PRN NYC Program Design Principles
The school building is the best place for developing an extraordinary generation of school leaders. School Leaders, selected for their leadership capacity and commitment to progressive school change, “perfect” the craft of effective administration through the Professional Residency Network.
School leaders currently serving their school communities begin by developing rigorous, individual learning plans. Their plan will guide their experience and ensure that project work is supported by substantive reading, writing, and reflection.
Learning through Experience is not Inevitable
Learning from the experiences of the school building requires deliberation, self-awareness, and constant feedback. Leaders must be reflective-practitioners who derive insight from their experiences and know how to modify their practice accordingly. Journal writing and regular, in-depth discussions with their cohort of practicing principals are critical to this process. Retreats, expert-led workshops, readings, and cross-site school visits add perspective and depth to reflective practice.
School Leaders learn through the real-world consequences of their projects. They document their efforts and results and create extensive portfolios that illustrate project work, writing, research, and reading. They give formal exhibitions through which they publicly present their work and reflect upon their learning goals and growth. Principals receive ongoing written and verbal feedback from colleagues in the program cohort and from a school-based feedback circle.
Core Leadership Qualities
The following leadership qualities are the foundation of the Principal Residency Network.
I. Moving the Vision:
Effective school leaders involve stakeholders within the school and community in developing and maintaining a consistent vision of how a “good school” can become an “excellent school.” Such leaders inspire others to help them achieve this vision. Possessing such a vision allows the school leader to say yes or no to ideas or activities, based on how they affect and support the vision and how they help the school move in the desired direction.
II. Moral Courage:
Influential school leaders have the courage to stand alone, if necessary, to uphold key principles and values. They are change agents who are ready to challenge the status quo when it is limiting the potential success of some members of the school community. They are committed, above all else, to doing what is best for children even in the face of pressure to cut corners or compromise values. They inspire others toward tolerance and greater understanding of human differences, and they protect students from the effects of bullying or prejudice.
III. Instructional Leadership for a Positive Learning Environment:
Successful school leaders work to create joy around learning and help faculty and staff promote a zest for learning in all students, while continuing to grow as professionals. At the same time, school leaders keep track of diagnostic data that reveal how well diverse students are performing, and are ready to lead in solving problems that hinder student success.
IV. Management Based on Interpersonal Relationships:
Effective school leaders can juggle many tasks and thoughts at once. They know that careful attention to creating positive and healthy relationships is of paramount importance. They therefore pay attention to the personal and act in a manner that is thoughtful, understanding, and just. They are patient and understanding but willing to move in an organized, collaborative manner to initiate and follow through on tasks. They show respect for and trust in school staff and promote democratic collaboration. They are tactful yet direct and possess a talent for both one-on-one and group communication. They help ensure the maintenance of a safe and secure facility, and they are skilled at preparing budgets and keeping expenditures in line with budget priorities. They possess an understanding of relevant school laws, and they promote accountability by example.
V. Building Public Support for School Excellence:
Successful school leaders are adept at public relations and help keep the broader community informed about and involved in the issues and challenges the school is facing. They make effective use of community resources and keep an open door to community concerns.