by Meghana Paturu ‘22
Published Feb. 24, 2021
Since its formation in 2017, the School Leadership Team (SLT) has brought together administrators, teachers, and union leaders to work together to improve Montgomery’s school community. For the past 4 years, the committee has set directions and guided the integration of school collaboration efforts with problem-solving initiatives and district goals. Through emphasizing the idea of community, SLT builds a culture of “we” that engages all members in learning together and conducting reflective work in Montgomery High School.
One of the SLT’s main goals is to align curriculum, instruction, and assessments to support teachers and empower students to improve overall learning experiences. All 22 SLT members spend their time identifying education needs, communicating challenges to the school community, and tracking progress made in resolving these issues.
Over the past several years, the SLT has made a number of positive changes that benefit both students and faculty members. For instance, the committee has examined homework policies and instituted peer rounds for teachers to visit each other and observe the best practices. Currently during the pandemic and virtual schooling, the SLT has especially focused its work on making plans to improve online and hybrid learning, as well as maximizing education opportunities for Montgomery students.
Recently, the SLT’s impact has expanded beyond the refinement of Montgomery’s academic programs to the institution of professional development programs that increase awareness of topics like equity and inclusion.
Gale Murphy, a SLT member and social studies teacher at MHS, explained, “It’s interesting how things come together. Beginning in 2019, SLT has been discussing ways to make our high school more equitable and inclusive. Especially after the tragic murder of George Floyd and [how] the entire country began to focus on these issues, the community rallied with support for change. It was great to already have a foundation that we could expand on.”
In light of these expanding goals and purposes, SLT members created a subcommittee called the Empathy, Equity and Inclusion Committee (EEIC) that takes the work the SLT has already done and expands its focus further.
The EEIC is part of the larger district effort to advance equality and inclusion, and serves as a liaison between the school and the community. As of right now, the EEIC has partnered with Dr. Robin Daniel to educate staff members about having difficult conversations surrounding issues that have remained significant for decades.
Jamie Meeker, an English teacher at MHS who has worked with the team since its start, highlights the positive impact of the SLT: “The School Leadership Teams throughout the district are some of the greatest things to come out of the collaboration initiative. To have staff members, nurses, teachers, secretaries, supervisors and school administrators working collectively together in the name of teaching and learning is wonderful. Our work will never be finished—a school can always be better than it was the day before. But we will continue at it with the same passion we have today. ”