Snack 'n chat with the CEO
Dr. Alonso has a new strategy to engage principals and teachers in conversation and collect information about what's happening in schools. He'll first invite a group of principals out to dinner and then ask a few teachers from each of those schools to a "snack 'n chat" session, held within the same week. The gatherings are informal. Over soda and cookies, Alonso talks for a bit about his work and asks the teachers what his administration can do to make their jobs easier -- and make it easier for kids to learn. He wants to see if the issues that principals are bringing up are also on the minds of teachers and vice versa.
The plan is for Alonso to hear from all the schools in the city this academic year, hitting them up in the clusters that were created this summer to assign schools principal coaches. One issue that's being worked out is which teachers get to attend the snack 'n chats. Alonso doesn't want there to be a screening process, but for the first two sessions held so far, principals have picked the teachers to invite. In the future, the system plans to inform all teachers in a school about an upcoming session, but Alonso also wants to limit the number of participants to 30 so the discussion can be meaningful. To accommodate more teachers, he'll be hosting a series of Saturday breakfasts in the coming months as well.