Thursday, January 18, 2001

CPS board considers program to train prospective principals

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        To stave off a shortage of principals that is expected to worsen in coming years, Cincinnati Public Schools plans to spend $835,000 to train and develop new school leaders.

        If approved by the board of education, the plan, presented to the board Wednesday, would create an in-house principal leadership academy with a two-year program for training new principals, plus extra support and training for existing principals.

        At this time, the district expects four principal openings next fall. Since 1996, the district has replaced 55 principals. There are 76 principals in the district.

        The new program means there will always be staff ready to become principals when openings occur, said Rosa Blackwell, deputy superintendent.

        “All of the literature says schools achieve more when they have a strong leader in the building,” Ms. Blackwell said. “Principals can make the difference. We have to be able to meet the need by having able people ready.”

        The problem is not unique to Cincinnati.

        The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 40 percent of the country's 93,200 principals are nearing retirement. Through 2005, the need for school administrators will increase by 10 percent to 20 percent.

        Ohio also recognizes the need to train and retain more principals. In 1999, the state created the Ohio Principal Leadership Academy, which will offer a variety of training sessions beginning this year.

        Plans for Cincinnati's leadership development program were developed by a group of principals, Ms. Blackwell and Gwendolyn Cook, director of schools.

        Here's how the plan will work:

        • Five principals — four elementary and one secondary — will be chosen as “principal coaches.” Coaches will be responsible for the schools they run, as well as providing support to principals in 12-15 other schools. They will be appointed to one-year terms renewable up to three years. They will receive an extra $7,500 a year.

        • “Intern principals” must apply to be accepted into the program. Five people who are certified to be principals but are working as teachers or assistant principals will be selected. They will spend a year working full time on learning how to be principals. Interns will spend one quarter at the central office, learning about such things as special-education regulations and personnel management. They would spend the remaining three quarters at three different schools, learning leadership, organization, instructional and community-engagement skills from the principals at those schools. Interns will earn between $60,890 and $64,690.

        • “Resident principals” are assigned to work with a principal coach after completing the one-year internship. Five residents will spend one year in the coach's school, learning everything a principal does. The resident, who is not yet officially a principal, also frees up the principal coach to leave the building and provide assistance to other principals. Residents will earn between $60,890 and $64,690.

        • Once residents complete their year, they are eligible for any open principal or assistant principal jobs. If there are no openings, the residents go back to teaching and remain in the administrative pool until a vacancy occurs.

        • Training sessions for existing principals will be provided through partnerships with the Mayerson Academy and the Ohio Principal leadership Academy. The district hopes to receive several grants to pay for the training.

        • Assistant principals will continue in their jobs, and can participate in the leadership training program. Eventually, the district would like all new principals and assistant principals to be graduates of the program.

        Mary Ronan, Kilgour School principal, said principal jobs are more than providing safe learning environments. Now, principals must work with committees of school staff and community members to make decisions about governing the school.

        "Many of these skills you want a principal to have, you really need to see a principal out there doing them,” Ms. Ronan said.

        Several board members expressed support for the plan, which they said was long overdue.

        "So much of a principal's job is no longer instruction and education,” said Rick Williams, board president. "I like that we are making an assumption that this whole thing is not just links with education-training but also management, and the business-management of running a school.”


Teen program leaving Warren
City's firearms lawsuit revived
Students e-mail questions to Antarctican sojourner
Whooping cough has schools vigilant
- CPS board considers program to train prospective principals
CROWLEY: Villa Hills
PULFER: Morgue photos
Regional bike trail envisioned
Drop support plan, state urged
Physicians testify in girl's death
Silverton GOP selects ex-councilman for return
Union fights to save fire station
Abandonment, or child abuse?
Arbitrators put police officers back on force
Business council fights tax
Clinton's type of cancer is common
Cold blamed for fish kills
3 dead in I-75 collision
E. Ky. gets new judgeship; vacancies mount
Friends of Bush drawn into spotlight
Kentuckian admits to bank fraud
Lebanon to discuss land purchase
Lobbyists excused from monthly reports
Mayor cancels packed meeting
NKU cuts hike for non-Ky. students
NKU reduces hike for nonresidents
Other police firings overturned
Plan aims to revive Middletown park
Rhodes excluded from Reds park oversight
Top Trenton cop earns raves
Trail grows cold for runaway
Two-wheel vision: Linked bike paths
Two charged in home invasion robbery
Wright-Pat an also-ran for spy plane
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report