Did you know I was away? If you said, “No”, that’s a good thing! Three weeks ago I had surgery on a torn rotator-cuff tendon. I intended to be away from the school for a week but unfortunately, I triggered an old back injury which required me to take two weeks away from school. That was just before Spring Break.
We all like to think we are irreplaceable in our jobs. Truth is, no school or organization is healthy if it relies heavily on any one person. We have developed a dynamic governance model with our Leadership Team at Crossroads. We are moving away from a top-down, pyramid structure towards a team approach and we are seeing many benefits as we progress.
“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” This saying is certainly true at Crossroads. We have seen this in small ways and in big ways. Gathering input from multiple sources allows us to gain broadened perspective and insight. It does take a lot of communication. While it is often easier and faster for one person to just compete a task. We are learning that we are becoming better at what we do when we take the extra time to work together.
Case in point, the routine and relatively fixed process of creating next year’s school calendar was recently handled by our Leadership Team. One member began the rough draft then sent it to the rest of the team to review and comment. We referenced the HISD calendar; we reaffirmed the TAAPS (Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools) requirements for number of instructional hours needed, and we looked at how the holidays fell in the new year. In the past, that would have been the end. This year, we took it a step further. We asked for input from all staff members. We listened to questions raised and explored the rational for decisions. We thought about the calendar from a parent’s perspective and from the student perspective. What affect does the calendar have on the flow and consistency of the learning experience? In the end, the routine task of creating a calendar resulted in a superior final product. (See links further down in the newsletter.)
We are affirming a culture of collaboration and constantly checking that all of our processes, simple or complex, are in keeping with our mission and values. Each member of the Leadership Team has a particular expertise. Each member of the team has the authority and final decision making ability in their area of governance but all members of the team seek input and collaboration to improve outcomes.
I am so proud of the entire Crossroads staff, the Leadership Team, the administration staff and our teaching staff. Everyone plays and important role and everyone supports and works together to achieving our goal of providing an emotionally safe and supportive environment to reach maximum academic and social potential.