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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Front Office Staff Training/Standards

Front Office Staff Training/Standards

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A school's secretary can make or break a school in many different ways. I've personally seen some not-so-extraordinary administrators made to appear like educational mystics, and other exemplary administrators who got the boot despite outstanding track records and accomplishments in student achievement . . . . all based on the attitude, abilities, and effectiveness of their secretary. I'm looking for any kind of resources available for developing individuals in this key position: training, consultants, webinars, books, certification programs, anything! The primary focus of the development I'm seeking is anything related to customer service, problem solving, communication, school climate/culture, conflict resolution, people skills, etc., but anything you could share in any other areas would be appreciated as well.

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Angelyn Nichols's picture
Angelyn Nichols
Gifted Resource Teacher, grades 6-8

Hi. A few years back I worked at the Parent Information Resource Center in Nevada on a federal grant. One of the professional development sessions I would run for schools was called "Frontline Communications". At the bottom of this site there is a description (http://www.nevadapirc.org/programs-initiatives/parentinvolvementtraining...).
In the past schools could access the curriculum from the website, but the link does not seem to be operating. It looks like the site is not as operational as it was when the gratn was active. The PIRC grant was housed throught the Washoe Education Alliance (http://www.ed-alliance.org/about-the-alliance/staff/) and the Executive Director, Denise Hedrick, is very helpful! She may be able to connect you with someone that could connect you with the curriculum. Best wishes and good for you for recognizing the importance the front staff makes on school climate!

Gwen Pescatore's picture
Gwen Pescatore
President Home & School Assoc, #ParentCamp Organizer, Co-Moderator #PTchat

The front office is the first impression...but it takes buy-in and practice by everyone from the office and principal, to the teachers and staff (incl custodians & food service), to the PTO. Every person that comes into contact with a family and/or student has the chance to make a positive (or negative) impression that can impact future relationships between the school and a family.
If you haven't already, you should read and share "Beyond the Bake Sale" by Anne Henderson & Karen Mapp. Our school did a book chat with parents and school staff on it. Great ideas, resources and a real conversation starter looking at real home-school partnerships.

#PTchat also discussed this topic earlier this year...you can read the archives here http://storify.com/Joe_Mazza/school-secretary-as-family-engagement-deal-....

Not specifically targeted to front office...but BTBS was discussed on #PTchat. The archive of the chat http://storify.com/Joe_Mazza/from-core-beliefs-to-practice-ptchat-archiv... and a shared Google doc of ideas was compiled during that chat...which can be viewed here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtchsZvkwBUidF9oWDVuc0IzZDk...

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