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Education Funding

Video Series Highlights How Successful Principals Do Their Jobs

By Denisa R. Superville — May 01, 2015 2 min read
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As a principal, how do you craft a successful, sustainable vision for your school, groom other leaders in your building, or improve the school climate?

Those are all questions that principals grapple with on a daily basis, and they are also some of the topics featured in a new set of short videos from WNET, a New York City-based public broadcasting station, that show how successful principals have addressed those very issues in their schools. The videos were funded by The Wallace Foundation, which supports coverage of leadership at Education Week.

The five videos cover:

  • Shaping a vision of academic success for all students
  • Creating a climate hospitable to education
  • Cultivating leadership in others
  • Improving instruction
  • Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement

The “School Leadership in Action: Principal Profiles” videos, released in conjunction with PBS Learning Media, build on Wallace’s 2013 publication, The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning. That publication focused on the key practices for principals to address those concerns of vision, school climate, and improving instruction and leadership in their schools; build capacity in those areas; and, ultimately, improve academic growth.

The videos are intended to help principals and aspiring principals see first-hand what those effective practices and strategies look like, according to the foundation.

In the video, “Shaping a Vision of Academic Success for all Students,” for example, William C. Bassell, the principal of the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y., shares how he worked with teachers, parents and others to tweak the school’s mission to take into account all students, including those with special needs and English-language learners.

The videos also feature principals from Gwinnett County, Ga., Hillsborough County, Fla.; and Prince George’s County, Md.

Those districts are among the six participating in the Wallace Foundation’s “Principal Pipeline Initiative,” a $75 million effort launched in 2011 to develop strong school leaders in urban schools. The other districts in the pipeline initiative are Denver, Colo., and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.

Interested in how exemplary principals are addressing the same challenges that you face? The videos can be found here on The Wallace Foundation’s website and on the PBS Learning Media website, here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.