The creation and implementation of a dream: lessons learned from a unique case study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kevin Wheat (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: Many educational leaders dream of the opportunity to begin a new school. New schools provide opportunities for innovation, change, and creativity, which most educators believe is needed to improve current middle school practice. This study follows the process of planning for and opening a new and innovative middle school program designed to offer a unique educational experience for middle school students. This study was conducted as a unique case study that examined the experiences of the school principal and staff members during a two-year period of opening a new school. The researcher serves as a participant in the creation of the Academy and the principal of the school. His experience provides insight into the planning and implementation processes that were utilized to accomplish effective creation and implementation of the school. Other staff members share their perspective on the challenges encountered, and adjustments made, during the opening two years of the program. Participants also provide recommendations on continuing to improve the Academy and ideas about what processes are relevant to other school leaders. The findings of this study reveal that it is essential to clearly establish and communicate the vision when creating new schools. In addition, it provides specific practices found to be beneficial such as empowering teachers as leaders, providing unique training opportunities, and establishing small schools. This research is beneficial to school leaders or districts interested in creating an innovative middle school program to meet the social and academic needs of adolescents.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Education innovation, Magnet school, Middle school, School culture, School opening, School transformation
New schools $v Case studies
Urban schools $v Case studies
Middle schools $v Case studies
Magnet schools $v Case studies
Preparatory schools $v Case studies
Educational leadership $v Case studies
Middle school principals $v Case studies

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