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School's out, but not for CMSD principals


District principals and assistant principals are spending the early part of their summer vacations in class.

CMSD’s annual Summer Principals Institute opened Monday and attracted as many as 175 school leaders to Corporate College East in Warrensville Heights. Classes and other activities will continue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Wednesday and resume on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The emphasis this year is on promoting collaboration with and among teachers, said Chief Academic Officer Michelle Pierre-Farid.

Pierre-Farid spoke to a packed lecture hall Monday about using data more effectively to guide instruction and raise achievement.

Teacher teams representing a grade or cluster of grades in each school should be testing students throughout the year and grouping the children by ability, she said.

Pierre-Farid said principals should encourage teachers to jointly plan help for specific students and push each other to address problems. She said teachers should accommodate children's different learning styles and refuse to accept that an individual student is incapable of grasping a certain concept.

“This year, he is going to know, or she is going to know, and what are we going to do about it?” the chief academic officer said.

The institute, based on state standards for evaluation principals, is also focusing on variety of other topics, such as understanding and more effectively teaching African-American girls, dealing with chronic absenteeism, branding and marketing schools to increase enrollment and communicating the demands of new state assessments. Principals also are hearing from guest speakers such as Timothy Rasinski, a literacy-education professor and head of an award-winning reading clinic at Kent State University.