A partnership between Dr. Brian Clarida and Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) led to the creation of the Equity-Centered Principal Pipeline Initiative funded by the Wallace Foundation.
The Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APLA) launched in January 2023 with goals to develop participants’ potential as educational leaders focused on equity and excellence, foster participants’ capacities as assistant principals who will make vital leadership and managerial contributions to their current schools, and prepare participants for potential transition into the principalship. Notably, the APLA includes faculty members from the UNC Greensboro School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) who will deliver content related to their areas of scholarly expertise.
The APLA work is made possible through a $102 million grant initiative that supports eight large school districts around the country in building principal pipelines that can produce school leaders capable of advancing their own district’s vision of equity. WSFCS is one of the eight districts that was selected as part of this Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative, and WSFCS has been collaborating with Clarida, a vital member of its District Partnership Team for the grant.
Clarida recently traveled to New York for two days of professional learning conducted by the Wallace Foundation with a team from WSFCS and district partners from the other districts and universities.
Clarida said, “The professional learning was very valuable because it allowed teams from the different districts and universities to share and collaborate on best practices that were happening in their districts and universities. We were given an opportunity to provide feedback to each other and form relationships beyond our own district partner and university.”
The Wallace grant provided an opportunity for the master of school administration and post master certificate programs to undergo a comprehensive review. The quality measures process was used to conduct the review. The QM process required a thorough review of each aspect of the program including course offerings, relationships with alumni and districts, student success, and internships.
Said Clarida, “As a result of the review, we were able to develop some best practices to improve our program. For example, we are planning an alumni event to connect with all of the former students that graduated from the Educational Leadership program as a means of continuing to build relationships with our students and district partners.”
Clarida added, “The partnership with the Wallace Foundation and WSFCS has been a great model for providing me an opportunity to understand what should be happening between universities and school districts. The partnership has allowed us to work closely with the district to determine what they are seeking in qualified candidates and make sure that our program is closely aligned to the needs of the district.”