Developing personnel processes

After your school proposal is approved, the design team will transition to the school leadership team. That means selecting teachers and other personnel to run the school. It also means selecting leaders and implementing the leadership models that your team created in the Storming stage.

The design team developed personnel processes—including selection, retention, and dismissal—that were most appropriate for the school. However, the school leadership team, once selected, will carry out those processes and select leaders. There are challenges bringing to life the vision and description that the design team created on paper. Be flexible, reflective, and gentle with each other as you open your school.

At this time, the design team will cease to exist. The school leadership team will assume all responsibilities for starting up and running the school. Some members of the design team will not maintain a formal relationship with the school leadership team.

Your team may need to revisit the Storming stage as you learn how to work together effectively and transition to the Norming stage.

Personnel selection processes (including leaders)

Creating a candidate wish list:

  • What qualities are you looking for in candidates? Will you seek candidates who have skills and knowledge that existing team members do not have? Who can take on roles you need to fill?
  • Will all members of the design team be members of the school leadership team? Do you need to have some candid (and likely difficult) conversations to ensure that certain people do not end up on the school leadership team?

Hiring processes for teachers, leaders, and other personnel:

  • Who will be involved in personnel selection processes?
  • How will you recruit and screen candidates?
  • What questions should you ask (and not ask), considering both legal boundaries and your teaching and learning models?
  • Will you conduct observations? If so, how?

Educating and evaluating candidates:

  • How will you ensure candidates understand what it means to be part of your team and that they are willing to take on relevant responsibilities?
  • How will you ensure candidates are a good fit for your school (including its culture)?
  • How will you ensure that the team selected to run the school is aware of—and will take ownership of—the design decisions made during the Storming stage? What process will the team use to determine whether it is time to evolve a process the design team initiated?
  • How will you ensure leaders are willing to be responsible for—and held accountable to—the team of teachers?
  • What steps from the Storming stage does your team need to revisit in order to learn to work together well?

Dismissal processes

  • How will you determine when a team member is not performing well?
  • What opportunities will team members be given to improve?
  • How will you document progress or lack thereof?
  • Are there any cases in which team members will be immediately dismissed? What district and state legal requirements exist in these circumstances?
  • How can you ensure the team is following processes that protect the school from legal challenges?

Author tip

Revisit the Storming stage step developing a design team as you integrate new team members into your existing school culture and team.

Jump ahead to the Performing stage step bringing new team members into the existing culture as you integrate new team members into your existing school culture and team.

Resources

Discussion Starters.

Teams starting or improving a teacher-powered school should use this resource to explore how to clarify responsibilities of new team members and provide mentorship and support to new personnel.

Case study.

Discover the selection and retention processes MSLA teachers designed (pp. 6-8).

Documents.

A selection of documents used by MSLA for personnel, including staffing, grievance, review, and dismissal; application questions; interview questions; and an article used for recruiting candidates.

Procedural document.

At San Francisco Community School the Developmental Leadership Teams (grade-level teams) use this document to guide discussions about their teacher-powered governance model and processes. The document also helps veterans integrate new hires into the school's inner workings and culture. If grade-level teams want to seek clarification or change of an aspect of the governance model, they put the discussion topic on the full team meeting agenda.

Discussion Starters.

Teams starting or improving a teacher-powered school should use this resource to explore how to design a process for selecting and deselecting colleagues, including leaders.

Book excerpt.

In this excerpt from Trusting Teachers with School Success, Amy Junge, a former teacher and assistant principal, describes the different kinds of qualities teacher-powered schools are looking for in candidates.