New district leaders benefit from ACSA cohort training

Entering its 10th year, Leading the Leaders is a well-respected support program for those new to the superintendency, and it has proven to be one of ACSA’s most highly successful learning events.

"With all of the uncertainties surrounding public education, there is no better time for first- and second-year superintendents to join with colleagues and to receive the support they need to successfully enter the most challenging career opportunity of their life," said Sharon Robison, coordinator of ACSA’s Leading the Leaders.

Experienced superintendents who are currently on the job are among the LTL instructors. These leaders can offer expert, practical information, having already gone through the same experiences as the program attendees. The LTL curriculum is based on the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.

A cohort from around the state works together throughout the school year. They attend four workshops with 60 hours of instruction. The program is designed so that participants can join through the January workshop and continue on through all four workshops.

The goal is to create a continuous learning community. ACSA staff members are available to assist members of the cohort in a number of areas. Sessions cover many of the issues that prove to be challenging for new superintendents.

Not only is the area of educational leadership covered, but sessions also focus on politics, working with boards of education as part of a team, creating a vision for the district, and developing leadership throughout a district.

There is no outside preparation for the workshops or papers to write.

Sessions also examine the issues of impacting teaching and learning; evaluating curriculum, instruction and student achievement; and employee performance. Attendees also learn about dealing with finance, negotiations and facilities needs, as well as many other issues.

Past participants have reported Leading the Leaders is:

•"An outstanding opportunity to further my leadership skills. This is the best opportunity to learn, share and to network with individuals experiencing similar job duties."

•"An opportunity to learn about all aspects of a superintendency, from a small or large district and from a K-8 or K-12 district that is urban, rural or suburban."

•"An amazing opportunity. I learned so many things and received many valuable tools that I will use immediately."

•"One of the best professional trainings I have ever taken part in. Leading the Leaders is a program made up of members with unique experiences, expertise and job duties waiting to be shared."

•"A ‘must’ program. You have a safe harbor to share the growing experience of the first year."

The 2010-11 workshop dates and locations are as follows: Oct. 14-15, ACSA Burlingame office; Jan. 25-26, 2011, Monterey Convention Center, prior to the Superintendents’ Symposium; Feb. 10-11, 2011, ACSA Ontario office; and, April 14-15, 2011, ACSA Sacramento office.

Click here for registration forms. Direct questions to Sharon Robison at (707) 538-2682 or or to the ACSA Educational Services Department at (800) 608-ACSA.