Leaders can build community, even in a divided school

By Baruti K. Kafele
Categories: Equity, Leadership, School leadership
February 2022
When I was a principal, I regularly referred to my school community as a family. When I delivered my morning message, I would say, “Good morning to my Newark Tech family.” I used the words “family” and “community” intentionally because I wanted my students to see the school as more than the facility where they were being educated. I wanted them to feel a sense of belonging, respect, and appreciation. I wanted them to feel safe to be themselves so they could take academic risks without fear of ridicule. A school family does not occur organically, particularly in a diverse school like the one I led, or in a divided community. Building a school family takes intentionality from leaders and staff — intentionality on day

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Image for aesthetic effect only - Baruti Kafele
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Baruti K. Kafele ( is an education consultant, author, and retired principal.

Categories: Equity, Leadership, School leadership

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