CPSEL - DOP: Practical Examples

New Charter School Principal

In this scenario, a new Charter School principal is challenged with providing a safe learning environment for her school in a violent neighborhood.  In this sample, a program shares the following prompts given to candidates to help them assess and analyze their accomplishments.

  • Notice how the CPSEL and DOP support her in identifying her learning needs and lead to practical steps for building competence.
  • While reading the scenario, consider other standards and the DOP that might help Ms. Haas identify assets to apply to the situation

Ms. Haas is the new principal at Sunnyside Charter School. Prior to this position, she worked as an instructional coach in a different elementary school in the same charter network. Before she was offered the principal position, the CEO told her that Sunnyside needed her leadership to increase social-emotional supports for students and staff, especially because the neighborhood surrounding the school was experiencing an increase in violence primarily due to a dispute between two local gangs. Since the start of the year, she has locked down the school four times, once during lunch. Her staff and students are on edge and several parents have kept their children home from school due to fear of violence.

One month into her position, Ms. Haas begins her induction program that includes a series of professional development opportunities along with advanced general courses and coaching. She is matched with a coach and begins to develop her Individual Induction Plan (IIP). After talking with her coach, Ms. Haas identifies the need for resources to help her better understand how to systematically provide social-emotional supports for her school as her most pressing objective. As Ms Haas begins to shape her learning goals for Year 1, she chooses CPSEL Standard 3: Management and Learning Environment as one of the standards she will focus on. Elements 3A Operations and Facilities and 3C Climate especially resonate with emphasizing a safe learning environment which is fair, respectful, and meets the intellectual, linguistic, cultural, social-emotional, and physical needs of each learner. Ms Haas and her coach review the Descriptions of Practice (DOP) for Standard 3, Elements 3A and 3C, and discuss her current placement on the continuum and what experiences can support her move toward practice that meets or exemplifies the standard. Ms. Haas notes the continuum progression from individual to shared responsibility as she and her coach discuss ideas for ensuring her staff are equally prepared for providing a safe learning environment.

Ms. Haas sees a few professional development opportunities offered by the program that may help her immediately. The first thing that jumps out at her is a professional development series being offered by a local mental health provider on the effects of trauma. She attends the session and learns that the same provider has developed a framework for trauma informed schooling for elementary schools. Ms. Haas decides to ask the CEO if he can pay for a team from her school to learn more about this model. The team and Ms. Haas attend the training and all agree that implementing the trauma informed school model would be beneficial for Sunnyside. As a first step, Ms. Haas approaches one of the trainers who is the principal of a neighboring elementary school. They have been implementing the model for five years and agree to host a school visit for the team from Sunnyside. An additional piece of good news is that all of these professional development activities will count towards Ms. Haas' induction program activities, allowing her to make deep connections between her personal leadership development and the most urgent parts of her work.


Reflection Questions:


  • How might the Descriptions of Practice inform the professional learning opportunities Ms. Haas identifies for herself and her staff?
  • What additional CPSEL and DOP would complement Ms. Haas' work in providing a safe and productive school environment?
  • How can the coach and Ms. Haas use the DOP throughout her induction process?
  • How can Ms. Haas apply her deep work around social-emotional supports as evidence for showing competence of the CPSEL?

AP Classes for English Learners?

In this scenario, a new principal is faced with an outspoken group of English-only parents concerned about the inclusion of English learners in AP classes.

  • Notice the parties involved in this situation and possible courses of action.
  • How might this situation help determine priorities for his initial IIP?

Mr. Montara, the new principal of a high school, is aware of the strong voices from a few parents and community members and the absence of input from the majority of families that represent the diverse population at his school. He decides early on to survey parents in order to broaden his understanding in three areas that are aligned to the school goals: (1) Student achievement; (2) School Climate; and (3) Course access. After collecting and disaggregating the survey results, one theme emerged, linked to a series of questions related to course access, and quickly became a code red priority. Some English-speaking parents felt strongly that their students should not be in an AP class with English learners, as their children would be "held back" from the rigor they expected in the classroom. Subsequently, Mr. Montara hears of a meeting to be held for English-only parents who are planning to draft a request that English learners be exempt from AP classes and will bring their concerns to him, the superintendent and perhaps the media.


Reflection Questions:


  • After an immediate, short-term response, how might the principal, use the CPSEL and DOP in developing a plan of action? How might that focus be reflected in the candidate's IIP?
  • As a coach, how could the DOP be used to determine the principal's learning and support needs for facing this and future situations?
  • What Family and Community Engagement (Element 4A) strategies would help ensure all parents are included in course decisions?


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Updated April 25, 2022