Clover Park School District has implemented a cohort model for principal training this year. Principals were divided into two groups at the beginning of the school year and will work together in those groups throughout the year to share ideas and gain a deeper understanding of district curriculum.
“Better instruction leads to better learning,” said Executive Director for Elementary Schools Tess McCartan. “We are giving principals the time and opportunity to continually build their capacity as instructional leaders at their schools. Observing student learning and discussing what they see and hear in classrooms is a powerful way to learn.”
The cohort time allows principals to dig into what and how their teachers are teaching. Principals observe classrooms together and, specifically, watch how students are learning from and engaging with the teacher, their peers and the materials.
Principals have always played a role in curriculum implementation and this new model doesn’t change that. What’s different this year is that they now have specific time to work together in smaller groups to collaborate and develop a deeper understanding for what their students are learning.
“We used this same model when I was a principal and it was always interesting to hear what my colleagues had to say after we observed a classroom,” McCartan said. “The four principals I was with each saw something different. That’s the power of collaboration.”
The principal cohorts also help in aligning curriculum across the district. It’s important for a student in one school in the district to be able to move to another and jump right into the content without falling behind. The collaboration time ensures principals have the chance to continually talk with one another about how curriculum is being implemented at their schools.
“The biggest impact on a student is a teacher and after that, it’s the principal,” said Executive Director for Elementary Schools Meghan Eakin. “That’s why it’s essential for us to give principals the tools to effectively support teacher instruction.”Print This Post