During my final year as a principal (before moving to the central office), I started a blog to communicate with parents and a blog to communicate with staff. Creating and maintaining the blogs was a joy and provided one of those creative outlets that we all need in order to stay fresh. The two of them, along with two blogs I created at the district level, have served as an inspiration for other principals in our school system to create their own. Aside from our small corner of the world, many principals around the country have found blogging to be a key element in building a culture where communication is frequent and positive.

In this post, I want to share my favorite principal blog. A little background is in order first. When Pattie Thomas became principal at Raymond L. Young Elementary School, she felt there were far more tardies, checkouts, and absences than necessary. Rather than dwell on the negative, she saw the situation as an opportunity to accentuate the positive. That was the start of the “Top Dog Club.”

A “Top Dog” is someone who has no absences, no tardies, and no checkouts for an entire six-week grading period. Unlike the yearly “perfect attendance” award, getting sick one day does not blow your chances. You get a new chance to be a top dog every six weeks!

Mrs. Thomas used the blog as a way to let parents know about this new award within her first month as principal. Here is that post.

Has the idea worked? A picture is worth a thousand words. Can you believe a school with 315 students would have this many boys and girls go for an entire grading period without being absent, checking in late, or checking out early?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then pictures that dance to music ought to be worth even more. Here is one reason why this is my favorite principal blog:

If you are a principal looking for a way to connect with stakeholders in a positive way , take a little time to scroll through the year’s worth of posts on this blog: