Why Culture Is Important at APS?

APS believes that improving culture and rebuilding trust in the district are essential to APS’s ultimate goals. As an element of the strategic plan, we believe that a culture that supports trust, collaboration, and engagement is essential to achieving the vision and mission.  As APS continues to focus on culture, the organization will be equipped to provide additional improvements, including enhancements to our academic program, better strategies for getting and keeping the best people, and making operational changes that allow us to work more effectively.  In addition, the culture serves as the foundation for good relationships with all stakeholders including employees, students, parents and the overall community.

In order to transform the culture at APS, a focus must be placed on leadership and the manager-employee relationship. Culture impacts how an employee acts in the workplace; it is the guideposts for behavior. A strong culture of the organization can bring out the best in each employee.


APS guiding principles to support culture transformation:

  • Take a holistic approach to identify and address key levers of culture change

  • Integrate culture activities across the organization

  • Employ change management practices to support staff and leaders

  • Engage leaders as an essential change catalyst to lead, model and cascade all culture change work at their local site

  • Tailor culture work to address all stakeholder subcultures including teams, departments, divisions, schools and community


APS is currently focused on two cultural priorities to drive our work:

Putting Students First

Putting students at the center of our thinking; focusing our priorities, attention, and resources on preparing all students to lead choice-filled lives. At APS we commit to putting students at the top of how we think, feel, behave and operate by focusing on students and their outcomes. We understand the important role we all have in supporting student learning and commit to redirecting support to front-line staff and students.

Building Strong Manager-Employee Relationships

Helping all employees develop relationships with their managers and colleagues that are characterized by trust, respect, and effective communication and engagement to move from what’s “wrong” to what’s “strong.” At APS we seek to create a work environment where all employees feel valued, appreciated, heard, trusted and supported. We strive to help all employees experience opportunities to learn, grow, innovate and find better, more efficient ways to do their work.  Building strong manager-employee relationships not only helps individual performance, but also helps to build strong, high performing teams to ensure we are successful in accomplishing the district’s vision, mission and goals.


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