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Evaluating the Opening Period of Your School Year

When leaders plan an effective opening of school, they develop a sequence of activities for parents, teachers, and students that introduce the goals of the year, the expectations of students, and provide an opportunity for parents and students to experience the culture and climate the school intends to promote in the classrooms. They also build staff confidence and competence in building student-focused lessons. The process of planning an opening for student success changes the way teachers look at lesson planning, progress monitoring, and grading.

When leaders were able to get teachers to implement effective opening strategies, build effective rituals and routines that were followed by all teachers and students, and build the fundamental
competencies, students became successful, and the management of school became significantly easier. School leadership and instructional staff note that planning the opening changed the atmosphere of the school as well the students’ perceptions of both the school itself and their relationship to the school. We emphasize that if any students decide by the third week of school that they will fail, then they will probably fail. If teachers decide that some students will fail, those students will likely fail. If teachers and students believe that all can be successful, then very possibly, they have the best chance to be.

– excerpt from Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year

Here is a tool to evaluate how the Opening Period of your school year went:

The free tools provided on this site are pulled, in part, from our recent book Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year. If you have questions about how to use any of these tools, please feel free to contact us, or check out the book, available on

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