personal: Este año, especialmente: Gracias. Se han enfrentado al cambio este año y continúan superando todos los desafíos en nuestro viaje de mejora continua. El importante trabajo que realizan pone a los niños de nuestras comunidades en el camino hacia el éxito. También estamos agradecidos por su énfasis en la bondad y el cuidado. Ayudan a sus estudiantes en aprender y convertirse en personas amables, comprensivas y compasivas que pueden trabajar en colaboración para resolver problemas y desafíos. La amabilidad es quizás la cualidad más importante que enseñan.

Padres, gracias por criar a los hijos que vienen a nosotros listos para aprender, y lo hacen con amabilidad y respeto por los adultos que les enseñan. Gracias, también, por su apoyo interminable a nuestras escuelas. Ustedes generosamente y continuamente dan su tiempo y energía para que nuestras escuelas sean lugares felices.

Un agradecimiento especial a los abuelos. Han modelado el camino para que sus hijos sean excelentes padres, y su amor incondicional por sus nietos los acompaña a lo largo de cada día escolar.

A los miembros de nuestra comunidad que hacen que el apoyo a las escuelas locales sea una prioridad y un enfoque, ¡también les agradecemos! Creemos firmemente en la educación de todos los niños en un ambiente de aprendizaje con altas expectativas. Como centro de la comunidad, todas las escuelas de Highland Park y Highwood tienen el honor de inspirar, innovar y comprometer a todas y cada una de las personas de la mejor manera posible cada día.

Cordialmente,

Mike

Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.

Superintendente de Escuelas

China Bridge Delegation 2018 – #112Leads

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

China Journey 

On my first trip to the People’s Republic of China, 🇨🇳, as a delegate in the 2018 Chinese – American Principal Delegation, I was nervous, excited, proud and open minded. I was nervous about o leaving my family for an extended period of time, and  I was excited to learn about an ancient and respected culture, and I was open minded as I was about to represent my school district with the hope of bringing Mandarin language and Chinese culture into the North Shore School District 112 curriculum & instructional programming.

In this blog post, I’ll share some background, purpose, images, and perspective from this amazing professional learning  mission.

Over the years, I have visited Mexico, Germany, Australia, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and other foreign nations as part of educational and cultural exchange, exploration and leadership development.

Each trip and set of experiences makes me a better leader who can view the world and its beauty and challenges through lenses beyond those I normally see the world through. In addition, my service to the leaders who work for and with me as well as to the community as a whole become enhanced and improved by these global experiences.

With respect to this trip, the flight to China from Chicago  was a non-stop plane ride from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Beijing, China.  We literally flew around the world in about 14 hours. I was traveling with a group from the College Board. There were educational leaders, board members, teachers, and others in the groups traveling on this K12China Bridge Delegation. In conjunction with the Confucius Institute (Hanban), leaders like me visit China’s schools, cultural sites, and business & economic zones on a mission of public diplomacy and educational exchange.

All in all, our delegation had about 150 educational leaders from all over the United States. Once in China, after initial meetings and orientation in Beijing, we were organized into 6 groups to visit 6 provinces around China. Our hosts in Beijing and in the provinces our groups visited rolled out the red carpet in terms of warmth, welcome, pride, and intensity.

The intensity that the Chinese support education is impressive. Teachers are highly honored professionals in the nation and in the culture overall. The schools I visited took such great pride in their founders, former principals, and teachers, made an impact on how we present our schools in the US. For example, it was normal and typical to have extensive physical space allocated for teacher offices and collaboration, school history museum areas, and student art galleries.

In addition to the many school visits and the educational forums with colleagues in China, we had opportunities to visit, explore, engage, and learn at some of the most famous and important cultural sites in the world. These included parts of the Great Wall of China as well as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, as well as additional sites in the provinces. From the sights, sounds, overall experience of traveling abroad and feeling like a newcomer to our country must feel, it was exciting, overwhelming, stressful, and rewarding at the same time. We were engaged from early in the morning to late in the night every day we were on the delegation. We visited elementary schools, high schools, and we also spent a full day of observations, interactions  and seminar work at Beijing Language and Culture University. We really got to glimpse and experience the full range of Chinese educational programming.

The American educators in the large group as well as the smaller groups shared common bonds of education leadership vision. Whether we carried the professional title of superintendent, director, principal, assistant principal, etc. we all shared the common bonds of care for the future of our nation through education. We all shared the common bonds of passion for leadership through open minded and open hearted global exchange and learning. We all shared the common bonds of becoming travelers instead oftourists. We were traveling to China to meet with and form and sustain people to people relationships on behalf of a larger global purpose beyond our individual and local objectives.

There are incredible opportunities to embrace globalism and global partnership in support of diplomacy, education, economics, and the overall future through education explorations and missions like this one.

The sights and sounds of China gripped us and impacted us from the moment we landed in Beijing’s airport. The historic Chinese language of characters was all around us as was the bilingual nature of English transliteration as well as English audio and visual translation. The world is bilingual and trilingual, and in many parts of the world, multi-lingual (beyond 3 languages). As Americans, we sometimes fall into a complacent state since “everyone learns English” — but language is far more than the ability to get from point a to point b. Language is the windows into one’s culture — it’s a personal connector; through partnerships and learning we can join various cultures together.

As part of the 2018 Chinese-American Principal Delegation, we were met by enthusiastic and able tour guides and representatives of Hanban, & the College Board. We American delegates were eager to dive in and get started on thisamazing, life-changing set of adventures. International travel is challenging in and of itself with time, distance and time changes, it’s also a challenge when you are entering a culture different from your own with unknown opportunities and plans and food, etc.

