Today’s educators realize that in order for students to achieve academic success, schools must address all barriers to learning, both academic and non-academic. CAYCI, together with the Ohio Department of Education, designed and implemented The Principal Leadership Seminars for principals across Ohio with the goal of helping school leaders look outside their school walls for help with school improvement efforts. The potential of outside resources, such as before and afterschool programs, are often untapped and under-utilized. There is a reason for this unrealized potential: Principals have not been provided with consultative assistance, networking, training, and support in establishing these valuable linkages.
The principals who attend the seminars refined their knowledge, skills and beliefs about the best ways to structure productive, focused, and sustainable school/community partnerships. They developed strategies to address their schools academic goals, and linked these strategies to their own school improvement plans. Together, participants built a community of learners who shared expertise, exchanged innovations, and identified best practices. In addition to the seminars, participating principals had access to site visits from outside consultants—as requested and at no charge. By helping principals leverage the full potential of school – community partnerships, the end goals of this project were to improve students’ academic learning, healthy development, and overall school success, and simultaneously improve principals’ and staff’s job satisfaction, efficacy, effectiveness, and retention.