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

School Leadership for Excellence and Equity Advanced Certificate Program 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Aug. & Sept. 2020

Envisioning Equity and Excellence at Your School

Through this course, leaders will learn how culture, curricula, and instruction make a powerful difference in schools that achieve equity and excellence.  School leaders will form a clearer image of the transformation they want to inspire and support as they assess the extent to which their school’s culture, curricula, and instruction resemble those found in very high-performing schools.  As part of this course, 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 school culture, curricula, and instruction at their school will need to improve in order to advance equity and excellence in learning results.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Using NCUST-created tools, each leader will conduct a self-assessment of the culture of their school. The self-assessment will highlight the extent to which a positive transformational culture exists for each major demographic group of students and for the school’s personnel.  To conduct the self-assessment, minimally, the leader will need to a) observe classrooms, b) conduct focus groups of students, and c) conduct focus groups of school personnel.  Each leader will be expected to develop a 3-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the findings from their self-assessment of the school culture and highlight the ways in which their 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, each leader will conduct a self-assessment of the extent to which all students at their school have productive access to challenging curricula. To conduct the self-assessment, minimally, the leader will need to a) observe classrooms and b) review student schedules, classroom schedules, and master schedules.  Each leader will be expected to develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the findings from their self-assessment of school curricula and highlight the ways in which their school is similar to and different from schools that are demonstrating remarkable evidence of academic success for all demographic groups of students.
  3. Using NCUST-created tools, each leader will conduct a self-assessment of the extent to which all students at their school have access to effective, engaging instruction. To conduct the self-assessment, minimally, the leader will need to observe classrooms.  Each leader will be expected to develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the findings from their self-assessment of instruction and highlight the ways in which their school is similar to and different from schools that are demonstrating remarkable evidence of academic success for all demographic groups of students.

Learning Outcomes

  • By comparing and contrasting information acquired from their school (through quantitative data, observations, conversations, and surveys) with information about the culture of schools that achieve equity and excellence, each leader will be able to determine the extent to which students and families from each demographic group served are likely to feel valued, respected, and capable at school. In particular, each leader will demonstrate the ability to observe classrooms in their school and identify both examples and non-examples of practices that promote a positive transformational culture for all groups of students. 
  • By comparing and contrasting information acquired through quantitative data, observations, conversations, and surveys of key stakeholders with information about the culture of schools that achieve equity and excellence, each leader will be able to determine the extent to which their school personnel are likely to feel valued, respected, and capable.
  • By comparing and contrasting information acquired through student/class schedules and classroom observations with information about the curricula of schools that achieve equity and excellence, each leader will be able to determine the extent to which their students (and each demographic group of students) are receiving productive access to challenging curricula. In particular, each leader will demonstrate the ability to observe classrooms and identify both examples and non-examples of practices that promote productive access to challenging curricula.
  • By comparing and contrasting information acquired through classroom observations with information about instruction in schools that achieve equity and excellence, each leader will be able to determine the extent to which their students (and each demographic group of students) are actively engaged in instruction and advancing toward mastery of academic standards. In particular, each leader will demonstrate the ability to observe instruction in their school and identify both examples and non-examples of implementation of the eight teaching practices found in schools that achieve both equity and excellence. 

Oct. & Nov. 2020

Building a Coherent System that Promotes Equity and Excellence

Through this course, leaders will develop/strengthen a coherent educational improvement system that advances their school’s progress toward equity and excellence.  Each leader will engage 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.  Each leader will guide their school’s planning process in a way 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 leaders from high-performing urban schools.  The micro-lab will highlight how leaders helped their schools achieve equitable and excellent learning results through the establishment of coherent educational improvement systems.

Leadership Tasks

  1. Each leader will engage a leadership team of key stakeholders (minimally including a cross-section of teachers) in analyzing the extent to which the school has a coherent educational improvement system that includes each element found in schools that demonstrate remarkable evidence of academic success for all demographic groups. Each leader will video record himself/herself in discussing the elements of a coherent educational improvement system with the leadership team and post a video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the leader a) listening to stakeholder concerns and b) building understanding of the reasons such a system could be helpful to their students and to the educators at the school.
  2. Each leader will develop a six-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the priorities the stakeholders commit to addressing that will advance the development of a coherent educational improvement system at their school. For each priority addressed, the PowerPoint file should articulate the major action steps that will be taken to address the priority.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage their school’s 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 leader will demonstrate the ability to help their teachers 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 leader will demonstrate the ability to engage key stakeholders in defining and committing to address a few priorities that are likely to accelerate the development of a coherent educational improvement system.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage their school’s key stakeholders in developing, implementing, and refining short-cycle plans for making rapid improvements related to the elements of the school’s coherent educational improvement system. In particular, leaders will support teachers and other key stakeholders in determining how they will use teacher collaboration opportunities to improve the elements of their coherent educational improvement system.

