200 9 MAESP RESOLUTIONS
As elementary principals, we believe that:
- all children should receive the very best educational experience possible
- all decisions made should reflect the value and importance of the children entrusted to our care
- the elementary principal is vital to the success of students and staff in the elementary schools of Missouri
The mission of the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals is to insure that effective highly qualified principals, committed to excellence for all children, are in each elementary school in the state of Missouri through visionary and effective leadership.
MAESP envisions an elementary school where each child is valued and receives an education of the highest quality through comprehensive collaboration of all stakeholders. (08)
I. STUDENT WELFARE
Research indicates that school programs involving parents/guardian on a regular basis can make significant improvement in development of skills and positive self-concepts that help ensure greater success of children in school.
MAESP strongly urges principals to join with community services in providing parents with skills that develop the intellectual and reasoning abilities as well as personal and social development of their children from birth through the formal school process. Suggested concepts/programs for parenting in the school are not limited to, but include the following:
1. Nutrition and health
2. Prenatal care
3. Educational activity suggestions for neighborhood day care providers
4. Materials describing available family services and educational programs; e.g., public health department, community service organizations, adult education, literacy education
5. Information regarding school goals and objectives relating to behavioral and specific academic expectations
6. Programs such as Practical Parenting Partnership, Parents As Teachers, and Caring Communities
7. Parent Literacy Training
8. Brain Development and Concepts
It is MAESP's position that principals should take a leadership role in the development and implementation of such programs. (92, 99, 00, 02, 06)
B. Parent/Guardian Involvement
MAESP encourages parents/guardians to place the education of their children as a top priority and to become actively involved in that process. This may include, but not be limited to, celebrating successes and listening to children's concerns, attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering to assist at school, helping with homework, discussing the events of each other's day, and reading to or with their child.
MAESP realizes the importance of communicating with parents/guardians and involving parents/guardians in the total educational process. MAESP commends school districts that plan school calendars which include days for parent-teacher conferences. The association also urges businesses and industries to provide their employees release time to attend parent-teacher conferences. (73, 91, 94, 02)
C. Child Neglect and Abuse
MAESP supports federal and state legislation that requires educational personnel to report suspected child neglect and/or abuse and holds harmless such personnel. (82, 02)
D. Television Program Violence and Sex
MAESP endorses the use of the TV rating systems which designate television programs that portray violence, sex, inappropriate language, or suggestive dialogue. MAESP endorses parental controls which allows locking out of programs. (77, 97, 01, 02, 06)
E. Varying Family Patterns
MAESP urges administration to continue to maintain a school climate that is supportive to all children, regardless of family pattern. Principals are encouraged to be pro-active in communicating with all parents, guardians, and caregivers. (82, 02, 06)
MAESP urges all to recognize that discipline is a shared responsibility of students, parents/guardians, educators, and the community; and, furthermore, that discipline is attained by teaching self-discipline and strategies, such as conflict resolution and through respect mutually extended between adults and children. MAESP believes schools should make an increased effort to strengthen existing programs that teach teamwork and respect for others' rights, property, and well-being. The association encourages school principals to become involved in the design of local school board discipline policies that follow due process and are educationally sound. (91, 93, 94, 01, 02)
MAESP believes retention should be a local decision made by educators with parental/guardian input based on each individual student's development and potential. MAESP opposes any legislation which mandates retention.
MAESP urges its members to work cooperatively with legislative bodies, state departments of education, local school boards and local administrators to seek alternatives to retention. (92, 01, 02)
H. Safe and Orderly School Environment
MAESP believes an important role of principals is to provide leadership in preserving the safety and welfare of students entrusted to their care during the school day.
MAESP believes the principal must take a leadership role in enforcing the safe Schools Act.
Therefore, MAESP strongly urges school districts to develop a plan of action and train the principal, other necessary personnel and community members at each site to respond appropriately for crisis intervention. (91, 98, 99, 00, 02)
I. School Health Services
MAESP believes that school health services provided by a qualified school nurse, a school social worker, a school psychologist and school counselor are essential to the education of children.
