• phone 619-594-7905
  • mail ncust@sdsu.edu
  • pointer 5500 Campanile Dr, EBA 332 San Diego, CA 92182-1165

District Leadership for Excellence and Equity Advanced Certificate Program 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Oct. 2020 - Nov. 2020

Envisioning Equity and Excellence at Schools in Your District

Through this course, leaders will learn how culture, curricula, and instruction make a powerful difference in schools that achieve equity and excellence.  District leaders will form a clearer image of the transformation they want to inspire and support as they assess the extent to which their schools’ culture, curricula, and instruction resemble those found in very high-performing schools.  District leaders will learn strategies for communicating expectations and for providing support related to those expectations in ways that maximize the likelihood that school leaders will improve their schools’ culture, curricula, and instruction in ways that advance equity and excellence. As part of this course, district leaders will participate in one of three opportunities to visit classrooms in a high-performing urban school. By the end of the course, participants will have a clearer perspective of how schools under their supervision will need to improve in order to advance equity and excellence in learning results.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Using NCUST-created tools, each district leader will conduct a brief self-assessment of the culture, curriculum, and instruction in at least one of the schools they supervise.   The self-assessment will highlight the extent to which a positive transformational culture, challenging curricula, and engaging, effective instruction exist for each major demographic group of students.  To conduct the self-assessment, minimally, the district leader will need to a) observe classrooms, b) conduct a focus group of school personnel, and c) interview the school administrators.  Each district leader will be expected to develop a 3-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the findings from their self-assessment of the school and highlight the ways in which the school is similar to and different from schools that are demonstrating remarkable evidence of academic success for all demographic groups of students.
  2. Using NCUST-created tools and in collaboration with the school leader(s) supervised, the district leader will develop and submit a one-page chart that articulates a) current areas of strength and need related to school culture, curricula, and instruction, b) a clear expectation for improvement in each area, and c) examples of evidence that would be accepted as indicators of substantial progress toward expectations.
  3. Using NCUST-created tools and in collaboration with the school leader(s) supervised, the district leader will develop a support plan that articulates how the district leader will support campus leaders as they pursue expectations for improvement related to school culture, curricula, and instruction. As part of the support plan, district leaders will describe how they will eliminate or minimize barriers (especially district-created barriers) that impede the development of school culture, curricula, and instruction that positively influence educational equity and excellence.  The district leader will submit a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that provides a synopsis of the support plan.

 

Learning Outcomes

  • By comparing and contrasting information acquired from the schools they supervise (through quantitative data, observations, conversations, and surveys) with information about the culture, curricula, and instruction in schools that achieve equity and excellence, each district leader will be able to assess the extent to which the schools they lead are similar to and different from schools that are achieving educational equity and excellence.
  • District leaders will develop and implement strategies for supporting and guiding school leaders as they engage key stakeholders in learning how culture, curricula, and instruction need to improve in order to increase the likelihood of achieving equitable and excellent learning results.
  • District leaders will develop and implement strategies for eliminating or severely reducing district-level directives (including directives grounded in institutional biases associated with race and/or socio-economics) that impede school leaders’ opportunities to advance the culture, curricula, and instruction needed to achieve equity and excellence.
  • District leaders will develop and implement strategies for articulating expectations for school leaders that specify how culture, curricula, and instruction should improve measurably over time.
  • As well, district leaders will develop and implement strategies for providing support to school leaders that will maximize the likelihood that each school leader will succeed in meeting the expectations the district leader has articulated.

