Middle School Turnaround (Implementing Change)

~45 minutes

This simulation involves a new school leader taking over a failing middle school with an entrenched staff and little community support. As you seek to get a handle on the school’s finances, finger-pointing abounds. You will have to determine the best path to building accountability, commitment, and trust in turning this school around.

Key characters include a non-assertive bookkeeper, a 7th-year teacher who is ready for improvement, a 27th-year honors math teacher

Trade-offs to consider:

  • Handling pressure to make immediate improvements, while taking the time to develop relationships
  • Inviting participation in decision-making, while not overwhelming staff who feel blame for past errors
  • Showing determination to establish correct procedures, not unduly burdening classroom teachers, while also requiring accountability and demonstrating transparency throughout the system

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Created in partnership with Auburn University