Planning for the new school year can be difficult when faced with budget cuts and other challenges, writes high-school principal Eric Sheninger. However, school leadership becomes more important in turbulent times and he suggests school leaders take time before school starts to finalize strategies for focusing a school on student learning and achievement. His five tips: Don't make excuses, articulate a clear vision to staffers, utilize a 21st-century curriculum, improve professional development and make use of available support systems.

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