Pillars of Success

Canarelli Middle School

Canarelli Feature.mp4

The staff at Canarelli Middle School have worked hard to create a positive, productive, and welcoming climate and culture – something you can feel as soon as you step foot on campus. Because it is so engrained throughout the school, it might appear as though their climate and culture arose organically, but in actuality it took strategic thinking, active dialogue with stakeholders, and purposeful planning to ensure that something so important was not simply left to luck and chance.

Canarelli's School Organizational Team took the initiative to address climate and culture as an ongoing project. They began by asking school stakeholders what the most important pieces of school climate and culture were for them. This led to the creation of the "Canarelli Pillars of Success," the three integral elements of climate and culture at the school. This video explains their process and how they engaged with stakeholders around these topics.


The process Canarelli's School Organizational Team used to address climate and culture can serve as a template other that other teams could adopt and modify for their own schools. This PowerPoint was used by the Canarelli SOT to establish vision-setting around climate and culture. It contains great discussion starters and activities for SOT members to use.


thoughts for sots

Watching this video with your School Organizational Team? Consider using the following questions and prompts to discuss what can be learned from Canarelli's story and think about the implications for your team's work.

  • How did Canarelli's SOT ensure multiple voices were represented when developing their Pillars of Success?
  • How does having defined "pillars" better help SOT team achieve their goals regarding climate and culture at Canarelli?
  • If your school came up with its own pillars, what do you think they would be?
  • If someone were to walk into your school who had never been there before, what should they be able to immediately feel about the school?
  • Does your school have a mission and/or vision statement? If so, are all SOT members aware of it? How is this statement interpreted by each individual member?
  • Does a clear flow of communication exist among school stakeholders?