The Chinese hosts treated us like “rock stars” with local news coverage (TV, other media) as well as “paparazzi” like photographic documentation of the visits. In addition, at the Chongqing international forum, we were joined by Yong Zhao, famous author, speaker, and professor at the University of Kansas. Zhao student taught at the high school where we were gathered and he joined us to provide a keynote presentation as well as moderatea set of speeches from several of us from the USA and China.

I applied for this leadership opportunity because a few months ago, with the American Association of School Administrators, the AASA, we hosted a delegation of principals from China in North Shore School District 112 and Leyden High School District 212 and we began to form professional relationships withmembers of the Chinese delegation. In addition, one of my charges, or aims, as the superintendent of schools, is to share an inspired vision for the district beyond current realities.

The current realities of our school district are untapped potential for excellence through paralyzing “in fighting” and aversion to change and progress. Therefore, it’s highly energizing for me to see the future reality in the current opportunities. One of the many realities involves a world class education system emerging fromthe current one with enhanced language and culture offerings beyond and in addition to the current English and Spanish offerings. By expanding the current language and cultural offerings, we’ll take our school district to higher and more appealing heights. As the chief learner (so to speak) it’s my job to model the way by seeking additional challenges and experiences on behalf of students and staff. By joining the delegation, I became a global ambassador from my community in and with my Chinese counterparts.

My delegation group of 25 went from Beijing to Chongqing; Chongqing is a special economic and government area, like a county or municipal zone, that reports directly to the central government (like Shanghai, and a few other large and significant areas in China). Chongqing has a population around thirty million people; China, as you may know, has a population of more than 1.4 BILLION people. To say that the scale of buildings, roads, and the country as a whole isimpressive is an understatement. The campuses of the K-12 schools we visited were like US community college campuses or even university campuses in terms of physical size and scope. In my delegation, we had representation from Utah, Illinois, Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, New York, and Nevada.

Our individual experiences and sharing helped enrich the dialogue among us as well as with our Chinese hosts. Some inthe delegation, like those in Utah, have more than a decade of deep Chinese language and culture programming K-12. Others, like me, were on their first journey into the People’s Republic of China and into the possibility of adding Chinese language and culture to our local school districts and school communities.

In the US, it’s typical to have a K-12 classroom with 25 students (18-30); in China,it is far more common to have class sizes of 40-60. The Chinese and American political systems, histories, cultural norms, and lifestyles have many differences yet both cultures place high value and importance on education and child development (in parts of the US, the value has ebbed and flowed and perhaps my declarative should be more aspirational). But both nations invest in educational growth and progress. The system of education in China is centralized while the system of education in the US is decentralized.

The education system in China is following a group/national set of expectations while in our country, the education system is highly individualized and locally controlled. This adds to the fascination for a visit of this scope. I’ve visited other centralized educational systems in the Americas and in Europe; like with everything, there are pros and cons, opportunities and limitations in bothsystems. The key for delegation visits like this is not to compare and contrast, but instead, to integrate and learn. Like Confucius said: “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”, the goal of this delegation visit is for many miles (figuratively and literally) and this first visit of mine represents the first steps toward the journey and the collaboration between our new Chinese friends and the district I represent.

At the end of the day, and to start, as a result of my journey, whether we start to have one classroom teacher engage with one of the Chinese teachers with whomI met, or whether we create and offer sustained and long term Mandarin language programming, the trip and this formal visit will positively impact my personal leadership and the improvement of my school district. After visiting multiple schools, classrooms, formal settings, and cultural and historic sites, I can clearly see a long-term, sustainable educational partnership emerge between the North Shore School District 112 and schools I visited in Chongqing, China. The beautyof Chongqing was impressive; mountains, rivers, bridges, high rises, lights, food (“hot pot”), historic locales, and so much more, enhanced our education focused mission.

As our Board of Education gets ready to make a historic vote to approve the Long Range Plan Phase I recommendation on November 27, I’ll share more insightsinto this experience and the overall vision of growth, improvement, change, and leadership for my administration in the District.

We’ll be sure to share updates on the Long Range Plan webpage, district communications (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as at our live-streamed video and archived video system.

Sharing excerpts from a Board Presentation I made on Nov. 27 highlighting elements of the Journey to China! See video on slide 4:

HARMONY

Doing what I said I would do — leading for ALL –#112Leads

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
– Zig Ziglar

So on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education, I have the opportunity to publicly, formally and officially recommend the first phase of our school district’s new Long Range Plan.

I said the Future is Now and I mean it! Our future depends on us taking the first steps toward modernization and equity. We used Thought Exchange for Community Engagement and we asked for input on configuration, scenarios, needs of the school districts. We then asked about specific examples of 9-8-7 school models with various moves and changes. Exchange 1 yielded clear input and guidance for us (see image below):

The community — even those divided on opposite ends of issues — came to common ground on the fact that the school district needs to focus on Equity, Instruction & Curriculum, Teachers & Staff, 21st Century Facilities, and Consistent Curriculum. This data set is shown below:

We also engaged with scientific telephone polling as well as a second Thought Exchange. In addition we held multiple meetings, in public, live streamed, and video archived, with questions and answers and with a great deal of thought and analysis. The process for Long Range Planning since July 1st has been a great example of community engagement, leadership, planning, and now, recommended action.

On October 30, 2018, the state of Illinois will release the Illinois School Report Cards. This expansive data, on all 852 public school districts in Illinois, will share student performance, new quality ratings as per federal law, as well as other data to inform the public as to the school district and the individual school performance. We are committed to improving every score and every measure, from attendance to math proficiency and growth, for all of our students.

