Academy for Leveraging Leadership

Program Designed to Support Principals in Preparing All Students to be College and Career Ready

A new year-long school leadership program designed to further develop and expand the instructional leadership of all Providence Schools principals, assistant principals and district coaches was launched in September.

Lori B. McEwen (close-up)

According to Dr. Lori McEwen, chief of instruction, leadership and equity, the Academy for Leveraging Leadership will support principals in leading their schools toward greater student achievement and increased college and career readiness for students in every grade.

“Principals are the key lever of change in any school, and we understand they need support to raise student achievement,” McEwen said.

The ALL program, according to McEwen, will build principals’ capacity in the areas of:

  • Common Core Shifts/Instructional leadership: understanding the deep instructional shifts required by the Common Core math and literacy standards and how to promote and support those shifts via feedback and professional development for school staff;
  • Observation and feedback: providing meaningful and actionable feedback to support teachers in implementing the instructional shifts and engaging all learners; and
  • Data-driven instruction and assessment: using data on student achievement and instructional practice to drive decision making at the school level.

“The overarching goal is to build the capacity for instructional leadership that ensures greater student achievement and deeper learning across the district,” said McEwen.

The program was designed by National Academic Education Partners in collaboration with McEwen and executive directors Nkoli Onye, performance management; Scott Sutherland, curriculum and instruction; Rachel Mellion, the office of transformation and innovation; Marc Catone, secondary schools; Dottie Smith, elementary schools; and directors Marco Andrade, research, planning and accountability and Susan Chin, elementary zone. It will run from September to May with eight daylong and half-day sessions.

ALL is part of a comprehensive system of support for principals that includes the Principal Induction Program for new principals that is directed by Onye and coaching provided by Education Leadership Associates.

This year, the first three sessions of ALL will focus on Common Core Anchor Standard 1 of English Language Arts focusing on reading comprehension and use of supporting texts and Standard I of mathematical practice involving problem-solving and Standard 6 focusing on precision.

According to McEwen, the team determined that having building leaders focus on promoting these standards would have the greatest impact on teaching and learning this year.

Building leaders will learn to provide professional development that will help teachers implement new instructional strategies necessary for helping students prepare for success in college and career.

“By the end of the school year, all building leaders will not only be well-versed in the standards and corresponding instructional shifts, but will also be better able to support teachers by providing targeted, action-oriented feedback, ” according to McEwen.

The ALL program is designed to put instructional leadership at the forefront of building leadership, said McEwen.  “That is the most important role of the building leader.”