Resources for Growing Your School Library

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

April is National School Library Month! We know that building and growing a school library is extremely challenging. This month’s resources aim to provide you with ideas and resources to grow and develop your school or classroom libraries.

Collecting Books and Building a Library Space at Your School

Resources For Classroom Libraries

  • Check out these free classroom library tools like book bin/shelf cards, classroom posters, and more from Follett Learning.
  • Make labeling your books easy with this reading level chart from Booksource.
  • Check out classroom books to students right from your phone with this free Classroom Checkout App!

Resources For School-Wide Libraries

Digital Library Options

  • Several free apps make it possible to access digital books through your local library instantly! All students, parents, or teachers need is a library card! Check out Hoopla Digital or Libby to learn more.
  • EPIC also offers educators access to thousands of high-quality books for free in the classroom!
  • Explore other free options for digital reading in this blog post from Differentiated Teaching!

Did You Know?

  • The Student Learning and Partner Success team at Step Up for Students is hosting a Choice in Education Celebration for teachers in May with inspiring speakers, giveaways, and more! This FREE event is open to all SUFS school leaders and educators. Click here to register!
  • Step Up for Students has a blog called reimaginED that examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation. The most recent article explores the law that was just passed expanding the scholarship program to law enforcement officers. Read the story here and be sure to subscribe! 

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Finding and Retaining High-Quality Teachers

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

This month’s post is dedicated to finding and retaining quality teachers. Below are a few resources on effective recruitment strategies that must be paired with a thoughtful approach to retain and reduce the teacher turnover that plagues schools and districts and undermines student success.


Teachers are critical to students building the knowledge and skills they need for their future. Without well-prepared teachers working in every classroom, it is difficult for schools to sustain the transformational and supportive learning environments students need and deserve. Amid declining teacher preparation enrollment, rising preparation costs, inadequate professional development opportunities, and dormant compensation, schools and districts face a broad range of challenges that undermine their ability to recruit and retain a stable, effective, and diverse teacher workforce.

Have you heard about reimaginED?

Are you already a reader of the Step Up For Students Education Roundup but would like to expand your knowledge of education choice issues in Florida and beyond? Did you know that reimaginED, the policy and public affairs communications platform for Step Up, which houses the education roundup, is so much more than the roundup?

Launched a decade ago, reimaginED examines and reports on how expanded education choice options are transforming K-12 education in Florida and the nation. The reimaginED team tracks education choice legislation across the country, while contributors rely on their experience to write about the explosion of education options – traditional district schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, homeschooling, learning pods and more – and the various means available for tapping into these options.

If you are an educator with the need for a well-rounded picture of what’s happening in Florida and other states, bookmark reimaginED and visit frequently – content is updated every morning at 6 a.m. and at various times throughout the day.

Here is an example of a story on reimaginED that you won’t want to miss!

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Let’s Focus on Literacy!

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

This month’s post is all about literacy! Check out the amazing articles and resources below and take a moment to reflect on these questions:

  • Do you have students who are struggling readers?
  • Does your student achievement data support the ELA Curriculum that your teachers use today?
  • Research shows that many teachers rely on Teachers Pay Teachers and Google for lesson planning. Would you like to provide your teachers with a research-based, fully lesson planned reading curriculum?

Resources to Inspire New Reading Goals:


  • EVENT POSTPONED! Come hear Natalie Wexler share her expertise on a knowledge-rich curriculum LIVE at the Great Minds Knowledge Summit! This event has been postponed. Stay tuned to learn more about Great Minds and Wilson Language. Register NOW for the Great Minds Knowledge Summit– For more information on the Summit and pricing, click here.

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Thank You Principals!

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

October is National Principals Month and we’d like to take a moment to say thank you for all the amazing work you do for your school communities! This month’s resources are designed to encourage and inspire you as you inspire and motivate your students and staff.  


The Step Up For Students and Great Minds Knowledge Summit is a one-and-a-half-day in-person event. Hosted by industry-leading researchers and subject matter experts, the summit will help you discover the importance of using a knowledge-building curriculum. You’ll hear from keynote speakers, choose from over 15 different 60-minute sessions, network with educators from other schools in your area, and have a chance to win some exciting prizes! 

Please sign up to receive updates on registration, keynote speakers, session topics, giveaways, and more. You won’t want to miss the early bird pricing and first round of giveaways! SIGN UP HERE

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Planning for a Successful New School Year

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

After you have taken some well-deserved time to relax this summer, we know you will be eager to jump into planning for next year. This month’s post is full of excellent “Back to School” planning resources for you and for your teachers!

Choose a School-Wide Theme

  • Start the new year on a positive and uplifting note by creating a theme for your school this year. Use this printable guide to help you decide what theme would best fit the needs of your school community this year. You could even consider recruiting your older students to help choose the theme!

Beginning of the School Year Checklist

Planning for Success with Teachers

  • Provide this free printable planning document to your teachers before school starts to get an idea of everyone’s hopes and fears for the new year. It’s also a great way to get to know your teachers!

Have you heard about Dual-Enrollment?

  • Click here to learn about the new opportunities for private school and homeschool students to receive college course credits this fall!

