Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How do we get aligned?

                  In the recent months KASB Leadership Services has been working with service centers throughout the state to align supports and provide a systemic approach to developing leadership at all levels.

A systems approach to leadership is defined by a clear vision that is communicated and viable throughout all levels of the system.  This means that all levels of the system have established and are implementing goals that move them towards the board’s vision, and are utilizing common leadership vocabulary and processes to maximize resources and supports throughout the district.

As districts continue to strive to improve student performance, alignment around a systems approach to leadership becomes even more critical.  The supports that are in development will provide ongoing professional development for building-level leaders, district-level leaders, and board members to build their capacity around the leadership practices that research has shown make a difference. McREL International refers to this as the “What Matters Most” framework.

                  Supports provided are divided into two levels: Foundational Learning and Continuous Learning.  Those supports found within the Foundational Level are designed to provide leaders with the necessary tools and strategies to build on as they develop their capacity as a leader.  The Continuous Learning supports take educational leaders through deeper learning experiences that will result in them becoming more effective at their given role in the district.
                  The building level leader's Foundational Learning focuses on practical tools and strategies to deal with the rigors of the building leader role.  These include establishing a vision and uniting stakeholders around that vision; performing supervision and evaluation to improve student achievement; and developing communication channels to insure two-way communication is occurring.  This Foundational Learning will provide any principal new or experienced with a great foundation for building leadership.  
                  The Continuous Learning focus is the McREL Balanced Leadership Framework where building leaders will delve into the “art and science” of leadership.  They will also engage in reflection around their current practices and be provided techniques that will move them from a solid building leader to an exceptional building leader.  There are also opportunities within the Continuous Learning supports for building leaders to further develop their instructional leadership skills.
                  Superintendents, district leaders, and board members will have opportunities to build their capacity related to current initiatives and challenges that school districts are facing across the state.   These opportunities include topic-specific professional development for superintendents and district office leaders.  
                  School Board members can engage in activities designed around current issues in Kansas education and the district-level leadership practices that have shown over time to make a difference in student achievement.  At the foundation for superintendents, district leaders, and board members is the strategic planning process and annual monitoring of goals established within the district.
                  Through the Continuous Learning activities, superintendents, district leaders, and board members will be able to design, implement and monitor a strategic plan that moves their district to the next level of performance.  

Contact us if you have additional questions or would like more information.