Learning into action: How school leaders are using what they learned from JPEF

8/2/2021
Claire St. Amand is the principal of Bayview Elementary School. Last month, she joined the Jacksonville Public Education Fund for our Summer Residency. The three-day learning experience equipped principals and teacher leaders with best practices in collective leadership, restorative practices, and trauma-informed care. Last week, Principal St. Amand shared her reflections on how she's putting learning into action as students return to school next week.

Tell us a little bit about your school – Bayview Elementary.

Bayview Elementary School is a true neighborhood school. It is located directly across from the St. John’s River and behind Lake Shore Middle School.  In years past, Bayview has rarely had school choice applicants, but this year we actually have a waiting list for parents wanting their child(ren) to come to Bayview! We are a Title 1 School with 100% free lunch. We pride ourselves on being diverse as not only do we have general education students, but we also have special education students in general education settings, and a Communication Social Skills Self-Contained Unit with eight classrooms.

Tell us a little bit about you as a leader – what do you prioritize in schools you serve?

I am going into my seventh year of being a principal, and this will be my second year at Bayview. My priorities are very simple: at every school I have served and will continue to serve, I have an open-door policy, which leads to open communication and building relationships. I also prioritize working on the work, which means we are always striving to learn more and do better.

What are your big goals for your school this year? What are you working really hard to move forward?

My big goals this year are relationships over rules, so that teachers start building genuine relationships with students through developing rules together and implementing circles weekly; collaboration to allow teachers to work with each other through WOW (Working on the Work) Peer Walkthroughs with debriefs with each other; and focusing on using student data to truly drive Common Planning.

How did the JPEF Summer Residency help you with your goals? What were some of the top things you took away from the learning?

The JPEF Summer Residency helped me fine tune my goals for the school year and provide information, strategies, and ways to implement. The top things that I took back were collaboration and the Restore More Circles. Both pieces were absolutely phenomenal. I knew I wanted to focus on collaboration this year, but came in to the Residency knowing nothing about Restore More and the circles. However, I left confident we are fully implementing them in the classrooms weekly and during each faculty meeting.

 

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DID YOU KNOW?

 

87%

of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2018-2019.