User Story: Erin Galfer

Principal, Marine Leadership Academy, Chicago Public Schools, IL

“CALL has helped us clarify some of our needs, especially around supporting student growth socially.”

Who Is This District Leader?

Erin Galfer is the Principal of Marine Leadership Academy, which is a public High School under the Service Leadership Network in Chicago Public Schools (IL). She administered CALL in the 2015-2016 school year and then again in the 2016-2017 school year to measure school-wide leadership effectiveness. Below is Erin’s story on how she used CALL and how it helped support her school improvement work.

How They Used Call

Erin first administered the CALL survey in the winter of the 2015-2016 school year. Erin and her staff team reviewed the resulting CALL data together. They examined the Areas of Strength and the Improvement Needs identified by the CALL system. Erin also brought the CALL data to the Board of Governors during their monthly meeting. The Marine Leadership Academy rated highly in most areas of CALL. Yet, there were still opportunities for growth. Erin administered the CALL survey for a second time in the fall of the 2016-2017 school year. The Academy’s ratings in each of the CALL subdomains increased, with the most significant increases being found in Integrating external expertise into school instructional program, Student support services provide safe haven for all students, and Coaching and mentoring. Using the initial CALL results as a baseline, the Academy was able to make gains in these leadership practices.

How CALL Helped

“CALL has helped us clarify some of our needs, especially around supporting student growth socially.”Currently in Chicago Public Schools, school leaders are engaged in Continuous Improvement Work Plans. A Continuous Improvement Work Plan supports school leaders’ work in establishing a mission, identifying strategic priorities, and developing action steps to accomplish their goals. Erin applied the CALL data, feedback, and information to her schools’ Continuous Improvement Work Plan. In this case, CALL was used a needs assessment to determine where a school should be focusing its resources for improvement. While many school leaders and their staff have an idea of their schools’ improvement needs, using CALL can help confirm those ideas as well as bring to light areas in need of improvement that were not considered as much. According to Erin, “CALL has helped us clarify some of our needs, especially around supporting student growth socially.” Erin was able to integrate the use of CALL into current initiatives rather than have it be a stand-alone “add-on.”