In the January 2018 issue of the “CSA News”, CSA President Mark Cannizzaro noted that “School leaders are given woefully insufficient training on budgeting, programming, standard operating procedures, chancellor’s regulations, labor relations, special education, academic policy and human resources.” Why? Because there are few people left who have any institutional memory of how these various concerns have been addressed in the past.
ELI addresses these issues and more for all CSA members. The coordinators and consultants of ELI have hundreds of years of combined experience as school leaders and an institutional memory that goes back almost fifty years. Anyone who has attended an ELI workshop or worked with an ELI mentor knows the value of this experience. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of members who do not take advantage of this.
ELI has created special programs for new and recently assigned assistant principals. If you are one or know anyone in their first two years of school leadership, remind them that they are entitled, as CSA members, to attend the School Leadership Institute (formerly SBISI). Upon application and principal approval, first and second year assistant principals (including interim acting) will be assigned a mentor who will work with them at their school sites several times during the school year. They will attend eight workshops given in borough based centers dealing with the nuts and bolts of school leadership, teacher supervision and successful educational practices – many of the topics cited by Mr. Cannizzaro.
Here are some comments by SLI participants:
• “Each session [workshop] was relevant to school matters, provided opportunities to network and share effective practices. I believe the program allowed me to become a more reflective and creative school leader.”
• “The program helped to deepen my understanding of the vast roles and responsibilities of school leaders.”
• “Having a one on one mentor helped me to reflect upon my practices, obtain advice when in difficult situations and set goals for my future.”
• “I used many ideas learned to plan for school activities. . . CEP training, scheduling and using formative assessment.”
• “My mentor helped me with a lot of information I needed to know as . . . budget, engaging parents, having difficult conversations and improving student learning.”
• “My mentor supported me in doing observations, giving feedback, crafting goals, discussing requirements of tenure, evaluating the parent handbook, addressing issues with attendance rates, looking at data . . .”
• “I gained clear insight for planning curriculum, hiring staff and organizing system[s].”