MAESP strongly recommends that school districts ensure proper health care, including the dispensing of medication, for all children by providing every school with a full-time school nurse, one (1) full-time elementary counselor for each school, and also include social workers and mental health professionals on their staff. (87, 91, 97, 99, 00, 02)
J. School Nutrition
[MAESP recognizes the importance of good nutrition as essential to a successful educational experience. We therefore oppose the sale of confections, "junk" foods and soft drinks. 2009]
MAESP encourages school districts to take precautions related to the serving of homemade food items to insure the health of all students. State health guidelines relating to the prevention of the spread of hepatitis and other diseases should be carefully followed.
MAESP supports lunch and breakfast menus that are low in fats, sugar, and sodium.
MAESP charges all personnel responsible for food programs to provide leadership in seeking new ways to eliminate waste of food and yet continue appropriate meals for the youth of Missouri. MAESP endorses a school wellness program which teaches appropriate nutritional habits and includes physical activity/education to combat obesity. (89, 91, 99, 06)
K. Educational Assessment
MAESP believes that children have diverse talents and abilities that the schools should nurture. The Association [further] believes that some current practices of testing are [damaging to children and the educational process,] developmentally inappropriate and interfere with the individual education process for some children and strongly urges schools to guard against the indiscriminate use of group tests.
MAESP supports statewide student assessment when the results strengthen educational programs for boys and girls. The Association strongly opposes any efforts to use the assessment results as an evaluation instrument to compare school districts, attendance areas or instructional staffs. Further, the assessment system should require that data be reported in the context of other relevant information (community and school contexts, resource, programs and processes , and outcomes), involve educators in its design and use, including determining or establishing what constitutes grade level achievement, be understandable to those who use it, and include processes that ensure continuous review and improvement. Issues that must be addressed include multiple forms of assessment, narrowing of curriculum, and state mandated versus local control of curriculum. MAESP supports legislation that would define the attainment of proficiency status for the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) as grade level achievement.
MAESP encourages collaboration and communication [of staff] in preparation for MAP, including improved instructional strategies at all grade levels.
MAESP strongly opposes administering MAP to students with Individual Education Plans (IEP's) at grade level rather than performance level. If assessed, assessment should be appropriate and consistent with curriculum as required by IEP and its accommodations. MAESP strongly opposes administering MAP to first-year identified ELL students. (77, 91, 93, 94, 95, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 05, 06, 09)
L. Missing Children
MAESP recognizes the intensity of the problem with missing children. As elementary principals, we support the unique opportunity through our association with children to assist in the location and identification of these children and encourages the concept of a national data base for the identification and location of missing children. (85, 91, 95, 99)
II. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
A. Principal Certification
MAESP encourages school districts to appoint principals who have completed an approved graduate program that results in appropriate certification. MAESP does not support the practice of appointing personnel to administrative positions who have not had state prescribed program certification. (80, 99)
B. Preparation and Certification
MAESP believes that effective preparation programs for teachers and administrators are vital to quality education. Principals should be active in assisting colleges and universities in determining the content and format of preparation programs. MAESP urges national, state, and local leaders to promote the appointment of practicing principals to educator preparation policy committees of colleges and universities as well as governing boards of laboratory and professional development schools. (85)
C. Certification and Alternative Certification
MAESP encourages the Missouri Advisory Council of Certification for Educators to consolidate teacher certification with endorsements that would expand teaching areas without additional core courses.
