A Better Understanding of the Critical Role of High School Principals in Chicago

I was able to attend an event on Monday, sponsored by Forefront’s CCAPS and Human Capital subcommittees.  The event, “The Role of Principals in High Schools in Chicago Public Schools” included presentations and panel discussions that were incredibly enlightening for those of us who have not worked in the secondary education space directly.

My takeaways;

  1. The role is complex and demanding but also critical to the success of the school and its students.
  2. The most important work of a high school principal is the creation of a school climate conducive to student learning.  An environment that is safe and encouraging.
  3. Principals in Chicago have greater autonomy and accountability than in other districts in Illinois and the rest of the nation.  While this may add to the complexity, it also improves efficacy.
  4. High school principal turnover is an issue that needs to be addressed since, on average, they last in the position less than 4 and a half years – they’re gone just as their experience level makes them effective school leaders.

Thank you to Forefront and all of the organizers, presenters and panelists.

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