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Newly Appointed Principals Program

About the Program

The program for Newly Appointed Principals is the second program option of the Urban Principals Development Institute. This program provides an opportunity for principals, typically in their first three years of service, to develop the skills they need to ensure positive academic and behavioral outcomes for their students and establish a climate that values effective teaching and teachers. Typically, newly appointed principals inherit a staff and an established instructional progra and must hit the ground running with sound skills in management and instruction. They must demonstrate the ability to manage change, set direction, lead adults and teams, direct instruction, establish a climate that values effective teaching, ensure that teachers are developed and recognized, and release those who are not doing well by children and young people. This program focuses on the leadership actions and school-level practices that underpin such work and supports program participants as they begin to identify and "pull" the necessary levers to effectively move a school forward. 


The program begins with a five-day institute in July that focuses on:


    1. How to capture and convey your beliefs about learning so that people are willing to follow you
    2. How to establish an environment for adults and students to take risks, learn from error, and change the approach when it is not working
    3. How to maximize your work, tools, and resources as a leader to improve instruction
    4. How to convey the story that your data is telling: Based on the data, what do you need to accomplish and how are you and your staff going to get there
    5. How to leverage the talents in your building to improve results


One-to-one coaching with an accomplished principal practitioner affiliated with the Urban Principals Development Institute takes place at intervals throughout the year. New Principals are observed by the coach when leading a faculty meeting, providing feedback to a teacher after a classroom observation, and conducting regular classroom walkthroughs with the instructional leadership team. The coach is also a resource to help the principal navigate the day to day challenges of leadership. Feedback sessions with the coach provide opportunities for fine-tuning, correction, reflection, and conversation.


A mid-year retreat brings program participants together with members of their leadership teams, Institute faculty, and coaches. This one-day event provides an opportunity for reflection and assessment as leaders and their teams engage in the uninterrupted conversations so often impossible in a regular school week, and review the progress of the school improvement plan they formulated. Coaches and UPDI staff participate as conveners and facilitators, offering feedback and consultation as needed or sought by teams.


Why is this Program Important

Every leader needs a coach and the challenges of leading high needs schools make the need even greater. Especially for a new leader, staying strategic and focused in the face of frequent distractions is essential but almost impossible. Teachers21's experienced corps of leaders help new principals experience the early successes they need and help pave the way to productive long-term careers. Given the turnover that high needs districts typically experience, investing in the success of school leaders is essential to creating the best possible learning environment for students.


Applications are now closed for 2017

Check back for the 2018 application. 

2017 Program Features

Program Components:

  • A week-long Leadership Institute in late July
  • One-to-one coaching throughout the year (typically districts choose from 20 to 40 hours depending on the new leader's needs).
  • A mid-year retreat.

Who can register:

Principals in the first three to five years of their appointment, and assistant principals preparing for the principalship.

Course Schedule and Location:

  • 2017 Leadership Institute will be held at Worcester State University
  • July 24-July 28
  • Mid-winter Retreat: January 2018   
  • Coaching: At the program participant's school; schedule determined by participant.
Register your interest or get more information here. 





Urban Leadership program participant

I guess the ratings say it all…. Overall, it was a challenging, time consuming, exhausting program that I felt was completely worth every minute of lost sleep!"

Urban Leadership program participant

The summer intensive was even better than advertised! Just yesterday, my brother in law asked me "how I did" in the program as in what grade did I get. He knew, everyone knew, how hard I worked and he could only assume there was an evaluation of some sort. I told him there was no grade and that reflected on the value of the program. We worked impossibly hard simply because we believed in the work and the possibility of improving ourselves as professionals."

Urban Leadership program mentor

This graduate has made progress with developing much needed systems in her building, she has established clear protocols, developed lines of communication, and she is taking an active role in her building by leading from the 'front'."

Urban Leadership program mentor

I think this graduate is a star. Our relationship is very strong; he makes sure he includes me in the loop. He thinks very much out of box, yet he is a traditionalist in many other ways. He is very comfortable with himself which is not always the case with first time leaders...My instincts and what I have seen so far tell me that he is a profoundly talented leader."

Urban Leadership program mentor

I learned much from (my mentee). I am not sure if it was the individual or the program but she was by far the most productive and effective intern I have had. To date I have mentored 10 principal interns. She taught me what a prepared intern should look like before they take on the role of principal. I also learned much about Common Core."


Program History

The Program for Newly Appointed Principals is the latest program initiative of the Urban Principals Development Institute at Teachers21 as an integral part of our leadership pipeline development offerings. An initial Race-to-the Top grant from the Commonwealth's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education enabled the organization to replicate major programs offered by the NYC Leadership Academy. Both organizations believe that the need for a new approach to the preparation of school leaders is inextricably tied to the larger national agenda to improve instruction, student outcomes, and the ways educators define and practice their craft. Staff members in both organizations are very much aligned with prominent thought leaders in the educational arena who have articulated the challenge of harnessing leadership to the problem of large-scale school improvement. The Program for Newly Appointed Principals responds to the recognized need to create programs and structures that engage people in learning new forms of practice and continuing that learning throughout their careers.