From the Superintendent: School climate and leadership development



I appreciate the response so far to our Safe Schools. Safe You. campaign. Though the majority of our schools maintain a calm and respectful atmosphere every day, I believe we all can benefit from taking time to focus in depth on school climate and its role in shaping education.

As we move into spring you’ll be hearing more from the Department of School Climate and Support and other areas of the district, as well as from community partners working with us. Indeed, climate will be the focus of this week’s district-wide administrators meeting, and those in attendance will be sharing their take-aways with many of you in the days to come.

I am greatly encouraged by the will of so many SPPS staff members to do what it takes to improve our school climates. Our district is blessed with expertise on multiple levels. I am confident that caring people -- from lunch staff and bus drivers, to EAs and TAs, to teachers and principals -- will create more effective ways to address student misbehavior.

Like loving parents, we must not only assign consequences to kids who act out, we must pull them even closer to us. We must discover -- and believe in -- the gifts these young people bring to the world, even when they themselves may not realize they have something to offer.

Similarly, we take seriously our work to discover and believe in leaders throughout SPPS. This week the Office of Leadership Development is posting openings for the principal, AP, and intern pools. But these are not the only leaders in our district. Each of us has the capacity to effect change.

I believe that the primary role of educational leadership is to develop people and develop systems for equity. In this vision each leader, from the classroom to the boardroom, takes responsibility for empowering children and other adults to change the status quo. In the dynamic world of urban education, student learning will depend upon the conscious efforts of our leaders -- teachers, administrators, and students -- to collaborate in changing our system and developing growth mindsets. 

Now, when SPPS is working actively to improve climate in key schools, each of us can and must be a leader. Each of us can connect with students in a personal, powerful way. When we strive to do that, and when we collaborate as colleagues to develop a growth mindset, our potential knows no limits.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature



Valeria Silva