This Long Range Plan as well as ongoing curriculum & instruction efforts all support and complement the efforts and vision for North Shore School District 112 and its current 10 schools and its ultimate configuration of “X” schools to Inspire Innovate and Engage each and every child and staff member in a responsive, responsible and authentic manner!

The story of our District is exciting and the narrative is about to change for the better! Please follow along at #112Leads on Twitter for examples of our excellence and our return to the clear, coherent, consistent, and focused mission of equitable access to excellent educational opportunities for all; and the vision of high quality growth and learning for all children every day.

On Tuesday, I’m recommending that the Board of Education approve (at its meeting on November 27) a $75,000,000 investment in the complete and total upgrade and modernization of both middle schools in the district.

Like I pledged to the community at my February 2018 Meet and Greet, I am leading a process designed for equitable access to excellent educational opportunities for all children at all schools. We are starting with the first steps of change that will move the district and the communities it serves forward. Below I share excerpts from a local newspaper article highlighting my incoming messaging and vision about leading for equity:

From: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/ct-hpn-lubelfeld-outlines-d112-agenda-tl-0222-20180214-story.html

“…He reminded Lubelfeld about the divisiveness that previously existed over perceived or actual inequities between schools on the north and south ends of the district. “That perception, if not reality, has reared its ugly head over the past year or so,” said Henry, who asked Lubelfeld about his ideas to address that.

Lubelfeld said that once the district upgrades its facilities and implements its facilities plan, all buildings will be fresh and modern, and a school on one end of town will feel like a school on another end of town.

The schools also will offer the same learning opportunities for students, and the curriculum – whether in English or Spanish – will be uniform across the district and not specific to individual schools, he said.

“When you see equity of educational opportunity, and you see upgraded facilities that don’t break the bank – or anybody’s bank – things are going to be better,” the future District 112 superintendent said.

“We are not going to have any perceived losers or winners,” he said, adding, “We are all going to win.””

The Long Range Plan recommendation is posted on the District website: https://www.nssd112.org/Long-RangePlanning (https://www.nssd112.org/cms/lib/IL02217852/Centricity/Domain/1018/Long%20Range%20Plan%20Recommendation%20Oct%2023%202018.pdf)

Excerpts from the Long Range Plan Recommendation are shared in this blog post for reference:

“This Long Range Plan Phase I Recommendation is focused on equitable access to educational opportunities for all students in modernized learning facilities designed to support academic and social-emotional learning and growth. This is the first set of steps designed to improve education in North Shore School District 112 (NSSD112).

…our number one priority is to ensure that students achieve academically, socially, and emotionally. To achieve this goal, we have been focusing on our motto: Inspire…Innovate…Engage.  …This year’s intense focus on providing a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students in all schools every day is the result of the district losing its way and steering into non-educational focus areas over the past 7+ years. … Phase I will impact all students in the school district since every child will attend Northwood or Edgewood before matriculating to high school.

We proudly serve the people of Highland Park, Highwood, members of the United States military on Ft. Sheridan, and residents of the the Town of Ft. Sheridan in Highland Park.  … Together with the Board we will lead the district back to a position of greatness and leadership. …

This first phase can be done without a tax increase to residents. We are quite proud that this first phase moves us ‘light years’ ahead of where we are; we are mindful that learning from past history, we cannot repair in one fell swoop that which has been broken over time. …

This first phase, to address long overdue needs at the two middle schools, will address and affect and impact long overdue improvements to educational quality, facilities, equity, student learning needs, and overall community growth at the middle schools. …

Even after spending around $75 million on both middle schools, the financial realities and needs will exist in terms of the district needing more than $70 million in remaining facility needs in the K-5 and PK school sites. With phase I, we are dedicated to creating the best middle school experience possible for our students by impacting the two facilities that will serve all of our students. …Right now we want to make significant investments into the middle school facilities where all children in the school district will attend prior to completion of their elementary school careers.

The revised, updated, draft Long Range Plan Phase I (to be formally recommended for approval to the Board of Education at the November 27, 2018,Regular Board meeting) calls for the following:

  • Major renovations at Northwood Middle School at a cost of approximately $40 Million (build out for up to 600 students)
  • Major renovations at Edgewood Middle School at a cost of approximately $35 Million (build out for up to 950 students)
  • Use $20,000,000 of the $49 Million fund balance
  • Use of $55 Million in Alternative Revenue Bonds 
  • Option Areas & Dual Language Potential Boundary Proposals
  • Plan to save/spend $3,500,000 a year on school upgrades, repairs, and modernization.

 

Student Voice Article Published in DisruptED TV Magazine – #ASKEM

In Chapter four of our latest book Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable (2018 Rowman & Littlefield), Nick Polyak, PJ Caposey, and I start the chapter with the following quote from Dorothy Day: “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us.” (page 55). In chapter four we also feature the voice of high school student Kyla Guru.

In this blog post, I am sharing an article published today that shares excerpts of the conclusion of our book and highlights the special end of chapter feature we created: ASK’EM. It’s an acronym for what we suggest throughout the book about how leaders can incorporate student voice … just “ask’em”. The letters represent Ask, Support, Know, Empower, & Monitor, and throughout the book we share examples, suggestions, calls to action, etc. that leaders (and readers) can implement to incorporate student voice in their schools, organizations, communities, and settings! At the end of our book we have a special offer from human capital management firm HUMANeX Ventures for every reader to take a free Sensory Preference Inventory™.

