Since the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Aakta Patel has been principal of Dr. Antonia Pantoja Community School of Excellence in Buffalo Public Schools. In her first year at the school, Aakta administered the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) leadership assessment and school improvement system. She and her school worked with WestEd’s School Transformation coaches to support the use of CALL. Aakta used CALL’s action-oriented data to support her transition in her leadership position.
When a new school leader enters her position as principal in her school, the best approach is to learn about the school and assess its strengths and opportunities for improvement. Aakta did just that by implementing the CALL system. “I administered the CALL survey during my first three weeks in the building,” Aakta said. “We used the data to find areas that needed immediate improvement. We worked on [these areas] and then re-administered the survey to see if we made gains.” By using CALL, Aakta was able to learn about her new school in an efficient and effective manner.
Administering the CALL system was just the beginning; once Aakta obtained the data, the real work began. “We were able to see how teachers felt about certain situations in the building,” Aakta said. “We then were able to put a plan in place to address and monitor the issues within the building.” Aakta used the CALL data to support the development of the school improvement plan as well as the school’s list of focus items to support instruction. The CALL system also supported Aakta with her own professional growth: “It has helped with self evaluation and self reflection.” In her second year as principal of Dr. Antonia Pantoja Community School of Excellence, Aakta hopes to use CALL again. “Love this survey…lots of information!” she said.