“Moving our school forward - Reflecting on my first year as principal of Dickinson High School”

Principal Jeff Brandt and Assistant Principal Randy Muffley

By: Jeff Brandt
Principal at Dickinson High School 

It has been over a year since I accepted the position of head principal at Dickinson High School.  I am grateful for many reasons.  The welcome that my family and I have received from the Dickinson community has been overwhelming.  The support that I have received from Dickinson Public Schools has been tremendous.  Lastly, and most importantly, the open-mindedness that our staff at Dickinson High School has approached this year with has been instrumental in moving our school forward.

Our process began with professional development.  More than just professional development, it really was a team-building opportunity.  The first time that this iteration of our Administration-Coaches team was together was at a Professional Learning Community Institute.  This institute truly set the tone for how we were going to approach the school year.  There, I realized how fortunate I was to be surrounded by the administration team and instructional coaching team that we have at Dickinson High School. 

From the perspective of what we are trying to accomplish at Dickinson High School, we have brought a renewed focus to our district’s strategic mission and vision.  We have concentrated heavily on our High Reliability Schools initiative, particularly Levels 1, 2, and 3.  We have worked diligently to improve on our Response to Intervention (RTI) process and built our schedule around our Professional Learning Community (PLC) teams. 

We began the school year with a heavy focus on creating a safe and collaborative environment.  We started by ensuring students knew the standards and expectations in our common areas and classrooms.  Our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model is helping to create a positive environment for students and staff.  We are continuing to provide staff members with high quality professional development opportunities.  Our instructional coaches work to support our teaching staff in a variety of ways, including coaching cycles, Backpack PD opportunities, HRS guidance, and classroom feedback. 

Overall, the thing that I am most proud of in my first year as principal of Dickinson High School is the culture and climate that we are creating.  We have an extremely committed group of staff.  Our teaching staff are committed to providing students with high-quality instruction, and all staff are committed to the mission and vision of Dickinson Public Schools.  Most importantly, our staff is committed to making Dickinson High School a place where students and staff enjoy being.