After serving as Resident Principal at Dorothy Height Charter School for the last year, LaKeysha Arthur is excited to begin serving as Principal in the 2021-22 school year. LaKeysha is a founding teacher at Height and has been at the school for eight years.
When LaKeysha first joined the CCS network, she served as a third-grade teacher teaching ELA and science. The next year, she moved up with her students and began teaching fourth grade.
“It was the perfect school year, and I fell in love with fourth grade and decided to continue teaching that age group,” LaKeysha said.
She remained teaching the fourth grade and became the team lead for ELA for three years before being promoted to the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for grades three through five, where she remained for another three years.
In her current position as Resident Principal, LaKeysha has been shadowing current Principal Elisabeth LaMotte-Mitchell and has been managing grades 3-8 to provide the team with feedback, coaching, and ongoing support.
LaKeysha has also used her time as Resident Principal to build relationships with other staff members.
“Prior to this year, I’d served only on the 3rd-5th grade team, so this was my year to be able to really branch out and strengthen relationships in the PreK-2nd grade teams,” she added.
While working more closely with LaMotte-Mitchell, Arthur has grown from the number of “in-the-moment” training sessions that LaMotte-Mitchell has helped her with.
“The in-the-moment training sessions are constant,” LaKeysha added. “For example, she’ll ask me if I’ve ever experienced this type of interaction with a parent, staff member, or student. If it’s a new experience for me, she allows me to have that real-time training and feedback as I prepare for next year.”
Shadowing a principal during the COVID-19 pandemic has also provided LaKeysha with a unique experience, and she learned a lot from LaMotte-Mitchell about dealing with unexpected challenges during what has been an unprecedented year for school.
“I’ve been working under her for five years, and her decisions have always been about what is best for the children. But this year was really unlike any other, and I really saw how much every little decision made was done with kids’ safety and overall well-being in mind,” LaKeysha said.
As her time as Resident Principal comes to a close and she prepares to take on the role of Principal, she has begun planning her goals for the upcoming school year. One of her primary goals is focused on professional development.
“I am excited about professional development training for our new staff who didn’t get that type of training due to COVID,” LaKeysha said.
She also plans to focus on the staff culture while also making up for the instructional time students lost during the pandemic.
“We’ve hired more interventionists because we do anticipate there’s going to be an academic gap that we have to close,” LaKeysha added. “In our Special Education Department, we’ve hired more and are restructuring to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our scholars.”
LaKeysha is eager to take on this role and continue to embody the mission of CCS to meet scholars where they are and help them thrive.
“I believe that every child deserves an awesome educator and someone that is going to go to bat for them every day to ensure that they receive what they are supposed to receive and be successful,” she shared.
LaKeysha is incredibly passionate about education and wants the parents of all the scholars to know that she will support every student and meet them where they are because “this is the most important work that anyone can do,” she added.