From the book: “Continued learning and development starts at the foundation – first understanding HOW you learn best. Having a clear understanding if you are a VISUAL, AUDITORY, or KINESTHETIC learner can greatly impact the way in which you learn and grow in your life and career.”

In future blog posts I’ll share local efforts at gaining Student Voice through the Student Engagement Survey with HUMANeX Ventures (a survey being administered to all students in our district from grades 3-8 this month). For now … here is the article just published (as always, comments are encouraged and welcomed):

DisruptED TV Magazine
Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable

By Michael Lubelfeld, Nick Polyak & Phillip J. ‘PJ’ Caposey

As educators we are engaged in listening every day. As superintendents we’re also engaged in leading every day. As leaders we have tested theories and approaches to systems change for many years in suburban and rural PK-12 school systems. Recently we started writing as a way to reflect, share messages of success, and in an effort to inspire others. One of our latest projects Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable (2018 Rowman & Littlefield) underscores the value we place on student voice in the overhaul and transformation for education in our nation. In this article we’re sharing excerpts from the preface of the book that include a call to action.

Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable is about why today’s leaders need to connect with students and how to accomplish true success by giving students a voice in their own education. The premise of this book is that student voice is often, for some inconceivable reason, invisible.

The failure to systematically include students and listen to their viewpoints is a contributing factor which explains why schools have changed little since the 19th Century. This book will explore many topics ranging from digital citizenship to teacher evaluation, and we sincerely believe that by leveraging the voice of students as collaborative leaders, true school and educational transformation can and will occur.

The book is based around two central questions:

● Why should today’s school leaders engage student voice from a leadership perspective as collaborators in leading?

● How can today’s school leaders engage student voice from a leadership perspective as collaborators in leading?

Core beliefs that drive this book are largely based on research. These beliefs include that the single most impactful person in a student’s learning journey is the teacher. The second most impactful is the principal (Marzano & Waters 2005). If the teacher is a manager and the principal is a leader, congruence in the approaches of engaging the student in his own learning must exist. Additionally, confidence is necessary to amplify student voice in our schools.

We submit that taking student voice from invisible to invaluable reflects the choices made by confident leaders. Leaders in the classroom (teachers) and leaders in the office (principals) and leaders in the central office (superintendents) must exist at all levels to truly listen to student voice and for school evolution and even transformation to be possible. Throughout this book, we will continually work to convince the reader of why this paradigm shift leading to an increase in student voice is necessary and give tips and techniques on how to get the work done.

Our leadership journeys allow us to test theories of leadership and put into practice beliefs, hypotheses, thoughts, and actions. While we lead with other adults and members of the typical school community: teachers, board members, administrators, and parents, we have engaged students in leadership as well. We share our successful leadership experiences and examples of making student voices invaluable in actual leadership and governance.

This transformation is truly a win-win for students and leaders. Educators must simply do two things to begin the paradigm shift necessary to take this forward. The first is easy — believe in the brilliance of your students. The second is hard — relinquish some element of control. This book will help walk you through both of these steps while focusing on precise areas of potential change within your classroom, school, or district.

EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT — Why the book is necessary

Around the nation many leaders are implementing various forms of personalized learning. The synergy between student learning and growth and teacher direction and knowledge grows exponentially when student voice is real, true, and authentic. Long gone are the days where compliance rules the priorities of teachers and schools. We will examine personalized learning and how student voice can be amplified through personalized learning environments.

Our vision is for student/learner centered systems that we’re compelled to create. As Mike and Nick wrote about in The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (2017 Rowman & Littlefield) we all must unlearn so that we can learn and relearn — change is not an optional process.

Today’s leaders, teachers, students, pretty much all constituent stakeholder groups, must embody the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Teaching students what it means to “be at the table” and teaching students how to think “outside of the box” opens up pathways never before seen or applied in modern school systems.

These pathways can be replicated and refined with student leadership experiences in “real life” through their schooling experiences. Student voice does not “just happen;” the success of this fundamental shift in how we ‘do school’ is dependent upon shared vision, deliberate engagement, and by teaching students how to be a part of the process. We share examples of how and why the future belongs to the students and the present-day leaders can do much to set them up for success.

With this type of engaged and partner leadership we will allow future generations to bear witness to transformed systems of schooling and society. Long gone are the days of “sage on the stage” — in order to support the “guide on the side.” Leaders can engage students and establish new norms so their input becomes invaluable. This is a call to action book for all people interested in transforming education and to improving the world.

The learning purposes and unique features of this book include:

● Establish, propose, and reinforce the “How” and the “Why” for including student voice in leadership decision making

● Provide leaders with actionable case studies and examples from the field for implementation

● Model and share new ways of incorporating authentic student voice

● Reflection questions that will generate thought and conversation around each chapter

● End of chapter feature ASK’EM, an actionable acronym, at the end of each chapter to both reinforce chapter concepts and examples as well as a call to action: Ask, Support, Know, Empower, Monitor

● Stop-Think-Act prompts, questions, problems of practice

● Commentaries and essays from students and educational leaders throughout the book. This provides additional voices on the topics on progressing with student voice from invisible to invaluable.

About the Authors

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. @mikelubelfeld

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.-Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, IL. His blog is at http://mikelubelfeld.edublogs.org/ He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat — the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. He and Nick Polyak authored the 2017 Rowman & Littlefield book The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today. Mike has been married to his wife Stephanie for the past 15 years and they have two children.

