Michael Harris is the principal at Riverside University High School in Milwaukee Public Schools, WI. A graduate of Riverside University High School himself, Mr. Harris has been leading the school since the 2013-2014 school year. Riverside University High School is the second largest high school in the district, and therefore Mr. Harris must rely on his leadership team to work collaboratively to move the school forward. Mr. Harris has been using the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) in his district since the 2016-2017 school year to measure distributed instructional leadership practices.
Mr. Harris administered the CALL assessment at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year as part of the Leadership for Learning project with the Title I Department in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). When the teachers and staff at Riverside University HS completed the assessment, Mr. Harris worked with his team to analyze the results: “The CALL data was shared with my learning team to review all of the data. Based on reviewing our strengths and areas to improve, we determined that our efforts had been focused on student engagement and focus on learning. The data helped us confirm that this was and is the area that we need to develop and continue to improve to move our school forward.” In this case, Mr. Harris was able to use the CALL data to reinforce efforts that had been focused on targeted areas for improvement in the school.
“As we enter our 2nd year, it will be interesting to see if we improved in the areas identified. We will celebrate and recalibrate. I see using CALL to continue the work to develop distributive leadership in the building.” Since CALL focuses on specific practices, school leaders can look to the item-level data for strategic planning. As Mr. Harris stated, “Our School Improvement Plan (SIP) and literacy plan was developed using the CALL data embedded into the strategies used.” In addition to the item level practice-based data, Mr. Harris referred to the resources embedded in the CALL system for strategies and suggestions for moving forward: “The recommended strategies that were provided helped us implement and refine some of the tools we already had in place.” As part of the DPI project, Mr. Harris will be participating for a second year and will have the opportunity to examine year-to-year data. “As we enter our 2nd year, it will be interesting to see if we improved in the areas identified. We will celebrate and recalibrate. I see using CALL to continue the work to develop distributive leadership in the building.”