From the San Jose Mercury News, here’s a profile of a principal who’s turning around a middle school located at the borders of gang territory: Surenos on one side, Nortenos and Cambodian gangs on the other side.
(Glenn) Vander Zee knows his so-called “Mathson Family” must be about more than just its teachers, who lobbied to work an extra 50 minutes a day to focus on student needs; or its after-school and weekend programs, helping kids get a leg up in math or writing; or self-empowerment strategies, like students planting trees or designing their own cultural festivals. It needs student buy-in big time. For while it may be subtle, this truly is a battle for hearts and minds.
I was at the campus not long ago visiting a KIPP school located in one wing of the building. The footbridge where a student was stabbed is quite lovely; opposite the school is a park.