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How to Establish Core Values for a School

With experience primarily working in Savanna, Illinois, and nearby areas, Andrew “Andy” Jordan is the principal of Donovan High School. He previously served as the principal of West Carroll Primary School, where he incorporated teacher peer observations to improve pedagogy. One issue that Andrew Jordan is passionate about is improving school cultures.

Creating a more positive school culture first entails collecting data on how students, staff, and parents perceive the current culture. Via well-designed surveys that give equal weight to everyone, the resultant plan can account for everyone’s needs. With this data as inspiration, school administration determines the institution’s core values by revising the preexisting mission statement to incorporate them. These new documents can inspire all involved, while also setting clear expectations for acceptable behavior.

The core values only hold meaning if students and faculty exhibit or teach them of their own volition, in a manner suited to them. To motivate students, it can help to create a mentorship program where older students pair up with younger ones to help them model and practice the values. Teachers can also benefit from the time and resources to apply the values through lesson plans or workshops. Finally, recognizing students and faculty for demonstrating the core values through events can help positively reinforce them.

For more information about Andrew Donovan’s work, please visit


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