Dr. Paul Young, former president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and author of Principal Matters, believes that developing a collaborative partnership with the school’s principal is a key ingredient to program success and positive outcomes for children.
School principals have varying responsibilities – from ensuring quality instruction to handling serious discipline issues. As school leaders, their ultimate goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for students to learn and grow.
Principals also play a critical role in helping program directors provide quality learning experiences for children after school. Dr. Paul Young, former president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and author of Principal Matters, believes that developing a collaborative partnership with the school’s principal is a key ingredient to program success and positive outcomes for children. A continual, effective relationship helps to align after school programs with the school day, ensure program quality and engage key stakeholders.
In preparation of School Principals Day, here are 5 tips for building partnerships with school principals (adapted from Principal Matters):
- Envision effective communication processes. Communication is key! Establish a two-way communication system between the program leader and school principal using tools such as email, regular meetings and shared progress reports.
- Use the NAESP Planning Tools. Check out Leading After School Learning Communities to guide discussions on program vision, practices and decisions.
- Be visible. Encourage the school principal to make frequent visits to your program to monitor progress; encourage students, staff members and teachers; and get a unique view of their school. Likewise, program directors should be visible at the school, building relationships with teachers and spreading the word about their program.
- Present a unified front. Be a reliable partner and steadfast in your team act. Without a unified front, parents, teachers and other forces will “divide and conquer” your collaborative partnership.
- Be a team player. Share technical knowledge and skills, solve problems, complete projects and develop programs as partners. Effective partnerships possess a development of mutual trust, contributions from each leader and a willingness to share risks.
For more tips on creating collaborative relationships between program directors and school leaders, check out Principal Matters.