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Welcome to AWSA's bi-monthly newsletter! Below you will find our most recent edition of the AWSA Update Bulletin. Located on the side you will find current and past articles, current events and sponsor information.  

July 1st Edition - Best Of Edition

The AWSA Update Bulletin is ending the school year with the five most read articles of 2019-20. New editions of the Update will begin again in two weeks for the 2020-21 school year.


12 Things School Leaders Should Stop Doing Today

by Jimmy Casas

A couple of weeks ago I was part of a group discussion where a building principal shared that he had been called to the superintendent’s office.  You could tell by the tone in his voice that he was a bit nervous about why his superintendent had requested the meeting. He shared that it wasn’t the first time he had been called in to have “a talk.” This got me to thinking how often we behave in similar ways (both intentionally and unintentionally) as building and district leaders when it comes to managing conversations and our decisions, and the negative impact this can have on the overall culture of any organization. Please know I share these with you because at one time or another I have acted in the manner I describe below, even though my intentions were to want to be better, not only for members of my school community, but for my growth as a leader.  As I grew and matured into the role of a building principal, I did my best to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them, knowing full well I would fall short at times.

Read more.


Coaching Emotional Resilience: How will we bounce back?

by Tammy Gibbons, AWSA Director of Professional Development

“How you interpret and make sense of events is a juncture point where emotional resilience increases or depletes. You make the choice about what story to tell.  When you tell empowering stories, your optimism may expand and optimism is a key trait of resilient people.” -- Elena Aguilar

Just a few short months ago, I received the news that my children had a sibling born.  My husband and I are in our 50’s, adopted our two children in 2017 and now found ourselves at a juncture we knew may come. 

Read more.


Why Kids Misbehave

by Brian Mendler, Author 

I firmly believe that understanding why a student misbehaves is the key to changing that behavior. Once understood, it is easy to realize how ridiculous many of the traditional consequences we currently use are.

Imagine you are a doctor and five patients come to you with a runny nose. You give them all tissue. The next day all come back. You give more tissue. Again they come back. This cycle goes on until you start asking some questions. You quickly learn the first person has allergies. The second refuses to wear a hat when it is cold out, and the third is a cocaine addict. The symptom (runny nose) is the same. The solution to the symptom is completely different for all. Without understanding why the runny nose exists, it is almost impossible to properly treat any of the patients. View detention, in-school suspension and suspension as tissue. They might wipe the problem away for a few minutes, but none fix the real underlying issue.

Read more.


Classroom Libraries: Who Owns the Reading?

by Matt Renwick, Principal, Mineral Point Elementary School. 

“You are welcome to check out books as long as you are reliable.”

I had been looking at the library in the church, a few minutes before mass started. We weren’t at the church in which we belong, one in a neighboring town. The parish librarian noticed what I was doing and offered this comment.

Read more.


Pain, Promise, and the Path to Racial Justice

By Jim Lynch and Joe Schroeder, AWSA

Race is a social construct.  The genome has been mapped, and we know that our species share 99.9% of our DNA with one another.1

That “social construct” has very real meaning in our country.  Babies who are black and white are born with the same amazing potential.  However, based solely on the social construct of race, we can predict wide disparities for people of color in education, criminal justice, health, and poverty.  And, here in Wisconsin, we have some of the widest disparities in the nation.2

Read more.