MAESP recognizes alternative certification but encourages districts to hire fully certified personnel when available, as competencies and knowledge in growth, development and learning theories are integral to teaching young children. (92, 02)
D. Professional Meetings-Monetary Support
MAESP strongly urges superintendents and school boards to make professional growth of principals a part of board policy. A budget item should be established and maintained to cover expenses for professional development and professional organization dues and to encourage attendance at local, state, regional, and national meetings. (80, 91, 01)
E. Performance Based Evaluation
MAESP recommends the thorough preparation of principals in the use of the Performance Based Teacher Evaluation process. MAESP further recommends that those who are undertaking the responsibility for principal evaluation receive appropriate training prior to evaluation of principals. MAESP encourages districts to provide first and second year principals with mentors who have like duties and similar job roles. (85, 00, 09)
F. Evaluation and Due Process
MAESP believes all elementary principals are entitled to regularly scheduled performance based evaluation as well as procedural and substantive due process before demotion or dismissal and that legislation should be enacted to assure tenure. (98, 99, 02)
G. Professional Development
MAESP believes that opportunities for professional development for teachers and administrators should be provided during the contractual year and that administrators receive an equitable share of district professional development funds.
MAESP believes it is the responsibility of local school districts to examine the effectiveness of their in-service education programs to determine the need and provide for meaningful, mutually developed, and well-financed professional development opportunities. MAESP recommends that ongoing professional development opportunities be provided during the contracted day to assist in the improvement of the principalship. (92, 99, 02)
H. Public Relations in Own District
MAESP encourages each elementary principal to utilize every available opportunity to present a positive educational image to the school community. MAESP believes that positive and strong school and community relationships are essential for effective schooling. MAESP therefore supports and encourages the development of public school/business partnerships. (85, 87, 91, 00, 02)
I. Private and Parochial Schools
MAESP encourages the inclusion of non-public early childhood, elementary, and middle school administrators as active members in the organization. (75, 89, 06)
J. Shared Decision Making
MAESP urges federal, state, and local leaders to ensure that the leadership of the building principal is maintained in all school-based programs.
MAESP further urges elementary and middle school principals to actively participate in their districts' studies of shared decision making implementation issues and in continuing professional development programs which enhance their ability to implement necessary restructuring within their schools. (93, 02)
It is recommended that elementary principals' salaries be based on professional preparation, experience, responsibility, performance, and length of contract year. This compensation should exceed the salaries, including career ladder stipends, of those whom the principal supervises.
MAESP supports legislation to establish statewide equitable minimum salaries for principals. (73, 91, 01)
B. Public Monies for Public Schools
MAESP upholds the constitutional separation of church and state as provided in our constitution. We believe that every child and youth in our country is entitled to receive a full range of educational services, that such services should be provided within the public school system, and that neither the service nor the system should be diluted by diverting public monies to support non-public (or charter) schools. The association supports action that prohibits tuition tax credits, vouchers, or other measures that divert public monies from public schools to private schools for general education and special needs students. (82, 91, 98, 09)
C. Funding Equity
MAESP urges, local, state, and federal governments to provide funding that is equitable, adequate and predictably continuous so that educational leaders have the opportunity to plan for the future of our schools. (91, 92, 93, 06)
D. State Funding
MAESP encourages the state legislature to provide full funding of the state foundation formula and to consider a funding policy which ensures public schools receive a minimum of 33 1/3% of the state's general revenue fund. MAESP opposes any legislation which interferes with the ability of local school districts to utilize school funds in ways to best meet the educational needs of local students. (91, 96, 02, 06)
E. Full Funding Clause
MAESP supports full funding for categorical programs such as: gifted education, special education, and transportation. (79, 97, 99, 02)
F. English to Speakers of Other Languages
MAESP supports legislation that would provide significant additional new funding for the support and maintenance of English Language Learners (ELL). This funding should be an additional appropriation and should not be taken out of the current formula or current categorical programs. However, this funding should be equitable to other existing categorical programs. (99, 00, 06)
G. Allocation of Funds
Inasmuch as research shows the elementary school years are most crucial for the educational life of the child, MAESP strongly supports equitable expenditure of resources between elementary and secondary students on a per pupil basis and equitable teacher-pupil ratio. (74, 99)
H. Bond Issue
MAESP recommends enactment of laws that would provide for the passage of bond issues by a simple majority vote and/or provide new sources of funding for school building construction and renovations. (74, 99)
I. Adequate Funding For DESE
To insure the quality of service necessary to meet needs of Missouri Schools, MAESP supports additional funds for the DESE to improve departmental salaries, to retain competent, qualified individuals, and to increase staff, as needed. (86)
A. Educational Standards
MAESP recognizes each child is unique in growth and development and many factors influence academic achievement. Therefore, student achievement and promotion must be determined individually with the use of multiple assessments.
