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The School Administrator
Imagine you had to begin each school year with a brand new staff. Every year, every professional and every support specialist working in your school had begun his or her first year there. Every principal, teacher, custodian and food service worker wouldn’t know the routines, the curriculum or the procedures you expected them to follow. There would be no building upon last year’s successes.
In addition, the personalities of individual staff members and their impact on the culture of the school would be unknown to everyone as they started the year. As an administrator, you wouldn’t anticipate high productivity until staff members learned what was expected of them and how to work together to benefit the students.For most administrators, the idea of 100 percent staff turnover is an unpleasant one to consider. Successful schools (and districts) depend on continuity of staff, curricula and programs from one year to the next in order to continually improve.Some educators are discovering that this continuity on which schools rely also can work in the classroom. Instead of starting each school year with a completely new group of students, some teachers are staying with their students for a second year at the next grade level, a practice that is known as "looping."
At the Albany Upper Elementary School in Alexander, La., Principal Flo Hill worked with a professor at Southeastern Louisiana University to investigate the effectiveness of the school’s looping classrooms. Their initial results show that in these looping classrooms, when compared to the school’s unit-grade classrooms, the median national percentiles are higher, parents attend open houses at a higher rate, parental involvement in general is higher, and the average daily attendance is higher.
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