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Resources to Help You Reflect on a Challenging Year

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

We know many of you rose to the challenge this year and overcame great odds to provide your students with the support they needed to learn and thrive. Now that the school year is coming to a close, it’s time for you to take a quiet moment to yourself to reflect on an unprecedented year. We hope the resources below can help you not only wrap up the year, but also reflect on your successes and your opportunities for growth. Congratulations, you made it!
    • The Year in Review: Grab some coffee and your favorite pen. Print this document and take some time to process this year and plan for next year!
    • End of Year Checklist: Download and edit this document to provide to teachers as they close out the year.
    • Classroom Inventory : Allow teachers to use this document to ensure the inventory in each classroom is accounted for.
    • Summer Admin Checklist by Month: Use this general checklist to help you stay on track this summer!

Curriculum Matters!

Still Looking for a Summer Learning Program?

To view more Educational Resources click here.

Classroom Walkthroughs Made Easy

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

We know you are busy this month with teacher evaluations, observations, and classroom walkthroughs. This post aims to provide you with some quick and easy to implement resources for your classroom walkthroughs! Also, don’t miss the excellent curriculum and culture webinars coming up this month. Learn more and register via the links below!

Do you have a need for high-quality curriculum at your school?

Join a webinar on March 9th at 4:00 p.m. to find out more. Click here to register.

Are you looking for a school survey instrument that produces an “under the hood” analysis of behaviors and beliefs that influence student success?

Join a webinar on March 16th at 9:00 a.m. to learn more. Click here to register.

Learn more about the importance of curriculum and culture at your school here.

To view more resources from the Student Learning and Partner Success team click here!

Curriculum & Culture: What matters most for the long-term success of your students?

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

We know right now administrators are hard at work making the big decisions about next year’s curriculum and resources. Recent research suggests that there is a significantly positive correlation between a knowledge-rich curriculum, effective instructional support in delivering it, and a robust school culture. The Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy has designed numerous resources (and undertaken associated research evaluations) to support a much-needed shift towards this powerfully integrated approach to education. This month, we’d like to share this research and these resources with you as you make the big decisions regarding curriculum and change at your school.

How strong is your school culture?

School culture serves as the foundation for several important domains of school performance. A strong, coherent school culture is linked to…

  • Favorable civic outcomes such as increased political engagement and higher levels of tolerance.
  • Favorable academic outcomes such as college enrollment or workforce participation.
  • The successful implementation of school improvement

Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy has designed a set of tools that address these critical issues from different angles, providing both an evaluation of where schools currently are and a baseline against which to measure continuous improvement.

  • School Culture 360™ – a school survey instrument that produces an “under the hood” analysis of behaviors and beliefs that influence student success. Cost for schools: $675.
  • Teacher Surveys on Curriculum Use – survey that creates a full picture of teachers’ use of curriculum materials and their satisfaction level with those materials. Cost for schools: $700.
  • For information about either of these surveys contact Dr. Carol Macedonia

Looking for rigorous and knowledge-rich curriculum?

The implementation of a knowledge-rich curriculum in grades K-12 is critical to positive academic achievement. Here are a few high quality curriculum programs for your consideration.

  • Wilson FUNdations: From Wilson Language Training, this foundational and early reading intervention curriculum is designed for students in K-3 grade.
  • Great Minds
    • Wit & Wisdom: K-12 ELA Curriculum focused on building knowledge of the world and important topics. Click here to learn more!
    • Eureka Math: K-12 Math Curriculum helping students gain a deeper understanding of the why behind the numbers, while making math more enjoyable to learn!

Why does knowledge rich curriculum and strong school culture matter?

We will be discussing the School Culture 360™ and Curriculum options in more detail at our Statewide School Leadership webinar on February 23rd. Click here to register!


To view more resources click here!




Budgeting for Technology & Free Professional Development Opportunity

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

Now more than ever, technology has become a necessity in education! With so many schools using a hybrid approach of in person and online learning, school leaders are under increasing pressure to purchase new technology or upgrade the existing materials. As you begin to work on your school’s budget and look forward to the future technology needs of your school, we hope the resources below can help guide your thinking and planning.

Consider this:

Not sure where to begin with budgeting?

Looking for more details and examples?

Free Building Inclusive Schools Professional Development options through Step Up for Students:

All trainings are FREE thanks to support from Step Up For Students and our generous donors.

  • Foundations of an Inclusive Community (Vanessa Douyon – Promise 54)
  • Is Your School Anti-Racist? (Vanessa Douyon – Promise 54)
  • LGBTQ Culturally Competent Best Practices (De Palazzo – Equality Florida)

Click here  to learn more about the content of these trainings. Click here to register.


To view more resources click here!

Resources for Supporting Teachers’ Mental Health in Difficult Times

Step Up For Students School Leadership Resources

We know this time of the year is especially stressful for educators. This year more than any other, we know your teachers are juggling a lot. This month’s resources are dedicated to helping administrators support the mental and emotional well-being of their staff members.

Strengthen Your Leadership in Difficult Times:

Share Mental Health Resources & Tips with your Staff:

Don’t Miss Our Giveaway!

For National STEM Day we are giving away a sample of simulated dirt from Mars to one lucky teacher! Experiment with different soil types by growing plants in “dirt” that is similar to the surface of Mars.  Click here to enter!

OESE Back-to-School Success Stories (See examples HERE)

  • The U.S Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Frank Brogan, have spent the past few months discussing the importance of returning to school. To submit a testimonial about how your school is thriving with your students back in person, please reach out to: Step Up For Students would love to see our schools spotlighted nationally!

Don’t Forget! Nominate a student for the 2020 Virtual Rising Stars Awards. Nominations due December 4th. Click here to nominate today!