Growth-Orientated Leadership Development (GOLD) Project for Effective and Sustainable Rural School Renewal
A new collaboration designed to address the shortage of future principals and strengthen professional development of current school leaders is underway. The project, entitled, Growth-Oriented Leadership Development (GOLD) is being coordinated by members of the UNL Department of Educational Administration (EDAD), in partnership with the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA), the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA), Educational Service Units (ESUs), and the Nebraska Department for Education (NDE).
This program is seeking federal funds to develop current and future principals from within—a grow your own model. Over the next several months, a UNL EDAD team will be inviting districts to join the effort. The team is inviting approximately 60 schools to participate, with half receiving focused training while the other half continues its current efforts without the training. Districts not initially selected for the training group would be first in line for the next round of the program, if funded.
The project features small teams consisting of the current principal and two or three teachers from the same building who would attend large face to face and Zoom sessions, beginning in fall 2023. Sessions would include research-based instruction aligned with Marzano’s Balanced Leadership and recent research funded by the Wallace Foundation on effective principals. In addition to attending sessions with others from across the state, participants would receive individualized, on-site coaching and support through the grant. The grant is modeled after a similar program in Michigan which has a track history of a lot of success.
Districts interested in participating should watch for information through NRCSA updates, ESU superintendent meetings, or by contacting the EDAD members listed below.
- Develop Current & Future Leaders (grow your own model)
- Strengthen School Leadership
- Improve Principal & Teacher Retention
- Renewal over reform
- Research-based - Guided by principles from Marzano's Balanced Leadership (2005)
- Utilizes existing structures
- No additional cost or duties
The Content & What We Do
Principal & 2-3 teacher-leaders per building receive context-based, ongoing coaching & professional development by grant-funded facilitators. GOLD Dimensions include:
Shared Vision of School Renewal
Positive School Culture & Healthy Environment for Learning & Growth for all Staff & Students
Teaching & Learning Balanced Instructional Leadership
Distributed Leadership & Empowerment
Evidence-based & Network-Supported Decision Making
The Implementation Process (How)
- Regular, large group professional development
- Small group facilitation, on-site by grant-funded coaches
- Five Strategies & 3 Levels of Adult Learning
- Applying GOLD Dimensions to school improvement priorities
- Nebraska Teacher & Principal Professional Standards (NTPPS)
- UNL Management and Research Team
- Help with selection/training of facilitators, communication with schools, districts & ESUs, support facilitators, other presenters
- Facilitate small group work with building-level teams (1 principal, 2-3 teacher leaders)