Dec. 2020 - Feb. 2021

Building a Coherent System that Promotes Equity and Excellence

Through this course, district leaders will support the school leaders they supervise in developing/strengthening a coherent educational improvement system that advances their school’s progress toward equity and excellence.  District leaders will support campus leaders in engaging key stakeholders in assessing their school’s educational improvement efforts and conceptualizing a coherent system that will improve the school’s culture, curricula, and instruction for all demographic groups of students.  Specifically, district leaders will guide their school leader colleagues in pursuing a planning process that 1) increases clarity about the critical academic standards all students need to master, 2) defines common assessment tools and strategies to be employed, 3) strengthens teacher collaboration in ways that improve the initial instruction (tier I instruction) provided to students, 4) develops timely, effective, and powerful intervention and enrichment strategies, and 5) ensures that all stakeholders (including students, parents, and teachers) are likely to feel both valued and capable throughout all system components.  As part of this course, leaders will participate in a Zoom-based micro-lab with district leaders who support or have supported high-performing urban schools.  The micro-lab will highlight how district leaders helped their schools achieve equitable and excellent learning results through the establishment of coherent educational improvement systems.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Each district leader will support at least one school leader in engaging key stakeholders in analyzing the extent to which the school has a coherent educational improvement system and developing a plan for strengthening the system elements most in need of improvement. Each district leader will develop a six-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the priorities for strengthening the school(s) coherent educational improvement system and the major action steps that will be undertaken to address the priorities.
  2. Each leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the strategies the district leader will take to support the school leader in strengthening the school’s coherent educational improvement system. The strategies should include efforts the district leader will take to eliminate or minimize district-created barriers that impede the implementation of a coherent educational improvement system.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to support school leaders in engaging key stakeholders in assessing the elements of the school’s educational improvement system to determine how it is similar to and different from what is commonly found in schools that achieve equity and excellence.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to help school leaders and other key stakeholders understand why each element of a coherent educational improvement system contributes to the attainment of positive learning results for diverse groups of students.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to engage school leaders in defining and committing to address a few priorities that are likely to accelerate the development of a coherent educational improvement system in each school.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to engage school leaders in developing, implementing, and refining short-cycle plans for making rapid improvements related to the elements of each school’s coherent educational improvement system.
  • Each district leader will design and implement a plan for eliminating or minimizing district-created barriers (including institutional biases associated with race and/or socio-economics) that impede the implementation of a coherent educational improvement system.

Feb. 2021 - Apr.2021

Advancing School Culture in Pursuit of Equity and Excellence

Through this course, district leaders will engage the school leaders at their school in understanding how their school culture might be strengthened in ways that promote equity and excellence.  In particular, district leaders will support school leaders as they engage key stakeholders in defining a few key actions for strengthening school culture for diverse groups of students and for all school personnel.  As part of this course, district leaders will conduct a phone or Zoom interview with a district leader from a district with a school that won the America’s Best Urban School Award.  The focus of the interview will be the leadership practices that influenced the development of a positive transformational culture 1) for all groups of students and 2) for all school personnel.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Each district leader will identify a school leader who would benefit from support related to improving the culture of his/her school in ways that would create a more positive transformational culture. The district leader will engage with the school leader in a series of at least four observations and feedback sessions designed to support the school leader in improving the school culture.  Early in the course, the leader will post a two-slide PowerPoint file that highlights why the school culture needs to be improved and how the district leader intends to provide support.  Toward the end of the course, the leader will post a second two-slide PowerPoint file that highlights the observable differences in the school culture, and the district leader’s reflections about the factors that contributed to and/or inhibited improvement in the school culture.
  2. Each district leader will engage a team of school leaders in analyzing the extent to which the district promotes a positive transformational culture for each demographic group of students and for all school personnel. While each district leader will have conducted their own self-assessment of one school in the first course, this task is focused upon engaging a group of school leaders in assessing the district’s influence on school culture.  Each district leader will three-slide (maximum)PowerPoint file that highlights both the ways in which district policies, programs, and procedures positively or negatively influence school cultures for diverse groups of students, parents, and school personnel.
  3. Based upon the school leaders’ findings related to the district’s influence on school culture, the district leader will develop an action plan for addressing key priorities. Each leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights their commitments for advancing the development of positive transformational cultures in the district’s schools.  For each priority addressed, the PowerPoint file should articulate the major action steps that will be taken to address the priority.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to support school leaders as they engage key stakeholders in assessing the extent to which their school’s culture (for various demographic groups of students and parents, as well as for school personnel) is similar to and different from what is found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence.
  • Each district leader will support a school leader as they coach a teacher in a manner that results in improvement in the culture of their classroom.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to articulate a few specific expectations regarding how school leaders should influence the culture at their schools for various demographic groups of students and parents, as well as for school personnel.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to engage school leaders in defining, addressing, and evaluating progress related to a few priorities that are likely to accelerate the pursuit of excellence and equity by addressing prominent issues related to culture.

