GCS Board Approves Professional Development Contract

In an effort to strengthen and grow effective school leaders and improve learning in classrooms, the Guilford County Board of Education approved a contract with New Leaders to provide professional development to the district’s principal supervisors, principals and assistant (aspiring) principals.

Studies show that nearly 60 percent of a school’s impact on student achievement is attributed to the effectiveness of teachers and principals, which is why talent development is a top priority for GCS. With this in mind, GCS will contract with New Leaders to provide its Principal Institute program. It is designed to help school leaders focus their time on supporting teachers’ efforts in the classroom and to provide impactful feedback to help teachers grow.

Research shows principals who experience professional learning with peers are more satisfied with their job and less likely to anticipate leaving the profession.

“North Carolina has the lowest pay for principals in the country,” explains Dr. Nakia Hardy, chief academic officer for GCS. “If we want to recruit and retain our best principals, we need to offer them supports and a chance to continue to grow and learn professionally throughout their careers, and we need to be sure that training will help grow students in the classroom.”

An independent evaluation has shown that the New Leaders approach has statistically significant effects on academic achievement for students in New Leader schools, and The Rand Corporation recently acknowledged New Leaders for having a principal preparation program with the strongest evidence of positive impact.

In addition, New Leaders will provide a Principal Supervisors program for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year for current Regional Superintendents and will continue this work through the upcoming school year.  

The program costs $800,000, which is taken from Title I carryover dollars. Those dollars must be used for professional development or school improvement plans, and cannot be used to fill budget gaps for positions or core curriculum.