|Mrs. Fuhs' Scholars||
An Educational Leadership Case Study
Metro City School District
Standard School Day
Threat outside of the building.
Threat inside the building.
South Neighborhood School is a K-8 public school in Metro City. Although Metro City is a choice school district, 90% of the student body are residents of three nearby low-income housing projects. Two years ago, South Neighborhood School was shut down and redesigned under a new school design model. At that time all teachers, staff, and administration were required to attend a week-long professional development that focused on the implementation of the new school design model as well as the expectations established by the administrative team.
The first year of the school redesign South Neighborhood saw tremendous growth and was Metro City’s most improved elementary school. However, in the 2nd year the school’s administrative team decided to leave for other jobs. Interim administrators were brought in to lead the school. This instability motivated many teachers to request transfers to other schools and district.
At the beginning of the 3rd year, a newly appointed administrative team began. This team consisted of the principal Dr. Hanner, a 40-year old African American woman, who had relocated from Miami, FL and the dean of students Mr. Garcia, a 42 year old Hispanic man, who had grown up in the Metro City community. He had worked in Metro City for his entire 15-year career, first as a teacher, and later as a dean. In March, Dr. Hanner resigned due to family issues and Mr. Garcia was promoted to Acting Principal. Mr. Garcia was highly unpopular among teachers and staff. Many felt he made decisions often without thinking about the impact on the teachers and students. However, he felt he was more than qualified to lead South Neighborhood School to its former success. A few weeks after taking the job, he put in his formal application to be considered in the South Neighborhood School principal search. The superintendent felt that his resume was strong, but he would need to prove himself worthy of taking over South Neighborhood School permanently. She strongly encouraged him to win over the staff at South Neighborhood School.
On May 21st the school day has begun. Students are in the middle of class, teachers are teaching. From his office, Mr. Garcia noticed police activity in the Metro City Historical Cemetery across the street from the school. Continuing to look it is clear that something is going on. Suddenly, the phone rings. Mark Consela, a lead detective is on the line.
“Mr. Garcia we are currently responding to a suspicious item a caretaker found at the Metro City Historical Cemetery. We are awaiting further information from the Metro City Bomb Squad, for the time being we have closed off the block around your school.”
After you made your decision. . .
Watch the news report and read the articles about the incident. Do you think you made the right choice now?