Valley Central High School will move to a Co-Principal model beginning February 1, 2021. The model will be one where two Principals run the high school with the help of two Assistant Principals. The high school will be divided into a two-house model. The 9/10 house will focus on Social Emotional Learning with special attention given to mental health issues in the wake of COVID-19. The 11/12 house will focus on college and career preparedness with attention given to increased opportunities in the local community.
The Co-Principal model at Valley Central will be one where responsibilities are both shared and unique to each Co-Principal. Research on the model has shown the benefits of having two people sharing decision making usually results in “smarter, more thoughtful decisions”.1
The COVID-19 has intensified the need for our younger high school students to be supported now. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to the “fierce urgency of now.” Our tenth graders were only beginning to get used to being in the high school when they were pushed out by the pandemic, and our ninth graders have definitely not really experienced what it is to be in the high school under the conditions of hybrid learning.
The planning for a new school year begins in the middle of the previous school year. Superintendent John Xanthis has explained that making the change mid-year makes sense since all the decisions for the upcoming school year are made at that time, and he wanted the administrative teams in place to do so. It allows the District to best use the talents of all its administrators in the transition so that we can serve all of our students utilizing the strongest and most effective team possible.
The decision has been made to bring VCMS Principal Russell Burns to the high school to serve as the 9th and 10 grade in the new model. Russ Burns has known the 9th and 10th grade students since they were in the 6th grade. Also, the Middle School has been in training for Social Emotional and Culturally Responsive education longer than our other schools.
In order to not leave the Middle School in a deficit by moving Burns, the decision was made to move Jayme Baxter to Middle School so that the Middle School would continue to have a VC experienced administrator at the helm.
Michael Conklin has been appointed as Co-Principal to take the lead on the 11/12 house. Conklin has been one of the Assistant Principals at the high school and is familiar with the workings of the high school. Each of the Co-Principals will have responsibilities that are unique to them as well as shared ones.
“COVID-19 has changed the educational landscape more than anything we have experienced before. The creation of this model ensures that Valley Central is proactively addressing the varied and increased needs of all students,” stated Marianne Serratore, VC Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
- Nathan, Linda. What Keeps Me Going. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr13/vol70/num07/What-Keeps-Me-Going.aspx