Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 15

highlights the importance of teacher voice and leadership in the implementation process of new initiatives. n Element 8: Collecting data on your partnership In 2009, a PAL Committee made up of three administrators and three teachers convened to create a new survey to be administered each year to all teachers in the district. The climate survey helps to assess the partnership efforts at the school and district level. It focuses on six areas: schoolwide culture, professional development, resources, communication, data and the partnership. In 2014, Saul Rubinstein and John McCarthy of the School of Management and The research builds a strong case for efforts to expand collaborative partnerships as a vehicle for school improvement reform that can tween teachers’ unions, administrators and teachers at the school level had an important and significant positive impact on student performance as well as performance improvement, even after controlling for poverty. • High quality teacher-administrator partnerships predicted “denser” schoollevel collaboration and communication around student performance data; curriculum development; sharing, advising or learning about instructional practices; and giving or receiving mentoring. • Strong partnership schools have structurally different patterns of union-management collaboration. The strength of partnerships predicted different communication patterns between union site representatives and principals. Communication in high partnership schools was more frequent and less formal. Their research builds a strong case for efforts to expand collaborative partnerships as a vehicle for school improvement reform that can impact student performance. impact student performance. n Element 9: Celebrating success and planning for the future Labor Relations at Rutgers University released their research regarding ABCUSD’s partnership efforts. They examined the patterns of collaboration that occur within schools among teachers and administrators and looked to see if and how that collaboration affected student performance. The researchers used the PAL survey results, data from the California API and social network analysis. Social network analysis explores what teachers and administrators communicate about on a regular basis, how they communicate, and what topics they discuss. They used the 2011 survey data on the quality of school partnerships and analyzed those data against 2011 and 2012 student performance data. They were able to examine the relationship between the strength of the partnership and both the level of API performance in 2012 and the difference in student performance level of API between 2011 and 2012. Their research concluded the following: • The quality of formal partnerships be- Each year at the annual PAL retreat, district leaders and labor leaders not only work on serious issues confronting us, such as the Common Core State Standards, but also recognize the hard work all our educators do every day in the schools. We celebrate our successes as a district together, and have fun laughing with each other. Since 2010, we have coordinated and hosted the West Coast Labor Management Institute, held the day before the PAL Retreat in October. The Institute provides an opportunity for other district teams from around the country to join us and network together to learn from each other. By sharing our experiences, we have been fortunate to see other districts thrive in their partnership efforts. It’s been exciting to watch and learn from the new partnerships that have been fostered around us. In 2012, California School Employees Association leaders worked with us to create the PAL2 partnership with classified employees. CSEA leaders have participated Continued on page 39 Three practical ways to partner with your local emergency responders By Joe Viramontez L ast August 24 at 3:20 a.m. a 6.0 -magnitude earthquake st r uck Nor t her n California. The region affected is well known for its wine – the Napa Valley. Now it’s also known for the largest earthquake in Northern California since the Loma Prieta Quake of 1989. What if the quake had happened on a weekday instead of a weekend? What if the quake had happened at a time when parents were at work while kids were at school? What if the quake was so large that emergency responders were inundated with numerous events while schools had to fend for themselves? Unfortunately, this could be a very real situation. Fortunately, there are some things that schools can do to properly prepare for the next big disaster. Following are three practical ways schools can partner with emergency responders so sustainability is not only maintained at a school site, but also thrives. 1. Preparation You’ve heard it said many times, “A good offense is a good defense.” In this case, it’s never truer. Schools today have to prepare to defend and protect their staff and their children. One of the ways schools can do this is by developing a comprehensive safety plan that includes the Incident Command System (ICS). With the knowledge and practice of this system, a school can handle any situation that comes up. Because fire departments use the ICS system every single day, they are Continued on page 38 May/June 2015 15