DeKalb embarked on an aggressive journey to invest resources in order to develop leaders, so they can prepare students to lead and succeed in a rapidly changing world. DeKalb values leaders who have the skills and training to lead schools and district to increased levels of academic performance for all students. Because of the ever changing demographics in schools, leaders must be able to shape a vision for academic success; create a high performance learning culture; cultivate leadership in others; improve instruction; and know how to manage people, data, and processes in an era of accountability. Leaders must model high expectations for others to witness, and execute a vision for continuous improvement so that these expectations can become the new reality in DeKalb.
Leadership is the fundamental element that can drive an organization to tremendous success. There is quite a bit of research that validates the effect great leaders have on student success. In fact, the factor most often quoted as improving student success is the effectiveness of the principal as the instructional leader of a school. To be effective, leaders must have knowledge, skills, talent and dispositions that cannot be acquired in college courses alone, and cannot be mastered without opportunities to learn from outstanding leaders in the profession.
DeKalb is committed to “Transforming Leaders into Extraordinary Performers” who can deliver positive learning results for every student. Through each academy, aspiring and current leaders become students again in a customized leadership development model designed to ensure the district has the caliber of principals and system level leaders needed for the future. There is a need to have extraordinary performers if the district is to be effective with today’s changing conditions and rising expectations. To ensure that such leaders exist in every aspect of the organization, DeKalb is committed to devoting the time, resources, and attention necessary to develop “Learning-Centered Leaders.”
In order to achieve DeKalb’s vision and meet its strategic priorities, the following six (6) initiatives were created to provide opportunities for the district to recruit, employ, develop and retain dependable, committed and skilled leaders at all levels of the organization through a comprehensive process. These initiatives offer aspiring and current leaders the opportunity to engage in continuous professional learning that is structured around the eight Leader Keys Performance Standards:
This multi-day summer event provides the opportunity to learn from distinguished national and state speakers, as well as from each other, by sharing best practices developed and tested in classrooms in the DeKalb County School District.
Monthly evaluations are administered after each Academy session to determine overall effectiveness, and the results are used to calibrate future session content and delivery.