Nick Polyak, Ed.D. @npolyak

Nick Polyak, Ed.D.-Nick is the superintendent of Leyden Community High School District 212 in Franklin Park, IL. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat — the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. Nick has been married to his wife Kate for the past 17 years and they have four children.

Phillip j. “PJ” Caposey @MCUSDSupe

Phillip J. “PJ” Caposey, Ed.D.-PJ is the author of three books and is a sought after speaker and consultant specializing in school culture, principal coaching, effective evaluation practices, and student-centered instruction. PJ currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for Meridian CUSD 223 in Northwest Illinois and is married to his wife Jacquie and has four children. PJ can be reached via twitter @MCUSDSupe.

Long Range Planning — Coming Closer to Recommendations! Equity –#112Leads

The quote from Theodore Roosevelt captures the spirit of the opportunities we have in North Shore School District 112 at this time! We have the opportunity to do what we can (make changes to improve educational outcomes, facilities, and equity one step at a time), with what we have (accumulated fund balance savings as well as a limited bond issue paid for out of operation funds) where we are (in 2018 with 10 schools in operation for 3852 students grades PK-8).

Our Long Range Planning Process, documented and archived at the Long Range Plan Web Page shows a rich, dynamic, changing process where extensive and expansive community engagement, information review and analysis, historic and political and sociological impact study and review, and of course, financial impact analysis are about to yield a plan that will provide dramatic and profound impact on learning for more than half of our nearly 4000 students in grades PK-8 in a short period of time.

North Shore School District 112 was reluctantly created after the consolidation of three historic local school districts in 1993. In 2018, 25 years since the creation of the District, it is time for us to rise above historic disagreements, factual and mythological concerns, and other issues that have led to paralysis instead of progress.   ALL students matter, ALL schools matter, and ALL neighborhoods matter!

Our Long Range Plan is focused on equitable access to educational opportunities for ALL students every day with support for our teachers in modernized learning facilities designed to support learning and growth and social/emotional learning for ALL.

The revised, updated, draft Long Range Plan (to be formally recommended to the Board of Education at the October 23, 2018, Regular Board meeting) calls for the following:

  • Major renovations at Northwood Middle School (build out for up to 600 students)
  • Major renovations at Edgewood Middle School (build out for up to 950 students)
  • Budget dependent — major renovations at Red Oak Elementary School (closing and absorbing Sherwood Elementary School) build out for around 615 students.
  • Use of up to 75% of the $49,000,000 fund balance (savings account)
  • Use of up to $55,000,000 in Alternative Revenue Bonds (paid for over 20 years at $4,000,000 a year)
  • Still spend $3,000,000 a year from operations budget on school upgrades, repairs and modernization over time.

In the four years’ worth of this phase of the plan’s construction all of our school buildings will not be equal in terms of enrollment (nor have they ever been), we will start to achieve equitable facilities starting with both middle schools (where all children will attend) and possibly at one of our elementary schools (with an additional school closure). Over time we will continue to do what we can with what we have where we are (and will be).

During our work and our recent study, we’ve talked a great deal about Equity and Equality …What is equity? Why is equity preferred to equality?

Sharing some materials related to equity/equality from Illinois education leaders Julie Schmidt & Lori James-Gross:

Over the last several years, the discussion of equality versus equity has been at the forefront of our reform work in Illinois. As a result, the development of the New Accountability Model, the Evidence Based Funding Model, and the writing of the ESSA Plan occurred with practitioners at the table. To further the conversation of equity, it becomes the work of district/school leadership to ensure that expenditure of funds is distributed equitably within the district and across all buildings….to address student performance through an equity lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embedding the Slide Deck with background information from the presentation shared at the October 4, 2018, Long Range Planning Committee Meeting:

Update – Long Range Planning Focus on our WHY – #112Leads

“When fear knocks, let passion, faith, responsibility, or courage answer the door.”
– Unknown 

On September 12, 2018, the Superintendent’s Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) held its second meeting. At this meeting my team and I brought our focus back to the “WHY” the long-range planning process is needed and the “HOW” we can move forward on our journey. Please take some time and review the presentation document as well as the video (both are embedded in this blog post).

The information gives an update as to where the LRPC committee is at in its process; and it lends clarity and background to the latest proposal. Remember that the LRPC advises the superintendent and then the superintendent/administration makes a recommendation to the Board of Education.

The next meetings related to the Long Range Plan for North Shore School District 112 are as follows:
Sept. 24 – LRPC (to be streamed live 5:30-7:30)
Oct. 2 – Board of Education Finance Meeting
Oct. 4 – LRPC (to be steamed live 5:30-7:30)
Oct. 9 – Board of Education Facilities Meeting
Oct. 23 – Formal Presentation to the Board – “the Long Range Plan”
Nov. 27 – Board action on the Long Range Plan

For the past 7+ years our school district community has been through a great deal — we are turning a corner and we are on the cusp of greatness once again. Hang in there – stay focused, let’s work together and let’s restore our historic district to prominence and excellence.

Educational Focus – As a public school district, our number one priority is to ensure that students achieve academically, socially, and emotionally. To achieve this goal, we have been focusing on our motto: Inspire…Innovate…Engage.  All NSSD 112 initiatives focus on our motto in order to ensure excellence. This year’s intense focus on providing a guaranteed & viable curriculum for all students in all schools every day is the result of the district losing its way and steering into non-educational focus areas over the past 7+ years. We’re correcting our course and we’re supporting our excellent teachers and support staff as we operate as a school system as opposed to a system of schools.

