- Central office workers in the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida were heading back to the classroom this week to provide extra support to students as they prepare for standardized testing, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
- Calling the initiative “All Hands on Deck,” Superintendent Jeff Eakins is targeting the extra help to many of the 24 schools currently in “turnaround” status, mandated by the state.
- The district administrators and specialists might be providing students with extra help in reading and math, or they might supervise classes so teachers can work with students individually or in small groups outside of the classroom.
The district’s plan helps to bridge the gap that often exists between schools and district-level administrators and staff members. Finding opportunities for central office staff members to spend time in schools — whether during testing weeks or at other points during the school year — also communicates the message that everyone has an important role to play in helping students succeed.
Giving teachers a chance to work at the central office temporarily, in programs such as the District of Columbia Public Schools’ summer Teachers Central to Leadership program, can also help teachers better understand the responsibilities of those who oversee curriculum or work with multiple schools. These experiences help central office leaders and classroom teachers take a broader perspective on how to help schools improve. In the paper’s article Eakins said, “We all have to remember why we got into this. This will bring people back to their roots."