MAESP opposes the use of standardized test scores as the sole criterion for rating schools.
MAESP urges local, state, and national associations to become involved in the development of all policies and programs dealing with the measurement of student achievement. (92, 93, 95, 99, 02)
B. Early Childhood
MAESP encourages elementary principals to provide leadership in early childhood education. MAESP supports funding which makes school based early childhood education available to all children. It is further recommended that any unit caring for children's needs outside of the parent's home be licensed by the state or apply for state accreditation. (91, 01, 09)
C. Developmental Kindergarten
MAESP understands children enter kindergarten with vastly different preschool opportunities. Therefore, the association believes all kindergarten programs should have a developmental curriculum. (91)
D. Children at Risk
MAESP supports state programs with new funding to support the social, emotional, and academic needs of at-risk children and youth. (98, 02)
E. Inclusion of Special Programs
MAESP urges its members to work with federal and state agencies, as well as congressional and legislative delegations, to provide special programs that offer an enriched instructional environment - one that addresses learning needs without assigning labels, minimizes restrictive regulations, and supports flexible use of funds. (92, 93, 98, 02)
F. Literacy Development
MAESP supports the primary focus of early elementary education being literacy development in an effort to achieve the goal of all students being proficient readers at the end of Grade 3. MAESP urges school districts to focus on curriculum content, adequate time and resources to allow all students to become proficient in all literacy areas. (92, 99, 00)
G. Multi-Cultural Curriculum
MAESP urges its members to lead the way in ensuring that the opportunity of a multi-ethnic/multi-cultural/gender equal curriculum is available to every child and that professional development programs are provided to school personnel that will assist them in the preparation and implementation of these curricula. (92, 98, 02)
MAESP supports activities and systematic character education programs which foster an understanding and appreciation of our democracy and an abiding interest in future participation as informed and active citizens. (88, 91, 08)
I. Higher-Order Thinking Skills
MAESP encourages its members to exercise the leadership necessary to train teachers to utilize effective teaching strategies that promote higher-order thinking skills in the learning process. (98, 02)
V. BUILDING ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
MAESP urges the employment of a full-time principal for each elementary school. Because of the increased responsibilities placed upon the principal today, MAESP urges school districts to employ full-time assistant principals for schools exceeding 450 students. (88, 91, 98, 02)
B. Support Staff
The building principal should be provided with a support staff to adequately meet the supervisory needs of students during the teachers' daily lunch, planning, conference periods and to assist teachers in non-teaching activities. (80)
C. Sexual Harassment
MAESP believes that sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the school, and relationships between individuals in the school environment.
Principals must provide leadership in assuring that sexual harassment is not tolerated. (94, 02)
D. Aspiring Principals
MAESP believes that it is the professional responsibility of every principal to identify, encourage, recruit, and nurture individuals with outstanding talent, leadership, and interpersonal skills to consider the K-8 principalship as a career.
MAESP urges school districts to be committed to supporting aspiring principals and programs (i.e. release time for seminars, administrative courses used on Career Ladder, etc.).
