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Diane Halpin, DirectorChange the way we serve learns with Autism!

Under Great Stress
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"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option”

Increasing Levels of Stress for Superintendents These trends in public education have been recognized by school superintendents who, along with school boards, are facing very difficult jobs leading systems that just do not want to adapt quickly. In government services, a degree of predictability is desired because it allows citizens to count on stability and consistency in the delivery of services. However, while predictability is good for parents in anticipation of the availability of certain school programs and services for their children in years ahead, the public school system as it is organized and delivered today simply does not look affordable in the future. Avoiding the dialogue simply will not balance the revenue and expenditure budgets for school districts. Every day in this country more than 14,700 public school superintendents and school boards do the important work of improving schools and student performance, often, at great cost to their personal and professional lives. They do so with courage, tenacity, conviction and a heightened level of personal work stress exacerbated by the isolation of the position. Recent findings from AASA study on work stress confirms levels of stress continue to rise as 44% of current superintendents reported "considerable stress" in the jobs. An alarming 15% reported "very great stress" in their position. Together, 60% of superintendents considered the position very stressful. These are the highest levels of stress in any given AASA study since 1923. Superintendents manage to compensate somewhat for these stressful conditions by maintaining positive feelings about personal effectiveness and finding satisfaction with the work they are doing. Isolation is the most difficult concern to address. Many active school superintendents will share privately the disheartening view that to truly lead with vision is limited by constant political constraints. They share a personal awareness that the public school system as it operates today will not meet the needs of future learners.

At the October 2010 Minnesota Superintendent Conference, more than 95 percent of participating superintendents said the current system of delivery education will not meet the future needs of students . MORE HERE How does one accept the limiting forces that exist and find the pathways to reform and positive change? How do school superintendents and school boards overcome adversity, constraints, barriers and opposition to bring a school district to a higher level of performance? Do school superintendents propose a theory of practice based on actual data about the district prior to implementing a change in the system? What contextual factors are considered prior to making a change? How does the current superintendent address the isolation and find support from peers?

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