NYCLA Begins Three Innovative Client Engagements

February 26, 2015

  1. Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) Administrator Support Program

    NYCLA is collaborating with the Iowa Department of Education to launch its new statewide TLC Administrator Support program. This comprehensive, year-long professional development program will build the capacity of principals in different parts of the state to develop and facilitate distributive leadership in their schools. This goal will be achieved by supporting and leveraging teacher leaders as part of the principals’ leadership teams. Teacher leaders are increasingly recognized as strong allies for administrators in strengthening curriculum and instruction through actions like helping their colleagues, co-teaching and fine tuning instructional strategies.

    “Our engagement with the Iowa Department of Education is unique in the sense that the resulting TLC Administrator Support Program harnesses the power of a school leadership team – one that includes talented teachers – to improve classroom instruction and ultimately student performance,” notes Sarah Stevens, who is overseeing the project as NYCLA’s Director of Client Engagement. NYCLA will use our past experience in supporting school leadership teams to build a comprehensive, state-wide program we hope will be sustainable for many years to come, and will benefit hundreds of school leaders and educators.”

  2. Advancement for Christian Education Academy

    NYCLA has a new engagement with the Bainum Family Foundation (formerly the Commonweal Foundation), a philanthropic organization that supports educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth from early childhood through post-secondary education. In partnership with the Commonweal Foundation, NYCLA is designing and delivering an aspiring school leaders program for faith-based schools to match the needs of its diverse leaders and schools. Our work includes designing the program, recruiting promising candidates, and delivering training and residency support for an initial cohort of aspiring leaders across the country and providing coaching support to the new leaders once they are in their schools.

    Because this system of schools has a national presence, NYCLA will employ new strategies to support the cohort of leaders in different parts of the country who will do much of their learning in local environments. To maximize the aspiring leaders’ learning during their residency year, NYCLA will develop and deliver a blended learning curriculum of facilitated online learning sessions complemented by in-person sessions to deepen knowledge and provide practice in necessary school leadership skills such as:

    • Communicating a vision
    • Effective use of data
    • Shaping school culture
    • Teacher observation

    Neil Ferner, Associate Director overseeing this initiative, says, “At NYCLA, we believe that aspiring leaders learn best in collaborative environments where they can work through problems of practice together and provide and receive feedback and support. The blended learning model will bridge the location gap for participating school leaders, ensuring that they have a well-rounded experience despite the limitations of time and distance.”

    “The blended residency will give participants an opportunity to engage with their colleagues using the full range of professional learning tools available to them,” added Rachel Scott, Senior Director of Learning Systems, who oversees NYCLA’s online and blended curriculum development. “They can use face-to-face time to build community and practice public speaking as well as in-person collaboration; the online space will provide opportunities for structured reflection and discourse, research, and the exchange of feedback on school-based assignments.”

  3. Maricopa County Principal Leadership Development Program

    NYCLA is supporting the Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA) in its work to develop and deliver a series of professional development sessions for principals across MCESA school districts focused on how to lead effective and sustainable change in their turnaround schools. Participating principals will experience a customized and individualized learning path that matches their developmental needs with those of their schools.

    Each participant will choose an initiative at his or her school to focus on. Initiatives must:

    • Have an impact on the whole school
    • Align with the long-term vision of the school
    • Have an impact that will reverberate across the school
    • Have a demonstrable impact on students and staff
    • Use data to establish targets and evaluate outcomes

    Principals will use the sessions and their initiatives as an opportunity to plan for their changes, receive critical feedback on plans, use their networks to troubleshoot pitfalls before they encounter them, deconstruct and reflect on implementation challenges and ultimately move schools forward in service of student learning. Professional development sessions will provide critical time to focus on the necessary skills and knowledge to lead these initiatives and will be complemented by support in their schools (through MCESA staff) and school inter-visitations.

    Additionally, participants will benefit from a network of cross-district school leaders that support each other’s growth and development in the service of improving schools. Principals will leverage the talents and knowledge of their colleagues to help them design, strategize, implement and sustain their change initiative. They will gain from the support and diverse thinking of the group and reflect and refine their instructional and strategic leadership through this ongoing work.