MAESP urges school districts to provide quality teachers opportunities to participate in activities which build skills leading to principalship. (98, 00)
MAESP must continue to support education through legislation by communicating with state legislature to make known our interests and support of such legislation that provides for the programs in public education for the students and for the general welfare of the citizens of the State. MAESP recommends enactment and maximum funding of appropriate legislation to support educational programming in the State of Missouri. (75, 99)
B. Educational Reforms
MAESP urges principals to determine the legitimacy of change and ensure that the change is based on what is best for children. Principals are encouraged to take an active leadership role in restructuring efforts to help facilitate [positive] change that supports a positive culture. (92, 02, 09)
C. Home Education
MAESP supports legislation that creates educational standards for home school students and institutes procedures for the enforcement of these standards that would guarantee substantially equivalent education of that offered by the local school district. MAESP opposes any efforts to use public school monies or provision of services for non-public programs. (99, 08)
D. Virtual Instructional Program
MAESP supports efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional practices of the current Virtual Instructional Program prior to expansion of the program. This includes support of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education standards, assessment guidelines which are commensurate with those of the public school systems. MAESP encourages Virtual Instructional Program students to be dual enrolled through the local school district. (08)
E. Retirement Benefits
MAESP supports the increase of retirement benefits for the career educator, the retired educator and the non-certified employee. MAESP encourages the Department of Elementary and Seconday Education (DESE) to align core data descriptions and allow flexibility in the description when conducting MSIP reviews. Legislators should be encouraged to enact laws at the state and federal level to allow all certified personnel who participate in the Public School Retirement System (PSRS) to remain exempt from payment of social security taxes. (92, 98, 09)
MAESP urges passage of legislation that would make Kindergarten mandatory as the first year in school and also encourages full-day kindergarten. (79, 91, 93, 96)
G. Early Childhood
MAESP encourages legislation making early childhood education for 3 and 4-year-olds available in local school districts. (06)
H. School Year
MAESP does support summer school and a longer school year. Should a longer school year be mandated, MAESP strongly urges adequate additional funding including transportation funds for summer school. MAESP also supports the right of individual school districts to establish the starting date for the beginning of school each year and to have the option of moving to a 4 day school week while maintaining 1044 hours of school instruction and 142 school days per school year as a minimum. (88, 96, 97, 99, 00, 01, 09)
I. Technology Education
MAESP recommends strict compliance with all applicable ethical and legal rules and regulations for all users.
MAESP urges its members to seek legislation and adequate funding to support computer literacy and technological advancement in our state's schools. (84, 91, 94, 97, 02)
A. Work Stoppages
In the event of work stoppages, MAESP believes that the prime responsibility of the principal is to be at his/her post so as to assure the safety and well being of any students who report at school and to maintain communication within the school community. (73, 91)
B. Professional Negotiations: Rights and Role of the Principal
MAESP supports ensuring that principals have the option of participating in negotiation to insure the safety and well being of the students. MAESP supports allowing principals to decide at the local level if they wish to have representation and bargaining rights. (08)
VIII. SCHOOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS CONSTRUCTION AND REMODELING
[A. Playground Construction and Renovation
MAESP recommends that buildings and playgrounds are renovated and/or constructed. Furthermore, the elementary principal should be involved in every step of building construction or site improvement. (92, 02, 2009 )]
[B] A. Playground and Building Safety
MAESP recommends that local districts provide for safe playground enclosures that are appropriately and strategically located to minimize student contact with strangers on sidewalks, alleys and street traffic. All playgrounds, including equipment, should meet safety codes. The elementary principal should be involved in every step of building construction or site improvement.
Building structures should meet all safety codes and provide a safe environment at all times. This is not limited to but includes: lockdown procedures, visitor checkin, two-way communication via radio or phones, and backup communication system. (92, 01, 09)
[C] B. Community Use of Buildings
MAESP supports the use of school buildings by the public and by community groups but urges districts to maintain a balance of use so that the buildings can remain accessible for school use after hours and can be adequately maintained and cleaned. (97, 09)
[D]. C. Air Conditioning of Buildings
MAESP recommends that all school classrooms be air conditioned to provide the best learning environment for all students at the beginning and end of the school year, as well as in summer school. (00, 09)