School-based man­age­ment (SBM) is a strat­egy that pro­vides prin­ci­pals, teach­ers, stu­dents, and par­ents greater con­trol over the ed­u­ca­tion process by giv­ing them re­spon­si­bil­ity for de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Through the in­volve­ment of teach­ers, par­ents, and other com­mu­nity mem­bers in key de­ci­sions, SBM can cre­ate a more ef­fec­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for chil­dren.

SBM al­lows com­pe­tent in­di­vid­u­als in the schools to make de­ci­sions that will im­prove learn­ing; give the en­tire school com­mu­nity a voice in key de­ci­sions; fo­cus ac­count­abil­ity for de­ci­sions; re­di­rect re­sources to sup­port the goals de­vel­oped in each school; and im­prove morale of teach­ers and nur­ture new lead­er­ship at all lev­els.

From the be­gin­ning, the school board and su­per­in­ten­dent must be sup­port­ive of school-based man­age­ment. They must trust the prin­ci­pals and coun­cils to de­ter­mine how to im­ple­ment the district’s goals at the in­di­vid­ual schools.

Train­ing in such ar­eas as de­ci­sion-mak­ing, prob­lem solv­ing, and group dy­nam­ics is nec­es­sary for all par­tic­i­pat­ing staff and com­mu­nity mem­bers, es­pe­cially in the early years of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

To meet the new chal­lenges of the job, prin­ci­pals may need ad­di­tional train­ing in lead­er­ship skills.

The SBM must also have the strong sup­port of school staff and is more suc­cess­ful if it is im­ple­mented grad­u­ally. School and district staff must be given ad­min­is­tra­tive train­ing, but also must learn how to ad­just to new roles and channels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

--oOo— The au­thor is Teacher III at Suli­pan El­e­men­tary School

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