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Transformative Principal is 

Jul 26, 2020

Jeremiah Newell founded Alabama’s first charter school, Accel Day and Evening Academy is Alabama’s first charter school. It serves grades 9–12 and specializes in supporting youth who are disengaged in the traditional high school, have fallen behind, or dropped out all together. I’d like to discuss how ACCEL’s model puts unique supports in place, including academic instruction targeted to the needs of youth, mental health/counseling supports, and postsecondary options to ensure opportunity youth find success.

  • 300 students in grades 9–12
  • How to manage split schedules.
  • Be very intentional about who you’re serving when.
  • regular day school and evening school.
  • Working as partners with community leaders.
  • Got graduation rate up, now how do we prep them?
  • How to hire the right people.
  • Mission alignment. We lead with being unapologetic with our mission.
  • Create the space for them to do their best work.
  • Half day Friday for students so teachers have time to get better.
  • Teachers request professional development.
  • As we recruit we allow people to meet with their future peers.
  • Family environment helps recruit folks.
  • Evening work is optional. Not allowed to work more than 2 nights per week.
  • Young Adult model in NYC.
  • Blended learning school. Teachers begin planning by identifying core standards.
  • Utilize NWEA MAP data.
  • whole group, small group, independent work.
  • Grow 2–3 years in one semester because of how we teach.
  • Instructional technology are tools to make that happen.
  • We grow because we narrow our focus. We know where the gaps are and then carefully develop a learning plan that helps individual students.
  • Intentional vertical articulation.
  • Building the planning time matters so much. Half day every Friday enables time for teams to align what they’re doing.
  • We don’t use grade levels, we use phases.
  • Helping kids still earn credits.
  • 3 phases, 5 classes per semester, 10 credits in year.
  • Additional credit recovery outside of the school day.
  • How to be a transformative principal?
    Assess the practices of the school. Think of yourself as a school designer, not a manager.
  • I do have a responsibility to ask the question, What can I do differently?


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John Catt is also proud publisher of the new book from Transformative Principal host Jethro Jones: SchoolX: How principals can design a transformative school experience for students, teachers, parents – and themselves
Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: