Week Two Assignment
Select a school to visit. Before you visit the school review the information on school culture and review the two sample school questionnaires to design your questions. Arrange to talk with at least two teachers and if possible the principal. Design a presentation about what you learned about the school culture.  Be sure to give specific examples to support your conclusions. After learning about the school culture, what strategies would you use to enter the school keeping in mind the school culture. You may do a power point or Prezi.  Be sure to use APA format (see Assignment One) and cite sources from your readings to support your ideas. Again, due to COVID, you can conduct your interviews via phone or zoom/facetime.

Do the survey attached and attached it as part of the assignment 
also read all the attachements
follow APA template attachedRunning head: BRIEF TITLE 1

BRIEF TITLE 2

Title of paper
Your Name
National University

In partial fulfillment for the requirements of
Professor Buckhout
Date (Use due date)

Abstract
On separate page, double space, do not indent, use third person. What will this paper do?

Full title of paper
Introduction to your paper begins on page 3. It is not on a separate page or titled but includes pertinent information regarding the topic and general points you will make. It is not in third person.

Major Heading

(Centered, bold, with a title, not required but helpful to ensure you answer every part of the assignment. You can use this without Subheading.)

Subheading

(Flush with margin, bold, titled, don’t use without Major Heading)

References (separate page, double spaced, not bold)
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.41
The
School Leader’s Tool
for Assessing And improving school culture

By chRistopheR R. WagneR

O
nce thought of as a soft approach to school improvement
efforts, school culture has finally amassed the depth of
research necessary to qualify as a mainstay in a school
leader’s annual improvement plans. Every school has a

culture, and every school can improve its culture.
And school culture may be the missing link—a link that has much

more to do with the culture of the school than it does with elaborate
curriculum alignment projects, scrimmage tests, and the latest buzz-
word reform efforts—in the school improvement conundrum (Wag-
ner & Hall-O’Phalen, 1998). Several authors and researchers (Levine
& LeZotte, 1995; Sizer, 1988; Phillips, 1996; Peterson & Deal, 1998;
Frieberg, 1998) agree and refer to school climate, and more specifically
to school culture, as an important but often-overlooked component of
school improvement.

Assessing School Culture
School culture consists of “the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors which
characterize a school” (Phillips, 1996, p. 1). School culture is the
shared experiences both in school and out of school (traditions and
celebrations) that create a sense of community, family, and team
membership. People in any healthy organization must have agree-
ment on how to do things and what is worth doing. Staff stability and
common goals permeate the school. Time is set aside for schoolwide
recognition of all school stakeholders. Common agreement on cur-
ricular and instructional components, as well as order and discipline,
are established through consensus. Open and honest communication
is encouraged and there is an abundance of humor and trust. Tangible
support from leaders at the school and district levels is also present.

PREVIEW

School culture affects
everything that happens
in a school, including
student achievement.

A simple survey allows
schools to evaluate three
main aspects of school
culture: professional
collaboration, affiliative
collegiality, and self-
determination/efficacy.

Christopher R. Wagner
christopher.wagner@wku.edu
Wagner is a past president
of the Minnesota Association
of Secondary School Principals
and a professor in the Depart-
ment of Educational Admin-
istration, Leadership and
Research at Western Kentucky
University.

PL December 2006 41

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entering the city or Zip code where you are—or plSchool Culture Assessment

School Culture Survey
School Culture Definition

“School culture is the set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and
stories that make up the “persona” of the school. These unwritten expectations build up over time
as teachers, administrators, parents, and students work together, solve problems, deal with
challenges and, at times, cope with failures. For example, every school has a set of expectations
about what can be discussed at staff meetings, what constitutes good teaching techniques, how
willing the staff is to change, and the importance of staff development.”

Peterson, K. (2002). Positive: A school’s culture is always at work, either helping or
hindering adult learning. Here’s how to see it, assess it, and change it for the better.
Journal of Staff Development, 23(3), pages 10-14. Retrieved 1/12/09 from
http://www.nsdc.org/library/publications/jsd/peterson233.cfm

School Culture Survey

Adapted from:
Phillips, G. (1993). The school-classroom culture audit. Vancouver, B.C. Eduserv, British

Columbia School Trustees Publishing. Retrieved 1/12/09 from:
http://www.nsdc.org/library/publications/jsd/wagner233.cfm

Instructions: Complete the form and add up your score. As a team, add individual’s total scores
and then divide by the number in your team to create an average. Compare the average with the
Scoring Guide to determine the cultural “health” of your school.

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
or almost

always
Task

1. Teachers and staff discuss instructional strategies
and curriculum issues. 1 2 3 4 5

2. Teachers and staff work together to develop the
school schedule. 1 2 3 4 5

3. Teachers and staff are involved in the decision-
making process with regard to materials and
resources.

1 2 3 4 5

4. The student behavior code is a result of
collaboration and consensus among staff. 1 2 3 4 5

5. The planning/organizational time allotted to
teachers and staff is used to plan as collective
units/teams rather than as separate individuals.

1 2 3 4 5

Teacher & Staff Survey

School Culture Assessment

Process Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always
or almost

always
1. When something is not working in our school, the

faculty and staff predict and prevent rather than
react and repair.

1 2 3 4 5

2. School members are interdependent and value each
other. 1 2 3 4 5

3. Members of our school community seek
alternatives to problems/issues rather than
repeating what we have always done.

1 2 3 4 5

4. Members of our school community seek to define
the problem/issue rather than blame others. 1 2 3 4 5

5. The school staff is empowered to make
instructional decisions rather than waiting for
supervisors to tell them what to do.

1 2 3 4 5

6. People work here because they enjoy it and choose
to be here. 1 2 3 4 5

Relationships

1. Teachers and staff tell stories of celebrations that
support the school’s values. 1 2 3 4 5




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