Principles of Organization

Segment 2.mp4

The Principles of Organization are designed to guide decision-making in the district. They provide direction, meaning, and significance to our work of improving the achievement of all students. Decisions made by District staff should be analyzed within the framework of the Principles of Organization.

The full list of the Principles of Organization can be viewed in the document to the right. The Principles will be explored in greater detail below.

Violations to the Principles of Organization are inevitable and will be a natural part of implementing the Principles in practice. You will notice the examples below contain multiple instances of violations. It is up to all District staff to work through violations and support each other in order to align their work to the Principles.


Principles [A] and [B]

Principle A presents major factors to consider when making decisions. Decisions across the District must be made with attention to the broader system. This directly ties to Principle B, which is that individuals consider doing “no harm to others” when making decisions.

Example of [A] and [B] in Action: A school has determined that by moving their start time 30 minutes earlier in the morning, they will be able to implement an innovative schedule that will allow students to earn more credits, increasing graduation rates. Staff at the school was surveyed and is supportive of the change. There is only a minimal cost of implementation. The school, however, did not survey parents regarding their support for the start time change. For some parents, the new start time conflicts with already-established childcare. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, the school develops a survey and hosts information/input meetings regarding the proposed schedule change.

Principles [C], [f] and [g]

Principles C, F, and G relate responsibility and accountability.

Example of [C], [F], and [G] in Action: After reviewing data and discussing with the School Organizational Team, a school wishes to use a particular reading program as a supplement. However, the school was overruled and told they cannot use it by a central department. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, the central department can provide recommendations to the Superintendent, but the decision is left up to school supervisors and the principal. A school cannot be overruled by a central department.

Principle [d]

Example of [D] in Action: Five units of health instruction are mandated by state law and District policy. All high school and middle school administrators must comply with this law by ensuring all health educators return signed and completed Mandatory Units of Instruction documents to a designated Central Support and Services department. A number of schools fail to complete and submit the required documents. The central department responsible for reporting the District’s compliance to the state then emails school principals directly to request the completed documents. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, School Associate Superintendents are solely responsible for directing school principals, and therefore should be accountable for monitoring compliance with state and District school mandates.

Principle [E]

Example of [E] in Action: A school submits a shopping cart for equipment, but after not hearing anything regarding its status, places a phone call to a department and finds out the shopping cart is on hold and a rationale for the hold cannot be provided. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, the department staff should be transparent, explain the reason for not taking action, and ensure timely, clear communication in the future

Principle [H]

Example of [H] in Action: A new procedure requiring multiple signatures for approval of vending machine contracts is implemented because a principal at one school entered into a contract that resulted in loss of funds at that school. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, a new practice should not be created unless necessary and not on the basis of preventing future replication of one individual's mistakes.

Principles [I] and [J]

Principles I and J address the partnerships that District employees have with each other and outside stakeholders.

Example of [I] and [J] in Action: Several teachers and administrators from a CCSD high school attend a highly anticipated away game at another CCSD high school for the school’s basketball team. During the game, the opposing crowd, including some of its students and parents, begins shouting derogatory remarks about the visiting school’s players. A few teachers and administrators representing the visiting team confront the home-team students and parents directly, and eventually the situation escalates until the schools’ principals are called to intervene. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, all District individuals, including staff and administrators, should work together to promote integrity and respect.

Principles [K] and [L]

Principles K and L address decision-making and the sharing of information.

Example of [K] and [L] in Action: In conversations with parents, a staff member voices disapproval of a recent decision made at their school. The staff member, however, did not seek out information to understand why the decision was made. Through the lens of the Principles of Organization, the staff member should seek out and speak to the principal to find out more about the issue to ensure that information being shared with parents is reflective of the context of the decision