Financial Planning and Stewardship – As a public school district, we are mindful that strong schools build strong communities, and that our source of revenue comes from our stakeholders (parents and community). We are committed to building a strong school district while being fiscally responsible. In the slide deck embedded below, and in the video (also embedded below the slide deck) we are sharing clear actionable financial planning in support of the Long Range Plan. Our plan involves spending 75% of current fund balances (savings account/”rainy day funds”) as well as issuing NON-REFERENDUM bonds called Alternative Revenue Bonds (guaranteeing the payment over 20 years from operations), closing two additional schools and enhancing educational and operational efficiencies to sustain our future.

Facility Planning and Execution – In order to achieve fiscal responsibility and educational excellence, we must have a strong and responsible long range facility plan that is flexible and yet fiscally responsible. Members of the Superintendent’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC)  have reviewed the work of previous groups and input from many — past and present — show as our current realities in the current recommendations. The point of the facility plan is improvement of education. Our “WHY” is equitable educational opportunities and access for all students in all schools — every day! The eyes on the prize call for us to remember the prize is student success and educational excellence. The point of the facility upgrades is to improve educational input and output and working and learning conditions for our employees and students.

Equity/Equality

Our aim is equitable educational opportunities for every child — equitable, not necessarily equal — as shown in the image, equity is fair, equality is same. Sometimes … all the time … individuals need what is best for them. My dream is personalized learning opportunities for all children; it’s a lofty dream yet systematically and with fidelity to guaranteed & viable curriculum opportunities and expectations, with improvement, gains, and growth, it is possible.

An analogy I use from time to time about personalized learning experiences is related to shopping. In the example I ask the audience to consider the shopping experience for deodorant (personal hygiene). In the men’s deodorant aisle at the local grocery store, for example, there are multiple brands, various scents, time delayed action, shapes, sizes, etc. The objective is for personal hygiene in this example, basically use deodorant as part of our cultural norm to present a pleasant aroma. The objective is for the grocery store to meet the various, individualized, personalized and differentiated deodorant tastes and preferences and interests and uses for the individual shopper. So if a man (in this example) wants to present the aroma of sandlewood ice or fresh sport lime, he has the ability to meet the objective of presenting a pleasant aroma, and he gets to use his unique interests, skills, abilities, etc. An equal deodorant shopping experience would have one brand with one size and one aroma — yes, everyone meets the objective of presenting with a pleasant aroma — but an equitable deodorant shopping experience is tailored to the individual’s interests, desires, preferences, background, etc. In order for us to provide educational opportunities that celebrate and enhance the unique and valuable differences our students bring forth every day we need to make multiple changes and significant improvements all across the district. I have faith in our teachers, staff, administrators, board, parents and community.

Our journey continues and I am convinced that our complex work will lead to positive powerful results for our students, staff, and community!

Slide Deck Presentation Shared at the September 12, 2018, Long-Range Planning Committee Meeting

Video of 2nd Long Range Planning Committee Meeting

Long Range Planning In NSSD112 — #112Leads

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller

In the school district where I serve as the superintendent of schools, North Shore School District 112, serving the people of Highland Park, Highwood, and the Town of Ft. Sheridan in northeast Illinois, I have the challenge of leading a Long Range Planning Process. Some would say this process started in the 1990s — others would say it’s never been quite refined or finished, and still others would say a recent iteration almost tore the communities apart.

So a little history and connection … on July 1, 1993 two

educational firsts took place (I’m sure there were more than two, but the two about which I will refer are related to this post). One of the firsts that took effect on July 1, 1993 was the “birth” of North Shore School District 112 ; the other was the official start of my career in public education & public service. I became a middle school teacher at Blackhawk Middle School in Bensenville, IL. Since 1993 my current school district has been in service, and since 1993 I have been in service as a teacher and educational leader.

I first joined the North Shore School District in 1997, and then after four positions (teacher, associate principal, principal, assistant superintendent) and 13 years, I  left to become a superintendent in two other Chicago area public elementary school districts. This year on July 1st I returned as the superintendent of schools here in D112! My journey brings me back to an historic and proud school district in need of vision, guidance, and direction. The past eight years in this school district have been quite difficult. Academic achievement ratings have plummeted, physical facilities conditions have deteriorated, morale and climate have suffered and two of the district’s schools were closed. Long successful systems and structures fell apart and around 700 students left the system and were not replaced. When I left there were 4600 students and today we have just under 3900.

The Board of Education selected me for this post last December with the expectation I would execute policy, vision, mission, and planning. The Board has bestowed upon me the great gift of leadership and the great challenge of leadership. Together with the Board we will lead the district back to a position of greatness and leadership. Over the past few years the district has drifted off course and has, in many, many ways, lost its way.

So the challenges before the community and me and the Board of Education are to identify, define, recommend, reflect upon, plan, and act on a Long-Range Plan. The exciting part is that predecessor boards and administrators and community groups have done a great deal of work that provides a foundation for my administration’s planning! The focus on “reconfiguration” and a failed referendum campaign took the eyes off of many necessary systems and nearly broke the communities apart emotionally.

In the 62 calendar days since I became the superintendent of schools, I have been engaged in many transition activities that include the commissioning of and meeting of the Superintendent’s Long-Range Planning Committee. In one of our communication videos, https://youtu.be/nDZpdp5V4MA, the Future Starts Now, I share that I am called back to this school district for change leadership, change management, and change for and on behalf of ALL students and staff. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to right many wrongs and steer the ship of education on a new and right course for the next years, decades, scores, and beyond.

