High School Design and Transformation: One Size Fits Each

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December 6, 2016 Kevin Grawer, Principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in St. Louis In order to create a more responsive learning environment for our students and staff, we designed our high school schedule strategically to meet the challenge of consistently providing high quality, personalized programming for a diverse student body. We know, for example, that not all students learn … Read More

Kevin GrawerHigh School Design and Transformation: One Size Fits Each

Action Research in Ferguson-Florissant School District

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November 2016 Susie Morice, Santa Fe Center for Transformational School Leadership In the Ferguson-Florissant School District in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, more than a dozen schools are engaging in the processes of action research. The Santa Fe Center for TransformationalSchool Leadership is partnering with Washington University to support the district as they tackle challenges in the aftermath of the tragic death ofMichael … Read More

Susie MoriceAction Research in Ferguson-Florissant School District

Transformational Schools

City Garden Montessori, the highest performing charter school in St. Louis, commits to Montessori principles throughout its elementary and middle school program.
City Garden Montessori, the highest performing charter school in St. Louis, commits to Montessori principles throughout its elementary and middle school program. Transformational leaders eschew the “fix it” focus of reform. Transformational leaders are NOT “turn-around teams.” Instead, transformational leaders seek to dig deep into the culture of a school or district and bring about positive change through systemic shifts ... Read More
elevateTransformational Schools

On Developing Scholarship in Schools

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Transformation of our schools will require leaders who are prepared to repurpose and reimagine schools rather than simply reform them. (Phil Schlechty, p. 8) At the Maplewood-Richmond Heights school district(MRH) in planning sessions with teachers, parents, and board members, we developed our focus for an MRH education: inspiring and preparing students as scholars, leaders, stewards, and citizens. These four roles we … Read More

elevateOn Developing Scholarship in Schools

Building Curriculum the Right Way: Grand Center Arts Academy

For the last two years I have had the opportunity to work with the outstanding teachers and administrators at Grand Center Arts Academy, a young 6-12 charter school in the city of St Louis. Grand is a wonderful success story, attracting a diverse student body from across the metro area and outstanding teachers drawn to the mission of the Academy. … Read More

David BristolBuilding Curriculum the Right Way: Grand Center Arts Academy

Narrative as a Critical Tool for Transformational Leaders

   Indigenous people the world over have long recognized the power of story to give their lives coherence and purpose. Across geography and cultures, rich story captures history, cultural mores, and identity. Steve Denning, who has done a great deal of research into story and leadership describes story this way: A narrative or story in its broadest sense is anything … Read More

elevateNarrative as a Critical Tool for Transformational Leaders

Work, Play, and Leadership: An Artful Collaboration

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    “You think because you understand one you must understand two because one and one makes two. But you must also understand and.” -Ancient Sufi teaching     Collaboration “I wrote a poem. Would you like to illustrate it? We could turn it into a book.” And so the project began. Linda is a writer and poet. I am a watercolor artist. … Read More

elevateWork, Play, and Leadership: An Artful Collaboration

Bonnie Davis discusses her newest book.

elevateBonnie Davis discusses her newest book.

The Language of Leadership

We believe that we human beings are suspended in webs of significance that we ourselves have spun. (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, 112) One of the most powerful tools a transformational leader has at her disposal is language. Our use of language shapes to a large extent the way people see us, how much they trust us, and how willing they … Read More

elevateThe Language of Leadership

Center’s Consultants’ Newest Books

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Three of the Center’s consultants have recently published or are in the process of bringing to press books reflecting their newest thinking on their work. Bonnie Davis, has recently published her fourth book on cultural literacy, Cultural Literacy for the Common Core             (Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press, 2014). It is a needed addition to the … Read More

David BristolCenter’s Consultants’ Newest Books

Developing an Ethic of Excellence in Our Schools

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Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business is one of our recommended resources for transformational school leaders this month. Lencioni defines a healthy organization as one “that is whole, consistent, and complete—that is when management, operations, strategy and culture fit together and make sense.” [1] This sense of wholeness of our work is critical, … Read More

elevateDeveloping an Ethic of Excellence in Our Schools

Welcome to the Center

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July 2014 has been marked on our calendar for over a year now—the date we set to launch the Center. And here we are: the website is up, the LLC formed, and we are now officially a consulting company! While we have been busy designing our organization, we have also been working intensely in schools around the country. With our … Read More

elevateWelcome to the Center

Are you building an organization that innovates?

Time for a bit of summer reflection… Are you building an organization that innovates? The June issue of Harvard Business Review includes a provocative article by the authors of a new book, Collective Genius: the Art and Practice of Leading Innovation. In a clear-eyed discussion of what makes some organizations capable of consistent innovation and others unable to move beyond … Read More

elevateAre you building an organization that innovates?