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  Network Connection
Volume 2, Issue 2  

School Leaders Network Newsletter

Summer 2009  
Greetings to all SLN Facilitators, Network Members and Friends of SLN,

This newsletter marks the end of our 2008-2009 school year and finds us with successes to celebrate and new pathways for the future. We have finalized our long term strategic plan, created a new name, codified and refined our program model and launched our new website (  

I am pleased to report that our community continues to grow. We will be launching new network(s) this fall in Washington DC in a joint venture with New Leaders for New Schools. We will also be opening a fifth SLN Network in San Antonio with the support of Trinity University Principals Center and a second SLN Network in Indiana funded by the Region 8 Educational Service Center in Columbia City, Indiana. In addition, all 17 school districts in San Antonio will be supporting their SLN-participating principals for SY 09-10.

An exciting new SLN study examining NYC data has been released that tracks student results for the SY 07-08. The study shows that schools led by SLN principals had, on average, 10% better scores on key measurements than peer schools. A snapshot of that data is included below.

We celebrated our sucesses at the close of the school year in San Antonio and in New York City. I was quite moved by the personal testimomials from SLN facilitators and members about the positive impact of SLN on their leadership capabilites and their school communities.

As you know we will be moving into Phase 2 of our Program Model in the fall. We look forward to meeting with all SLN Facilitators in August to prepare for this launch. 
Thank you for your hard work and commitment to creating excellence in education for all children.
Best wishes,
Bamby Signature
Elizabeth Neale
Executive Director 

New York City Schools Show Big Gains in Student Achievement
On June 4th, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City schools, announced that more than eight in ten students are meeting or exceeding State math standards. They announced these results at P.S./ M.S. 15 in the Bronx. In 2002, the year Principal Eddice Meban-Griffin started at P.S./M.S. 15 in the Bronx, only 30.8% of fourth graders and 15.1% of eighth graders were meeting or exceeding math standards. Today, 92.6% of fourth graders and 88.2% of eighth graders are meeting and exceeding standards. 
Principal Meban-Griffin is a member of SLN's New York City Cohort 2. Of her work with SLN she said, "Our discussions (at the monthly SLN meetings) on the use of data to drive instruction and to enrich professional development, was a factor to improving student achievement."
SLN Principal Led Schools in NYC Outperform Peer Horizon Schools 

Dr. Sam Intrator of Smith College and Meghan Scribner have released a study comparing the schools results from the 2006-07 NYC Progress Report to the 2007-08 NYC Progress Report for participating SLN members.  This study aimed to quantify the extent to which participation in SLN changed important school outcome measures. The data sample included 34 SLN principals, 29 of whom led high poverty schools. The study looked at four important questions and found the following results.

Question 1: How did the schools of SLN principals do on the overall progress report grade?
53% of SLN particpant schools increased their overall school grades. Out of the 34 principals, 18 principals led schools that received a full letter grade improvement.
Question 2: How did student achievement scores trend at SLN participants' schools and, in particular, how did they trend when compared to the 40 peer horizon schools?
11% Gain in Proficiency in English Language Arts. The percent of students at proficiency relative to peer horizon schools rose from 49% for 06-07-% to 60% for 07-08.
6% Gain in Proficiency in Math. The percent of students at proficiency relative to peer horizon schools rose from 64% for 06-07 to 70% for 07-08.
Question 3: How did students progress as measured by the percentage of students making at least one year of progress?
10% Gain in Students Making at Least One Year of Progress. The percent of students making at least one year of progress relative to peer horizon schools rose from 47% in 06-07 to 57% in 07-08.
Question 4: How did school environment scores trend at SLN participants' schools relative to school environment trends at peer horizon schools?
10% Gain in Rating for Safety and Respect, Academic Expectation, Engagement. 

SLN Facilitator Named National Distinguished Principal
Carmielita Minami was named the National Distinguished Principal from the State of Hawaii. She is the Principal of Waikele Elementary School in Waipahu and launched our first network in Hawaii in January 2009 with Co-Facilitator, Al Nagasko.
Terri Chidgey, SLN Facilitator from San Antonio was nominated for National Distinguished Principal from Texas.  She is the Principal of Stone Oak Elementary
School and has been leading one of the San Antonio networks since January 2007.

Got Photos? 
The SLN national office is sponsoring a contest for the best photographs of SLN members with their school community. We hope to use the photographs on our website and in other SLN promotional materials.
When submitting photographs for consideration, send them by email (jpeg files) to to our Communications Director, Pamela Scott-Smith at
Please remember to idenity all the people in each photograph by their full name, role, ie, student, teacher, etc. and title, if applicable.  Entries must be received by the end of the day, Friday July 31. 
Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 entries. Winners will be notified by email by August 20th.  Winning entries will be displayed at the August SLN Facilitator meeting and announced in the next issue of Network Connection.
Upcoming Events
SLN Faciiltators are meeting August 21 - 23 in Rensselearville, New York for a three day training session focusing on the Phase 2 rollout of the SLN Program Model. Training for new SLN Facilitators is scheduled for the same location to take place on August 20th.
Contact Information
Elizabeth Neale, Executive Director
1100 East Washington Road
Hinsdale, Massachusetts 01235

In This Issue
NYC Schools Show Big Gains in Student Achievement
SLN Facilitator Named National Distinguished Principal
Got Photos?
Upcoming Events
Member Spotlight

  SLN Banner Feb09

 Ada Dolch Named Educator of the Year

May 2009 - Ada Rosario Dolch is the recipient of "Educator of the Year Award", from Phi Delta Kappan, St. John's University Chapter.
At present she serves as Executive Director for the Executive Leadership Institute, the professional development arm of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) for New York State.
Following a successful teaching career, Ada served as principal of the High School for Leadership & Public Service for 9 years. On September 11th she was at her school which was about 200 feet south of the WorldTradeCenter; she guided her school not only through that day in history but through the turbulent time that followed. In addition, she suffered the loss of her sister in the disaster. 
She is an Advisory Board Member for the 9/11 National MemorialMuseum and a contributor to the book, Forever After, New York City Teachers on 9/11. In addition, Ada is very active in her community and her church.
SLN is proud to have Ada, an SLN Facilitator since April 2005, leading one of the New York City networks. Her network, along with the other 5 NYC networks, has produced significant results in a short period of time [see feature story]. 
PHOTO: Ada (second from left) is shown with her fellow award recipients and with Peter McNally, SLN Board Chair (far right).
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