School Culture & Leadership

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School Culture & Leadership

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Executive Summary

Students, staff and administrators collaborate on a daily basis at Bristol Central High School to preserve a school culture that is familial, respectful and supportive. The school motto "Be Creative, Be Conscientious, Be Collaborative, Be Committed" is at the core of each and every daily endeavor at Bristol Central. The high academic standards, extracurricular opportunities, Advisory groups and many other in-school organizations provide students with multiple opportunities each year to be successful, leading to a high school experience that meets the unique needs of each student.

As part of a challenging and equitable curriculum, every student at Bristol Central takes at least one heterogeneous core class. The variety of additional heterogeneous required classes and electives allows all students the opportunity for a rich educational experience.

Advisory groups have helped to further develop the school culture. Advisory groups meet every two weeks for 25 minutes. The advisor and the group stay together for all four years of the group's high school experience. The goals of Advisory are to help make each grade level transition smooth and to provide an adult mentor for each student. The advisory program ensures that all students have at least one adult in the building to help them achieve the 21st century learning expectations.

The professional staff at Bristol Central has multiple opportunities for professional development to improve student learning. At the forefront are weekly Wednesday meetings which allow teachers to collaborate as an entire faculty, in departments, or in grade level data teams. Additional school and district professional development days occur several times a year.

The administration also participates in professional development, using research-based evaluation to improve student learning. Administrators have been trained in Connecticut's System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED). Administrators also visit classrooms frequently in order to provide feedback to teachers as part of improving student learning.

Bristol Central's alternating block schedule is conducive to student learning. Longer classes allow students to explore topics in depth and foster student engagement. The schedule also provides time for teachers to collaborate in order to maximize the effectiveness of instruction.

Student load and class size is very manageable; the average class size is 15.5 students. As a result, teachers are able to meet the learning needs of all students.

Under the leadership of a strong, supportive principal, whose goal is to help improve teaching and learning, Bristol Central High School has a school culture that is safe, positive and respectful. The Administration, academic departments, and grade level data teams all work together to foster student learning. Multiple channels of communication exist between the school administration, staff, students, parents, and the community.

Bristol Central's values are clear to students, teachers and parents. Opportunities are available for all parties to have a role in decision making, promoting a positive sense of ownership in the school community.

Teachers at Bristol Central are passionate about improving the school environment and engaging students in the learning process. In addition to actively developing and revising curriculum, teachers coordinate numerous clubs and activities to increase student involvement in the school community. Bristol Central administration, teachers and staff make a concerted effort to celebrate student success in and out of the classroom through the “Ram Strong” program. This program is evidence that the entire staff contributes to the positive climate of the school.

The principal has the authority he needs to lead the school effectively. Reports from the Endicott Self-Study Survey indicate that 94% of the staff feels the principal and other school-based administration provide instructional leadership that is consistent with the school's core values, beliefs and learning expectations. A reported 98% of the staff believes the school provides a safe, positive, respectful and supportive school culture. These statistics are evidence that the administrative team at Bristol Central fosters a strong, safe, positive learning environment.

Based on the Committee on Public Secondary Schools Rating Guide for the Standard on School Culture and Leadership, Bristol Central High School is EXEMPLARY.


  • The strong instructional leadership conveyed by the principal and rooted in the school's core values and beliefs about learning
  • A school culture characterized by a safe, positive, respectful and supportive climate that fosters student responsibility
  • A school culture characterized by collaboration among adults
  • An advisory program enabling students to develop a bond in the school community
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Strong communication between administrators, faculty, parents, students and the community


  • Provide opportunities to increase the number of parents in meaningful decision-making
  • Designate more time for teachers to collaborate with colleagues
  • Provide coverage for teachers to observe exemplary instructional practices of peers.
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