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Launched in 2003, the NYC Leadership Academy is an independent nonprofit organization that recruits, develops, and supports effective school leaders, with a focus on preparing principals to lead New York City's high-need schools—those marked by high student poverty, low student achievement, and a history of frequent leadership turnover.
The Leadership Academy was created in response to an increase in principal vacancies due to high levels of retirements and the opening of new schools, leaving the need for new, highly qualified school leaders. It is our belief that early-career and experienced principals need leadership development opportunities and support mechanisms that are rigorous, relevant to the actual day-to-day work of principals, and responsive to the New York City Department of Education's reform priorities. Our programs seamlessly bridge theory, research, and practice-based expertise. By employing teamwork, simulations, and job-embedded learning opportunities, our programs enable participants to build a practice of continual individual and team growth on behalf of school improvement, explore new paradigms for schooling and the requisite skills to lead educational innovation, and develop a discipline of inquiry-driven leadership anchored in student learning.
Our core programs include: Aspiring Principals Program (APP): a 14-month leadership development program for aspiring school leaders committed to serving in high-need schools. APP has three-phases: the summer intensive -- a six-week "boot camp" that exposes participants to the challenge of school leadership through a comprehensive simulation grounded in authentic school experiences; a ten-month school residency under the guidance of an experienced mentor principal; and a planning summer that prepares participants to transition effectively into their new leadership roles.
New School Intensive (NSI): a leadership development and technical support program for individuals selected to open new, small schools. NSI's pre- and in-service components include targeted leadership development sessions and technical support that helps principals address the unique leadership challenges inherent in building and sustaining a high-functioning educational environment from scratch.
School Leadership Coaching: Designed and delivered by recently retired expert practitioners who stay aware of and responsive to system reform efforts, our coaching programs for new and experienced principals are flexible, responsive and aimed at helping principals improve student learning outcomes. Coaches offer a range of support through a facilitative approach grounded in clearly defined leadership competencies, including one-to-one coaching, coaching for school teams and groups of principals as well as targeted sessions and peer networking opportunities. Workshops: We offer workshops designed to support NYCDOE school leaders within leadership competencies such as Personal Leadership, Data, Curriculum and Instruction, Staff and Community, and Resources and Operations.
Strategic Consulting: We provide the NYCDOE and other school districts and state education departments with strategic consulting and leadership advisory services to help them design leadership programs within their own contexts. To date, we have hosted more than 1,000 national and international leaders of school systems, universities and non-governmental agencies seeking to observe our work firsthand. In addition, a number of school districts around the country have adapted our programs and methodologies, including St. Louis, Missouri; Buffalo, New York; and Denver, Colorado.