Dec. 2020 - Feb. 2021

Advancing School Culture in Pursuit of Equity and Excellence

Through this course, leaders will engage key stakeholders at their school in understanding how their school culture might be strengthened in ways that promote equity and excellence.  In particular, leaders will enlist key stakeholders in defining a few key actions they will undertake to strengthen school culture for diverse groups of students and for all school personnel.  As part of this course, leaders will conduct a phone or Zoom interview with a leader from 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 leader will identify a teacher who 1) would benefit from support related to improving the culture of his/her classroom in ways that would create a more positive transformational culture and 2) is willing to receive coaching focused on improving the classroom culture. The leader will engage with the teacher in a series of at least four observations and feedback sessions designed to support the teaching in improving the classroom culture.  Early in the course, the 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 2-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) why the classroom culture needs to be improved and 2) how the leader intends to provide support.  Toward the end of the course, the leader will post a second video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the teacher demonstrating an improved classroom culture.  Accompanying the video clip, the leader will post a 2-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) the observable differences in the classroom culture, and 2) the leader’s reflections about the factors that contributed to and/or inhibited improvement in the classroom culture.
  2. Each leader will engage a leadership team of key stakeholders (minimally including a cross-section of teachers) in analyzing the extent to which the school has a positive transformational culture and provides productive access to challenging curricula. While each leader will have conducted their own self-assessment of these elements in the first course, this task is focused upon engaging key stakeholders and maximizing their commitment to improving school culture and school curricula.  Each leader will video record himself/herself in discussing either an aspect of school culture or an aspect of school curricula with the leadership team and will post a video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the leader a) listening to stakeholder concerns and b) building understanding of the reasons efforts to improve school culture and/or could be helpful to their students and to the educators at the school.
  3. Each leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights the priorities the stakeholders commit to addressing that will advance the development of a positive transformational culture and productive active to challenging curricula at their school. For each priority addressed, the PowerPoint file should articulate the major action steps that will be taken to address the priority.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage their school’s key stakeholders in assessing the extent to which their school’s culture is similar to and different from what is found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence. Specifically, leaders will engage stakeholders in assessing the impact of the school’s culture on various demographic groups of students and parents, as well as the impact of the school’s culture on school personnel.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to coach a teacher in a manner that results in improvement in the culture of their classroom.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to help their teachers and other key stakeholders understand why the culture found in schools that achieve equity and excellence are more likely to generate positive learning results for diverse groups of students than the culture and curricula found in more typical schools.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage key stakeholders 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 school culture. In particular, leaders will support teachers and other key stakeholders in determining how they can use teacher collaboration opportunities to improve school culture.

Feb. 2021 – Apr. 2021

Advancing Teaching Practices in Pursuit of Equity and Excellence

Through this course, leaders will engage key stakeholders (especially teachers and instructional leaders) at their school in understanding how curriculum and instruction at their school might be strengthened in ways that promote equity and excellence.  In particular, leaders will enlist key stakeholders in defining one or two 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, leaders will support stakeholders 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, 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 leader will identify a teacher who 1) would benefit from improved performance on a specific teaching practice commonly found in schools that achieve equity and excellence and 2) is willing to receive coaching related to the teaching practice from the leader. The leader will engage with the teacher in a series of at least four observations and feedback sessions designed to support the teaching in improving the specific practice.  Early in the course, the 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 2-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) why the practice needs to be improved and 2) how the leader intends to provide support.  Toward the end of the course, the leader will post a second video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the teacher demonstrating improved performance related to the teaching practice.  Accompanying the video clip, the leader will post a 2-slide PowerPoint file that highlights 1) the observable differences in the teacher’s performance related to the specific teaching practice, and 2) the leader’s reflections about the factors that contributed to and/or inhibited improvement in the teacher’s performance.
  2. Each leader will engage a leadership team of key stakeholders (minimally including a cross-section of teachers) in analyzing the extent to which the school provides all students access to engaging, effective instruction. While each leader will have conducted their own self-assessment of this element in the first course, this task is focused upon engaging key stakeholders and maximizing their commitment to improving instruction.  Each leader will video record himself/herself discussing one of the eight key teaching practices with the leadership team and will post a video clip (no longer than five minutes in length) that highlights the leader a) listening to stakeholder concerns and b) building understanding of the reasons efforts to improve the teaching practice.
  3. Each leader will develop a three-slide (maximum) PowerPoint file that highlights one (1) teaching practice the stakeholders commit to improving throughout the school. For the selected teaching practice, the PowerPoint file should articulate the major action steps that will be taken to address the support educators as they endeavor to improve the practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage their teachers and 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 leader will demonstrate the ability to coach a teacher in a manner that results in improvement related to a specific teaching practice found commonly in schools that achieve equity and excellence.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to help their teachers and instructional leaders understand 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 leader will demonstrate the ability to help their teachers distinguish examples from non-examples of high-quality implementation of the eight teaching practices found in schools that achieve both equity and excellence.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to engage teachers and other key stakeholders in specifying a teaching practice that will be the focus of intensive school-wide effort.
  • Each leader will demonstrate the ability to work with teachers and other key stakeholders 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 teachers and other key stakeholders in determining how they can use teacher collaboration opportunities to improve the specified teaching practice.  As well, leaders will define how they will use classroom observations and feedback to support teachers as they improve the specified teaching practice.

May & June 2021

Overcoming the Leadership Challenges

Through this course, each leader will reflect upon the progress generated throughout the prior four courses.  Specifically, each leader will consider the extent to which they have developed a critical mass of stakeholders who are committed to strengthening the school’s culture, curricula, and instruction and building a coherent educational improvement system in ways likely to advance equity and excellence.  Each leader will be asked to reflect upon the four leadership challenges that often frustrate school improvement efforts.  Leaders will identify sources of resistance and consider leadership strategies that can be helpful in responding to the resistance.  As a part of this course, participants will participate in the America’s Best Urban Schools Symposium during which they will have opportunities to interact with leaders from schools that achieve remarkable results for every demographic group served.  The course will culminate in the development of a leadership plan for advancing school improvement efforts in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Leadership Tasks

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