New York State Education Department I State Office of Religious and Independent Schools I Catapult Learning

Wishing You a Great Vacation!

July is an exciting month for all! No Schedules! Beach Days! Barbeques, trips, and more!  Educators begin to relax and focus on their summer vacation or stay-cation. For many, it’s a time to catch-up on their summer ‘do-to-list’, whether it is throwing out school papers, finally organizing ‘that’ closet, or just relaxing and catching up on light summer reading. If reading is on your ‘to-do’ list, check out the Summer Reading lists at local book stores or libraries. Perhaps, like me, you look forward to ice cream day on 7-18! Maybe, you are planning a stay-cation: check out the aerial view of top spots to visit on Long Island. Whatever and wherever your adventures take you, wish a great vacation.

New Website

The Long Island PDRC invites you to check out our new website, 
This is the best way to stay up to date with our exciting offerings!

Summer Learning for Leaders

1-Day Leadership Institute: Building an Effective School Culture

Collaborate with leaders from across NYS to discuss important steps we can take now to build for a successful school year. Join this one-day virtual professional learning community, facilitated by Mitch Center, of Center Educational Consulting, to build strong overarching connections and shared values.

July 26: Leadership Institute

Registration for August PD will be launching soon!

Free PD; Open to Religious and Independent School Educators in NYS only; CTLE-eligible.

Taking the Time to Decompress

Self-care typically falls in different dimensions: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and professional. What are you prioritizing this Summer?

7 Quick and Easy Self-care tips for teachers | Mentoring Minds

Leadership Conversations

By Mitch Center

Setting Leadership Priorities for School Year 2021-22

Early reports of the state of our field have called out the “record levels” of stress teachers and school leaders felt through the 2020-2021 school year. We’ve all heard the words “unprecedented” more times than we care to imagine, and in my last column, I wrote about some best practices for preventing teacher burnout in the future. But here’s the thing, you CAN NOT do it alone. I’m going to say that again because many school leaders carry the weight of their entire school community on their backs: you can NOT do it alone, and the best leaders build teams to amplify their impact.

Briefly, let’s look at culture and three priorities for a leadership team:

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Know Ourselves as Leaders: Your team will be able to understand each other and interact more effectively if people know each other’s styles and strengths. Spend the time getting to know yourself, your strengths, and your growth areas. Discuss these things as a leadership team. Consider using a leadership/personality style assessment, such as the Gallup Strengths Finder, Myers-Briggs, or Kouse and Pozner’s The Leadership Practices Inventory.

Build Trust: Trust is the foundation upon which every action and interaction on your leadership team is built. This is essential, not an add-on. Don’t skimp on trust! Think about how you could introduce and discuss definitions of trust and how they translate into actions:

Stephen Covey’s definition of TRUST – “The feeling of confidence we have in another’s character and competence.”

Tschannen-Moran’s definition – Trust is willingness to be vulnerable to another person. There are 5 facets of trust: We feel trust when we believe the other person is benevolent, honest, open, reliable, and competent

We can combine them — Trust is the feeling of confidence we have in another’s character (openness, honesty, benevolence, vulnerability) and competence (capability, reliability). You might even want to do an exercise like the one below with your team:

Aspect of trust

What this looks like in action

Character (benevolence, honesty, openness, vulnerability)

Competence (reliability, capability)

Build Purpose: Developing the team’s purpose, a shared purpose that is, builds motivation trust, and leads to results. Get buy-in for the rationale for your Big Rocks – share data, involve stakeholders in identifying and defining those Big Rocks, share stories that illustrate those priorities. When you have buy-in, and the team is aligned, overcommunicate your priorities relentlessly (on every agenda, for example) to the point that everyone on your leadership team can name them and connect their work to them.

As we prepare for the year ahead, and the new challenges we will inevitably face, let’s continue to remember that we are stronger together. Spend the time getting to know yourself and each other, deliberately cultivate trust, and work to build and share purpose regularly so your school is being lead by a team that supports its staff and students when they need it most.

~Mitch Center,  Center Educational Consulting, collaborates with school and district leaders to create tools and resources that support leadership priorities. Mitch is a guest contributor to our Leadership Corner and facilitates the Leadership Circle for the Long Island PDRC.


Are you in the midst of hiring teachers for September? Hone your interviewing skills with these top interview questions.

Questions School Leaders Might Ask at Interviews

Top 35 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers 2021

37th Annual Rise Conference

The 37th Annual Religious and Independent Schools Educators Conference will we held virtually November 9-10, 2021. Stay tuned for further details in the coming months.


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