The Fund’s Executive Principal Program is a unique year-long opportunity for two principals to work and grow together.
The program is designed to develop, retain and celebrate Chicago’s principals by facilitating a close partnership between two school leaders, an Executive Principal and a Rising Star Principal.
Through an intentional matching model, an Executive Principal, an experienced, high-achieving leader, is paired with a Rising Star Principal, a newer leader who demonstrates interest in individual coaching. These principals are paired based on complementary strength and growth areas as well as school demographics.
The 2018-19 cohort includes three principal pairs from across the city.
South Side Education Alliance
A strong principal in a school serving particularly high-need students can make a big difference – climate and culture is stronger, student growth is accelerated and students are more likely to graduate.
With that in mind, The Fund is partnering with 11 other organizations during the 2018-19 school year to provide layered supports to eight elementary schools, collectively serving 4,400 students in the Bronzeville and Stony Island neighborhoods of Chicago.
This group, recently named the South Side Education Alliance, will share data, define common outcomes and test solutions in partnership with schools and communities. The Fund will test whether multiple, layered supports in these schools can accelerate outcomes in student growth.
Harvard Graduate School of Education
With The Fund’s support, 21 principals are working toward a certificate in school management leadership through the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The coursework, which is completed online, is comprised of four different tracks, each focusing on a different aspect of adaptive leadership and taught by faculty from Harvard’s education and business schools.
The HGSE program will kick off on March 20, 2019, with a class in Leading Change. During the four-week course, Principals will learn how to empower school staff to solve persistent problems, create a school culture that promotes excellence and address equity challenges using data.
The Fund is working with national expert Sensible Innovation to provide 36 school teams with creative scheduling consultation so that principals can increase learning and collaboration time for teachers and align their master schedules to their school’s priorities, vision and model.
The training is completed over the summer and aided by the use of a scheduling app developed by Sensible Innovation. By introducing flexibility into their schedules, several school teams have been able to increase instruction time for core subjects, give students more choice in extracurricular classes, and expand opportunities for personalized learning.
The Fund supported 31 principals in Chicago Public Schools’ Opportunity Schools Network by implementing promising hiring and retention strategies for teachers in hard-to-staff schools.
The principals participated in a professional learning community (PLC) led by TNTP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing teacher leadership. Principals attended six PLC sessions, during which they identified their top teachers, developed strategies to retain them and learned concrete skills to help teachers grow their practice. This pilot program concluded in November 2018, but the work may continue at a future date.