School districts are held accountable for the performance of all students. This increased responsibility has caused principals and their faculties to become increasingly concerned about using performance data to improve achievement, attendance, promotion and graduation rates, dropout rates and at-risk student performance, and other indicators of school quality. An often overlooked resource in the school’s efforts is the school counselor.

School counselors are well-prepared to assist principals with data utilization and making recommendations for individual student, classroom, and school-wide improvement. Collaborative relationships between principals and school counselors can contribute significantly to school improvement efforts and to professional learning and capacity building for all staff. Working on the school improvement team, conducting equity audits, and organizing job-embedded professional development, professional learning communities, and data teams can be essential elements in collaborative school improvement leadership. Joining the principal’s view from the balcony with the counselor’s view from the dance floor (Heifetz and Linsky, 2002) can bring excellence and equity for all students into focus.


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