Transition to a new high school : teachers' perception regarding secondary school reorganization.
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Midwest Public Schools (MPS) restructured their entire secondary system in 2013 by building a third comprehensive high school, converting three junior highs to middle schools, changing middle school grade levels from grades six and seven to six, seven and eight, and shifting high school building grade levels from ten through twelve to nine through twelve. Victory High School opened in August of 2013 with all new teachers; most came from previous MPS schools. The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perceptions of the Secondary School Reorganization and how MPS, as a district, supported or hindered those teachers' transition to a new high school building. Findings that arose from interviews and focus groups included: community building and culture, colleagues, leadership, the excitement of working in a new building, teachers' personal lives, inequity, principal leadership, teacher choice, technology and continued professional development for problems that inevitably arise during the first few years of opening a new high school. The implication for a school district ready to embark on adding a new comprehensive high school and/or changing grade clusters is to overly communicate and take into account every aspect of a teacher's work day. Teachers must have buy-in to a new building or structure before that change will be successful.
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