SELF Competencies: Principal Culture

#2. Culture

SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADERSHIP: Take responsibility for equitable academic, civic, and social-emotional outcomes for students who have been historically underserved by schools and society.


Cultivate an inclusive, caring, and supportive school-wide culture that advances the school’s equity vision.


  • Students at the center: Develop the systems, rituals, and mindsets to ensure that every student — especially those who are typically marginalized — is known and valued, encouraged to be a responsible member of the school community, and expected to achieve at high levels.

  • Cultural competence and responsiveness: Build knowledge and implement practices to affirm the dignity and value of cultures and languages represented in the school community.

  • Equitable practice: Explore and model own identity and cultural awareness of self and work to interrupt oppressive practices, words, or actions in adult and student communities.

  • Inclusive, caring and supportive school community: Lead stakeholders in creating and sustaining a welcoming, responsive, and inclusive school community that partners with families to support all students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Evidence of Impact

  • All students can name adults whom they trust, who expect them to succeed, and who support them.

  • Students and families from historically underserved groups report they feel empowered, valued, and respected.

  • Students from historically underserved groups have equitable access to effective teachers, learning opportunities, academic and social support, and other resources necessary for success.

  • Educators witness the leader taking interruptive action (through modeling or direction) in response to instances of inequity.

  • Student misconduct is consistently addressed in a restorative, fair, and unbiased manner.

  • Families of all students are aware and informed partners in ensuring success for their children in school performance and experience.

  • The school has consistent, positive, and inclusive classroom learning environments.

  • Meeting agenda structures, visuals, and school rituals reflect a daily commitment to equity (i.e., through Discourse II engagement). 

This page was last updated on August 5, 2019