 

In the video and other communications, I also reference the Long-Range Planning process and the synthesis of the old ideas and realities and the new ideas and realities … we are not recreating the wheel so to speak. We are taking the work and input of the groups past and conducting community engagement of the group present to recommend a new plan. For our school district it’s time to UNLEARN.

On September 12, 2018, from 5:30pm-7:30pm, at Red Oak School, the Long-Range Planning Committee will reconvene for the purposes of learning about the funding and finance plans for the reconfiguration and renovation of our schools and district as well as for the chance to learn the findings of the 2nd ThoughtExchange and the Fako telephone survey.

 

We are NOT going to ask for a Referendum to raise money to pay for long overdue improvements to our schools. Instead, my team and I will show how the last 7 years of austerity have actually turned to good in terms of positioning us for the present and future. On September 24th the committee will meet to discuss and review the potential dissolution of assets (real property, historic work, land, etc.) as well as the potential curation of assets moving forward.

Briefly the District operated 12 schools in 2017-18, 10 schools this year, in 2018-19, and we’re set to operate 9 schools in 2019-20. My recommendation will reflect building on to a new location for our 225 student early childhood center (with room to expand the early learning offerings for our three and four year old students). It will also recommend establishing a new location for the Operations & Maintenance & Transportation Department (currently housed in a trailer and a warehouse in the parking lot of one of our schools) and the various administration departments housed in non-collaborative silos in our 90 year old building.

In addition, I will make recommendations for expenditures in a coherent and reasoned manner for schools as well as suggest potential boundary changes as we contemplate sticking with 9 schools or moving to some iteration of an 8 or even 7 school model.

I anticipate sharing greater detail with the planned changes on the 12th, the 24th as the final meeting of this input group which will take place on October 4th where they will refine the plans and ideas and make their advice to me in preparation for my report to the Board of Education at the October 23, 2018, board meeting.

Ideally the Long Range Plan will be approved at the November 27, 2018, board meeting. The future is now indeed! Stay tuned for more updates! Stay informed to know what’s happening!

Inspire…Innovate…Engage

 

 

Reflections from Workshop – #112Leads

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
– John C. Maxwell

This week the leadership team of North Shore School District 112 is engaged in learning, leading, thinking, planning, and reflection as we prepare for the new school year. Our first two days are facilitated and led by Mayra Cruz, the principal of Oyster Adams Bilingual School in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Cruz also works with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). Mayra is an exemplary facilitator. She has us thinking, challenging the process, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and growing as leaders. She has us scaffolding learning and deeply diving into excellent instruction.

What are the implications for my context?

I am the superintendent of schools in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park and Highwood, IL. I am responsible to the seven members of the Board of Education, the nearly 4000 students in grades PK-8, the 30+ members of the Leadership Team, the community leaders, the community, the 80% of residents who do not use the schools and the 20% of residents who do. I am also responsible to the profession–the superintendency–locally, regionally, statewide, nationally, and even internationally.

My responsibility to support leadership development is ongoing and multi-faceted. After leading or attending professional development opportunities I takeresponsibility to spread the knowledge. I also am keen to facilitate additional or broader opportunities for leaders to practice and implement new knowledge and skills.

It’s also imperative that time is set aside for leaders to reflect and integrate new learning. It’s a fast paced world in which we live, lead and work. It’s essential to make time, find time, carve out time, create time for others even — to reflect and integrate newfound knowledge into leadership practices and routines. Professional development/learning also spreads from leader to leader.

From Tweets, Blogs, Voxes (all 21st Century “verbs” referring to social media connections). Communication forms whether new fashioned or old fashioned, or somewhere in between, help the knowledge go from learning to doing.

From learning to reflecting to doing. It’s an iterative process that incorporates sharing, refining, and improving. It’s incumbent upon me and my role to be sure that professional learning opportunities are aligned with the organizations’mission and vision. It’s also essential that I take the opportunities to observe andgive feedback to leaders who are leading. When leadership team members implement new learning in their departments and at their schools, it’s necessary and respectful for the “leader of the leaders” to be present, observant, and honest in the feedback.

Our outstanding facilitator Mayra Cruz used the “two glows and one grow” concept for two authentic praises and for one constructively critical feedback during our time together this week.

As the lead learner or the “Chief Learning Officer” CLO, I take great pride and feel great responsibility in supporting and advancing opportunities for professional learning that enhance and improve student and staff learning.

#112Leads

Mayra used this slide of images to lead an Equity Discussion — what do the images mean? What do they represent? Can you find positive/negative/neutral – etc. Very enlightening discussion was had by our leadership team! Thank you Mayra Cruz

 

Student Voice — Why it matters #112Leads

“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
– Nelson Mandela

The greatest leaders listen as their main form of communication. Over the years I have learned a great deal about listening — true listening, active listening, empathic and empathetic listening. As a superintendent I do a great deal of listening to learn and grow with internal and external stakeholders. One group to whom we must listen in schools is the student body. Students are the main “customers” in the school system. All of the decisions that are made from the boardroom to the classroom impact the lives of the students. I’ve often written and said that students have but one chance to experience each grade level—it’s incumbent upon we in leadership to make sure that their experiences are limitless and spectacular!

In this blog and through this blog I share ideas, thoughts, calls to action; I share questions, ideas and solicit feedback; I also share publications of which I have been an author, contributor or creator.

In this post I’m sharing an article recently published by DisrupteED TV Magazine on Student Voice. In it me and Nick Polyak and PJ Caposey share thoughts and excerpts from the preface of our latest book Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable. As always I welcome comments and suggestions for improvement!