May 2021 - June 2021

Supporting Leaders in Advancing Effective Teaching Practices

Through this course, district leaders will engage school leaders in understanding how curriculum and instruction at their schools might be strengthened in ways that promote equity and excellence.  In particular, district leaders will guide school leaders in enlisting key stakeholders in defining key practices they will commit to master in ways that promote deep understanding among all students and advance the pursuit of equity and excellence.  As well, district leaders will support school leaders in designing, implementing, and refining plans in ways that are most likely to result in the continuous improvement of the specific instructional practices they commit to addressing.  As part of this course, district leaders will participate in one of three opportunities to visit classrooms in a high-performing urban school.  As part of this course, leaders will review and analyze video-recorded lessons from real urban schools.  The recordings will highlight the distinctive teaching practices that promote equity and excellence in classrooms.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Each district leader will identify one or more schools that will be the focus of efforts to improve teaching practices. The district leader will engage with the principals and instructional leaders in a series of at least four observations and feedback sessions designed to support the school leaders in 1) distinguishing examples from non-examples of high-quality implementation of the eight teaching practices found in schools that achieve both equity and excellence, 2) assessing the extent to which instruction at their school is similar to and different from what is found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence, 3) communicating to school personnel why the teaching practices found in schools that achieve equity and excellence are more likely to generate positive learning results for diverse groups of students, 4) specifying a teaching practice that will be the focus of intensive school-wide effort, and 5) building supports that will increase the likelihood that all teachers are successful in improving their implementation of the teaching practice specified.  Early in the course, the district leader will post a video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that illustrates the need for improvement in the teacher’s practice along with a two-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) why the practice needs to be improved and 2) how the district leader intends to build the capacity of school leaders to improve the practice.  Toward the end of the course, the leader will post a second video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the demonstration of improved performance related to the teaching practice.  Accompanying the video clip, the district leader will post a two-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) the observable differences in performance related to the specific teaching practice, and 2) the district leader’s reflections about the factors that contributed to and/or inhibited improvement in the teacher’s performance.
  2. Each leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights how he or she will support principals and instructional leaders in continuing to improve teaching practices that are likely to advance educational equity and excellence. The PowerPoint file will emphasize how the district leader intends to build supports and reduce barriers to improve teaching and learning.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to engage principals and other instructional leaders in assessing the extent to which instruction at their school is similar to and different from what is found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to coach a principal in a manner that results in improvement related to a specific teaching practice found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to build the capacity of their principals and instructional leaders to communicate why the teaching practices found in schools that achieve equity and excellence are more likely to generate positive learning results for diverse groups of students than teaching practices found in more typical schools.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to help their principals and instructional leaders distinguish examples from non-examples of high-quality implementation of the eight teaching practices found in schools that achieve both equity and excellence.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to engage principals and instructional leaders in specifying a teaching practice that will be the focus of intensive school-wide effort.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to work with principals and other instructional leaders to build supports that will increase the likelihood that all teachers are successful in improving their implementation of the teaching practice they jointly specified. In particular, leaders will support principals and other instructional leaders in determining how they can use classroom observation and feedback opportunities to improve the specified teaching practice.  As well, district leaders will guide school leaders in defining how they will use teacher collaboration opportunities to support teachers as they improve the specified teaching practice.

Aug. 2021 & Sept. 2021

Overcoming the Leadership Challenges

Through this course, district leaders will engage the school leaders at their school in understanding how their school culture might be strengthened in ways that promote equity and excellence.  In particular, district leaders will support school leaders as they engage key stakeholders in defining a few key actions for strengthening school culture for diverse groups of students and for all school personnel.  As part of this course, district leaders will conduct a phone or Zoom interview with a district leader from a district with a school that won the America’s Best Urban School Award.  The focus of the interview will be the leadership practices that influenced the development of a positive transformational culture 1) for all groups of students and 2) for all school personnel.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Each district leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights a) the positive changes associated with their work in the Certificate program that occurred during the school year, b) the factors that influenced the successes, and c) the issues that inhibited greater success.
  2. Each district leader will also develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that describes a) the specific changes related to school culture, curricula, and instruction that he/she will pursue during the 2021-2022 academic year, b) the leadership challenges that may impede the implementation of the specific changes, and c) the leaders plans for addressing the challenges effectively and efficiently.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to reflect upon their efforts to advance equity and excellence during the school year. Each district leader will identify situations in which there was clear evidence of positive change and determine what they did to foster the changes.  As well, each district leader will identify situations in which the quantity and/or quality of change was less than desired.  District leaders will assess the factors that may have inhibited the desired change and determine what they could have done to influence greater change.
  • Each district leader will demonstrate the ability to anticipate critical next steps in their efforts to improve school culture, curricula, and instruction in the schools they lead. As district leaders plan for the 2021-22 academic year, they will identify specific, pivotal leadership challenges they will need to address in order to maximize the success of their efforts to advance equity and excellence. 
  • Based upon the district leadership challenges identified, each district leader will plan specific leadership actions to maximize the likelihood that their 2021-2022 change efforts will have maximum impact on the district’s pursuit of equity and excellence.
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