Vol. 19, No. 35
July 6, 2000
|More than 20 principals and assistant principals from the Caesar Rodney, Indian River, Milford and Seaford school districts took part in a weeklong seminar this June as part of the newly expanded Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL), sponsored in part by the University of Delaware.
DASL, which held its first institute last summer for the Christina School District, provides professional development for school leaders. The program focuses on helping principals, assistant principals and administrative interns develop and enhance their skills in management and instructional leadership, with an emphasis on Delaware's new standards for student achievement and accountability.
In addition to the summer institute, participants will meet regularly throughout the school year to work with experts and share professional experiences.
"What we have found is that principals are starved for interaction with each other on a professional and an informal basis, and we are able to provide that, in addition to bringing in exciting speakers," Jeffrey A. Raffel, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy and DASL's director, said.
After the successful initial institute last summer, Raffel said, the program will expand and offer three seminars this summer, beginning with the southern Delaware residential session June 25-29 at UD's Virden Center in Lewes. DASL also will have its first full-time coordinator beginning Aug. 1, when Dennis Loftus will begin work in the position after his retirement as superintendent of the New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District.
Raffel said he expects the demand for DASL to continue to grow as
Delaware school administrators seek more effective ways to improve student performance and to recruit new principals and assistant principals.
A lot of accountability is school-based, and the pressure falls on the principals," Raffel said. "There's an obvious need, statewide, for this kind of professional development program."
DASL is operated by UD's Institute of Public Administration and School of Education, with the support of the Delaware Business/Public Education Council. The program also is sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education and participating school districts.