Six Principles of Effective Schools

Principle 1: Effective Leadership

Effective leaders maintain a strong moral compass and shape a vision of academic success for all students. They analyze and attack challenges and manage systems to position the school and students to achieve at high levels. They set clear, measurable and attainable goals. They create a cadre of high-quality teachers and cultivate leadership in others.

Principle 2: Effective Teachers and Instruction

Effective instruction occurs with quality teaching in a student-centered, safe environment where there are high expectations for all students to succeed. Teachers have a solid knowledge of the content they teach and a common understanding of the content standards and curricula. It includes intentional planning and emphasizes evidence-based best practices for teaching and learning. It also requires teachers to have a strong understanding of the assessment system and how to use data to make instructional decisions for all students.

Principle 3: Effective Organization of Time

Effective schools organize their time to support the vision of academic success for all students. Students have appropriate instructional and non-instructional time to support their learning and growth. Teachers have sufficient time to engage in professional learning, collaboration, and planning to support their students and their professional practice.

Principle 4: Effective Curriculum

Effective curricula are evidence-based resources used for teaching and learning aligned to Arizona standards in all content areas. Districts and schools adopt local curricula. An effective curriculum ensures a continuum of inclusive, equitable and challenging learning opportunities, high expectations for learning and access to a well-rounded education for all learners.

Principle 5: Conditions, Climate and Culture

Inclusive schools are conducive to student learning, fulfillment, and well-being, as well as professional satisfaction, morale, and effectiveness. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders contribute to their school’s culture, as do other influences such as the local community, the policies that govern how it operates, and the school’s founding principles. School conditions, climate, and culture are impacted by the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions.

They also encompass concrete issues such as student physical and emotional safety, a healthy school environment, the orderliness of classrooms and public spaces, and the degree to which a school embraces and celebrates racial, ethnic, linguistic, academic, and cultural diversity.

Principle 6: Family and Community Engagement

Family and Community Engagement is an essential component of improving outcomes for children and youth. Effective family and community engagement is a reciprocal partnership among families, communities, and schools that reflects a shared responsibility to foster children’s development and learning.