Principals, along with professional development facilitators, can use the guide’s five online units to help improve practice and knowledge.

The units focus on what The Wallace Foundation has identified as five key practices of successful principals:

1. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students

This unit helps participants assess their own approaches to establishing a school-wide vision of high standards and student success.

2. Creating a climate hospitable to education

This unit includes activities to help participants pinpoint which behaviors lead to positive educational climates.

3. Cultivating leadership in others

Principals will have an opportunity to evaluate their own leadership practices and apply unit materials to those practices.

4. Improving instruction

Principals will identify how their own practices help teachers improve their own instruction.

5. Managing people, data, and processes to foster school improvement

Effective principals make the most of their time and ask informed questions to improve processes. This unit will help principals identify what practices they already have in place, or could add, to do so.

Watch this clip from The Principal Story:

The Principal Story is produced by Tod Lending and David Mrazek of Nomadic Pictures. It first aired on PBS in 2009 and features a year in the lives of two dynamic public school leaders in Illinois–one a veteran; the other a novice–who seek to make a difference in the lives of students.

Laura Ascione

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