More freedom for MNPS principals under reorganization
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Metro Nashville Schools' Director Dr. Jesse Register announced some major changes to the school system including reorganizing the central office and adding additional lead principals.
During a news conference Wednesday morning it was announced that there will be an increase in the number of lead principals at Metro schools.
Currently nine lead principals oversee several schools in additional to their own.
Under the new plan, each lead principal will work with five or six other principals in a network.
Each principal will be responsible for increasing student achievement as well as evaluating other principals and sharing effective practices across their network of schools.
Dr. Register projects the number of lead principals will increase over the next three years with 30 lead principals in place by the 2015-2016 school year.
The staff at the central office will shrink as additional lead principals are put in place, according to Dr. Register.
"With this approach, we will keep the most highly skilled principals in schools rather than promoting them out, expand their scope of influence to multiple schools and give them ongoing leadership training," he explained.
Each of the lead principals will be selected based on qualifying criteria that includes test data and leadership skills.
With these changes lead principals will also have increased autonomy including final say on all staffing and the flexibility to organize instructional and support staff. They will also have school-based budgeting autonomy so funds can be used flexibly within fiscal guidelines. Robbin Will, principal at McGavock High School, has been tapped to be a lead principal.
"It's got to be a win win for everybody, it really does," said Will, "I don't see how we can't improve. If we don't, somehow we're not doing it right. It's not the process, it's the people who are doing the work."
Will oversees about 2,200 students at McGavock High School and told Nashville's News 2 he's already brainstorming ideas on how to better allocate the school's budget.
"With the economy situation we've had in the last few years, we've had to have some cutbacks in staffing, which means some of my classrooms have gotten large, they're crowded," explained Will, "So if I can some way figure out how to move certain positions where I can bring in more teachers, then that's what I want to do because that's the key."
Will also said he's excited about being more involved in McGavock High School's feeder schools, to create continuity all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade. "I want to be able to influence those principals at the middle schools we're working with," said Will, "I want to be able to influence them to have a program that we're starting in 5th grade and coming all the way through 12th grade."
"The bottom line is, I want to see an influx of best practices when it comes to the teaching and I want to see those taking place, whether it be from top down or bottom up," added Will.
Reporter Erin Holt will have the latest coming up on Nashville's News 2 at 5 p.m.