Educational Leadership 621

EDEL 621: Organization and Management of Public Schools

Prerequisites: Admission to Educational Leadership Program

Credit Hours: (3)

Students will develop understandings of the varied managerial duties and responsibilities of school (preK-12) and district level administrators.  Students will study the role of an educational leader as a manager in school planning; organizing time, space and records; master-scheduling; staffing; budgeting and purchasing; attending to staff and student safety; managing and overseeing diverse populations in staff and student groups; overseeing school plant and grounds; and coordinating school programs for student activities, transportation, custodians, clerks, and food services employees.  Students will apply systems understanding to school improvement and the support and development of educational environments to enhance opportunities for academic success of all students.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will address the following concepts: 


1.      Personnel

                a.       School vision

                b.      Personnel management, problem solving, and effective schools

                c.       Human resource planning; planning for staffing needs

                d.      Recruitment and preparing for personnel selection

                e.       Obtaining information and evaluating candidates

                f.        Placement and induction

                g.       Evaluation of non-instructional personnel and programs

                h.       Review of legal, ethical, and policy issues in personnel and collective negotiations

                i.         Termination and reduction in force

                j.        Records management

2.   School Finance

                a.       School vision

                b.      Education as an investment for the future

                c.       The politics of school finance

                d.      The federal role in financing education

                e.       Local v. state taxation for public schools

                f.        Trends in support for public schools

                g.       School district budgeting

                h.       School budgeting

                i.         Using public funds wisely and appropriately

                j.        Purchasing procedures and records management

3.      School facility and auxiliary services

                a.       School vision

                b.      Evolution of school facilities

                c.       Planning for schools—review of data

                d.      Cleanliness, maintenance, and operation

                e.       School facilities and grounds

                f.        Problem-solving for safety, health, and comfort

                g.       Acoustical and visual environments

                h.       School transportation

                i.         Food services

                j.        Custodial— job analyses

                k.      Clerical— job analyses

4.      School scheduling and space allocation

                a.       School vision

                b.      Support of instruction

                c.       Quantitative and qualitative data to support decisions

                d.      Constructing the master schedule for middle and high schools

                e.       Constructing the master schedule for elementary schools

                f.        Allocating space within a school

                g.   Considerations of physical plant space and diverse needs of special population students

                h.       Coordination of student activities


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course readings will serve as a primary basis for in-class discussions. Case studies, role plays, simulations, and problem-based learning will be used in conjunction with material related to issues involving the evaluation of personnel and the overall management of operations in a school facility.  Twenty hours of structured field experiences with on-site mentor principals and/or supervisors will also be required for completion of the course and will be discussed in class.  A variety of written and/or oral assignments (research reviews, reflective writings, narrative responses, journal reviews, formal papers, book talks) will be used to help students understand concepts in organizational management of schools.  Group and individual tasks will be used to process and reinforce information/skills, for class sharing, and for discussion of work as an educational leader in a changing and increasingly diverse world.  Lectures by the professor are utilized to supplement and reinforce course readings.  Videos, internet searches, and additional direct utilization of educational technologies will provide additional content for personal reflection and/or class discussion, and to provide additional sources for acquiring related course content.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standard 1e, 1f, and 1g.  The codes included below refer to: Interstate School Leaders

Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC); Virginia Department of Education Standards for Administration and Supervision (VAS).

The student will:

  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge, understanding and application of systems and organizations (VAS b and ISLLC 3).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of the systems theory and the change process of systems, organizations and individuals, using appropriate and effective adult learning models (VAS b1 and ISLLC 3).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of information sources and processing, including data collection and data analysis strategies (VAS b3).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in using data as a part of ongoing program evaluation to inform and lead change (VAS b4).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in developing empowerment strategies to create personalized learning environments for diverse schools (VAS b6 and ISLLC 2).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of effective communication skills including consensus building, negotiation, and mediation skills (VAS b7).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the principles and issues of supervising and leading others to ensure a working and learning climate that is safe, secure, and respectful of a diverse school community (VAS c2 and ISLLC 3).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in management decisions that ensure successful teaching and learning including, human resources management and development, theories of motivation, change in school culture, innovation and creativity, conflict resolution, adult learning and professional development models (VAS c3 and ISLLC 3).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the principles and issues related to fiscal operations of school management (VAS c4).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge in the principles and issues related to school facilities and use of space and time (VAS c5).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of legal issues impacting school operations and management (VAS c6 and ISLLC 5).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of technologies that support management functions (VAS c7).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of the application of data-driven decision making to initiate and continue improvement in school and classroom practices and student achievement (VAS c8 and ISLLC 2).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge understanding and application of basic leadership theories and influences that impact schools (VAS f).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of the concepts of leadership including systems theory, change theory, learning organizations and current leadership theory (VAS f1 and ISLLC 2).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of historical leadership theories including organizational theory, motivational theory, political and social systems theory to practical situations (VAS f2).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of embedded learning strategies for improved student learning totaling at least 120 clock hours (VAS g and ISLLC 7).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of experiential activities that complement, implement, and parallel the university curriculum (VAS g1).
  • Demonstrate necessary knowledge of activities that emphasize student work with practical application that shall take place in the internship, the practicum field experience, as well as throughout the university program (VAS g2 and ISLLC 7).


Assessment Measures

All instructors of the course will assess students in the following ways:

  • Develop a formal Plan of Improvement for a teacher; the plan must address instructional improvement planning, objective development, and direct monitoring/evaluation of the implementation of improvement strategies.
  •  Utilizing data from an existing school, develop a thorough presentation of the current school setting including testing information, demographic data, and additional information related to the school; from this a plan for school improvement will be developed, with both short term and long term goals, a presentation of how each goal will be implemented and evaluated will be included.

Additionally, instructors will choose at least three assessment measures from the following to assess learning in the course:

  • Written assignments such as research papers; reflective writings; narrative responses; journal and/or book reviews; examinations.
  • Student engagement in actively demonstrating skill development through activities such as: in-basket activities; role play; simulations; demonstrations; presentations; group activities; field experiences; case studies.

Technological proficiency must be demonstrated in written assignments, electronic mail communications, and correspondence.


Other Course Information



Approval and review dates

2/27/09    reviewed and modified               William Flora