Mark Your Calendars to be a Principal for a Day!

The annual Principal For a Day event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 40 schools throughout the Santa Maria Valley.  This is an opportunity for Chamber members to shadow a principal for the morning at a school campus to learn more about the challenges facing educators.  The educators, in turn, receive input from business leaders about their own perspective on the “business of education.”  The Principal For a Day program has been a valuable activity to help connect the business and education communities, and is cosponsored by the Santa Maria Valley Industry Education Council (SMVIEC) and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Reservations for school sites are made on a first come, first served basis.  Chamber members may call Peggy Greer, SMVIEC Liaison, at 349-0443 or for more information, or to select a school site.  Participants will be sent a confirmation letter plus school information and maps.

When asked what most surprised our business participants last year, we received the following comments:

Ž All the different responsibilities the principal had to deal with.

Ž   The amount of time expended on student issues.

Ž   The number of students on site and the logistics involved in getting them to lunch and recess.

Ž   The level of personal touch, commitment to student success and the staff’s dedication.

Ž   I expected what I found – excellence!

Participants were also asked what they felt the greatest needs were at the school:

Ž More space, especially for recreation.

Ž  Money, supplies, school needs, and parent involvement.

Ž   Funding for the arts.

School principals were also asked to comment on what seemed to have the greatest impact on the business leader:

Ž  Combination classrooms, class sizes, English Language Arts.

Ž Technology at the school.

Ž How California’s budget crisis is impacting educational programs.

School principals said the most important thing they learned about was:

Ž The common aspects of business and education: budgets, planning, human resources.

Ž Receiving feedback from employers who hire students upon high school graduation.

Ž Discussions with business partner who offered ongoing support and participation at my school.

As you can see, the Principal For a Day activity offers a unique perspective on public education.  We hope you will come see what is new and exciting in education as we work with tomorrow’s workforce.  We look forward to seeing you on March 14!