Academy DesignSchool administrators worked with each other, Academy faculty, and visiting presenters toward the goal of personal and professional development. The Academy experience was designed to assist each participant in developing effective school improvement strategies and plans. Principles of school-based governance and professional development schools were part of the Academy's philosophy.
The program centered on learning and teaching: principals who were committed to research-based ideas about good learning; who recognized high quality teaching and knew how to sustain and nurture it; who knew how to recognize what gets in the way of excellent teaching and learning and what to do about it.
Leaders who were truly visionary were those who, working with their teachers, had developed a clear sense of direction for their schools and a strategy to effect change. In developing and implementing strategy, these leaders were effective in working as part of a team, as facilitators who view the process as a shared activity requiring the support and understanding of a broad group of constituents that includes the school board, the superintendent and central office staff, community leaders, school staff, parents, and students.
The program recognized the immense complexity and difficulty in providing this leadership. Participants worked together with each other and with core faculty members to address topics that represent the categories of thought and action required to lead change. National leaders in educational reform served as resources and presenters, and an extensive collection of readings was distributed for individual and team study.
With their teachers, principals prepared for the Academy by discussing needs for improvement in their schools and collaborating on preliminary ideas for change. At the Academy, participants refined their plans and prepared strategies for continuing school improvement. Pre-Academy needs assessment/preliminary planning process information were provided to participants.
The Purpose of the AcademyThe Academy brought together the best resources from education and business to help effective principals: