Programs for Assistant & Aspiring Principals


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We collected data to better understand the assistant principal (AP) school experience and expand our AP-focused programming. In addition to the programs below, we will launch a new pilot program in the 2022-23 school year.

AP Professional Learning Communities

The Aspiring Principals Professional Learning Communities (AP PLCs) aim to equip aspiring principals with a deeper understanding of the skills needed to enhance their skills as an AP and provide them support to take on a principal position in the near future, through the mentorship of a current principal. 

In SY22-23, we will offer 3 AP PLCs, serving over 45 aspiring principals, which will cover topics such as change management, culturally responsive school leadership, and putting theory into practice. 

Endorsement PLC

Together with CPS and university partners, this special PLC supports candidates enrolled in degree programs that award the General Administrative Endorsement, Illinois’ statewide license for school leadership. The program is led by Tyrese Graham, principal at Uplift HS, and Jennifer White, AP at Morgan Park HS, and includes teachers, network staff, and other school support staff who are interested in pursuing school leadership opportunities. Cohort sessions focus on school leadership experiences and networking opportunities with key central office staff, with the aim of elevating the profile of aspiring leaders within the district. We will recruit and welcome a new cohort of aspiring leaders in the fall.

Leadership Bridge

Leadership Bridge supports the leadership development and career growth of assistant principals (APs) so that they are ready to assume principalship in the next one to two years. It aims to ensure that Chicago has a robust, high-quality, and diverse pipeline of school leaders. Through on-the-job professional development and individualized coaching sessions from school leadership experts at New Leaders, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Accelerate Institute, APs work in close collaboration with their principals to prepare for their future roles and to develop succession plans for their schools.

Since the inception of the program in 2019, we have supported more than 60 assistant principal and principal pairs to develop clear succession plans for their schools, and seen more than 20 APs successfully become principals in Chicago schools thus far. We are excited to welcome a new cohort of APs and principals this year!

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