DisruptED TV Magazine

Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable

By Michael Lubelfeld, Nick Polyak & Phillip J. ‘PJ’ Caposey

As educators we are engaged in listening every day. As superintendents we’re also engaged in leading every day. As leaders we have tested theories and approaches to systems change for many years in suburban and rural PK-12 school systems. Recently we started writing as a way to reflect, share messages of success, and in an effort to inspire others. One of our latest projects Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable (2018 Rowman & Littlefield) underscores the value we place on student voice in the overhaul and transformation for education in our nation. In this article we’re sharing excerpts from the preface of the book that include a call to action.

Student Voice: From Invisible to Invaluable is about why today’s leaders need to connect with students and how to accomplish true success by giving students a voice in their own education. The premise of this book is that student voice is often, for some inconceivable reason, invisible.

The failure to systematically include students and listen to their viewpoints is a contributing factor which explains why schools have changed little since the 19th Century. This book will explore many topics ranging from digital citizenship to teacher evaluation, and we sincerely believe that by leveraging the voice of students as collaborative leaders, true school and educational transformation can and will occur.

The book is based around two central questions:

● Why should today’s school leaders engage student voice from a leadership perspective as collaborators in leading?

● How can today’s school leaders engage student voice from a leadership perspective as collaborators in leading?

Core beliefs that drive this book are largely based on research. These beliefs include that the single most impactful person in a student’s learning journey is the teacher. The second most impactful is the principal (Marzano & Waters 2005). If the teacher is a manager and the principal is a leader, congruence in the approaches of engaging the student in his own learning must exist. Additionally, confidence is necessary to amplify student voice in our schools.

We submit that taking student voice from invisible to invaluable reflects the choices made by confident leaders. Leaders in the classroom (teachers) and leaders in the office (principals) and leaders in the central office (superintendents) must exist at all levels to truly listen to student voice and for school evolution and even transformation to be possible. Throughout this book, we will continually work to convince the reader of why this paradigm shift leading to an increase in student voice is necessary and give tips and techniques on how to get the work done.

Our leadership journeys allow us to test theories of leadership and put into practice beliefs, hypotheses, thoughts, and actions. While we lead with other adults and members of the typical school community: teachers, board members, administrators, and parents, we have engaged students in leadership as well. We share our successful leadership experiences and examples of making student voices invaluable in actual leadership and governance.

This transformation is truly a win-win for students and leaders. Educators must simply do two things to begin the paradigm shift necessary to take this forward. The first is easy — believe in the brilliance of your students. The second is hard — relinquish some element of control. This book will help walk you through both of these steps while focusing on precise areas of potential change within your classroom, school, or district.

EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT — Why the book is necessary

Around the nation many leaders are implementing various forms of personalized learning. The synergy between student learning and growth and teacher direction and knowledge grows exponentially when student voice is real, true, and authentic. Long gone are the days where compliance rules the priorities of teachers and schools. We will examine personalized learning and how student voice can be amplified through personalized learning environments.

Our vision is for student/learner centered systems that we’re compelled to create. As Mike and Nick wrote about in The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (2017 Rowman & Littlefield) we all must unlearn so that we can learn and relearn — change is not an optional process.

Today’s leaders, teachers, students, pretty much all constituent stakeholder groups, must embody the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Teaching students what it means to “be at the table” and teaching students how to think “outside of the box” opens up pathways never before seen or applied in modern school systems.

These pathways can be replicated and refined with student leadership experiences in “real life” through their schooling experiences. Student voice does not “just happen;” the success of this fundamental shift in how we ‘do school’ is dependent upon shared vision, deliberate engagement, and by teaching students how to be a part of the process. We share examples of how and why the future belongs to the students and the present-day leaders can do much to set them up for success.

With this type of engaged and partner leadership we will allow future generations to bear witness to transformed systems of schooling and society. Long gone are the days of “sage on the stage” — in order to support the “guide on the side.” Leaders can engage students and establish new norms so their input becomes invaluable. This is a call to action book for all people interested in transforming education and to improving the world.

The learning purposes and unique features of this book include:

● Establish, propose, and reinforce the “How” and the “Why” for including student voice in leadership decision making

● Provide leaders with actionable case studies and examples from the field for implementation

● Model and share new ways of incorporating authentic student voice

● Reflection questions that will generate thought and conversation around each chapter

● End of chapter feature ASK’EM, an actionable acronym, at the end of each chapter to both reinforce chapter concepts and examples as well as a call to action: Ask, Support, Know, Empower, Monitor

● Stop-Think-Act prompts, questions, problems of practice

● Commentaries and essays from students and educational leaders throughout the book. This provides additional voices on the topics on progressing with student voice from invisible to invaluable.

About the Authors

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. @mikelubelfeld

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.-Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, IL. His blog is at http://mikelubelfeld.edublogs.org/ He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat — the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. He and Nick Polyak authored the 2017 Rowman & Littlefield book The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today. Mike has been married to his wife Stephanie for the past 15 years and they have two children.

Nick Polyak, Ed.D. @npolyak

Nick Polyak, Ed.D.-Nick is the superintendent of Leyden Community High School District 212 in Franklin Park, IL. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat — the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. Nick has been married to his wife Kate for the past 17 years and they have four children.

Phillip j. “PJ” Caposey @MCUSDSupe

Phillip J. “PJ” Caposey, Ed.D.-PJ is the author of three books and is a sought after speaker and consultant specializing in school culture, principal coaching, effective evaluation practices, and student-centered instruction. PJ currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for Meridian CUSD 223 in Northwest Illinois and is married to his wife Jacquie and has four children. PJ can be reached via twitter @MCUSDSupe.

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