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Shaping district culture to create a flexible learning environment

Executive Summary

Seminole County Public Schools / Sanford, FL
Suburban / K-12
Students: 67,000
Staff: 7,800

Creating buy-in with a culture of empathy and collaboration

Finding innovative solutions by promoting a growth mindset

Fostering teacher and student agency

Inspiring innovation and curiosity

Making culture a priority

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    Key Takeaways

    • Implementing changes requires creating a culture that values curiosity, flexibility and bold thinking.
    • Teacher and student buy-in and feedback are key to creating a supportive and collaborative community.
    • Learning from failure and adopting a “yes” mindset encourage innovative thinking.
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    Lessons Learned

    • Make professional development worthwhile by letting teachers choose their development focus. By giving teachers control, they’ll feel like they’re not only investing in their students’ learning, but also advancing their own careers.
    • Students should be an integral part of the process and feel like their opinions are valued. Ask to bounce ideas off them, and keep communication channels open. For example, Dr. Griffin meets one-on-one with students in person and connects with them on Twitter.
    • Changing school culture doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient. For example, students didn’t understand at first why they were given more autonomy. Once they realized it was genuine, they appreciated that administrators really listened to their input — but this change took time.
    • Don’t be tempted by the latest trend. Reflect carefully on your core values and mission before adopting a new program or idea that’s abuzz among other administrators.