As a component of its re-envisioned Successor Leader Program, the KIPP Foundation has modified the existing Successor Leader School Quality Review process to assess the current strengths and the areas for development against the school-wide priorities set at the beginning of the year. The review process is designed to be a checkpoint to the annual plan that school leader and regional leader created during the summer. The process also assists new leaders to coalesce staff around a clear vision for the future. School leadership transitions are complex, particularly when founding leaders are replaced. An external validation of what is working and what needs to be improved is an effective way to bring new leadership and existing staff together and to mitigate issues with school personnel transferring loyalties to new leadership. In addition, these reviews include a half-day prioritization session, facilitated by a SchoolWorks staff member, to support the leadership teams of schools and regions in developing targeted action plans to address the highest-priority growth areas in the implementation of their annual priorities.
Over the past four years, SchoolWorks has provided feedback to school and regional leaders and to provide quality control for the network. SchoolWorks has continued to partner with KIPP to conduct a minimum of 18 Successor Leader Visits during the fall of 2016. The Successor Leader Visits (SLV) are one component of the KIPP Successor Prep cohort. The Successor Prep cohort, a branch of the KIPP School Leadership Program, involves multiple intercession meetings throughout the course of a full year, all of which focus on the following key goal areas, aligned to the KIPP Leadership Competencies listed below:
- Drive Results: Achievement Orientation: Use a wide range of data to set and monitor school‐wide performance standards that drive student achievement.
- Build Relationships: Self‐Awareness: Develop an understanding of his/her leadership style and its impact on others.
- Manage People: Direction‐Setting; Instructional Leadership: Articulate a clear academic vision that inspires the message of our “to and through” promise to diverse audiences within and beyond the school.
- Manage People: Performance Management: Improve on an existing system or design a new system for performance management that manages processes for selection and development, talent cultivation, and provision of just‐in‐time resources and opportunities for developing all staff members on the campus.
Throughout the course of the year, the facilitator models the prioritization session that is included in the school review process described above. During this session, participants learn the steps for effectively analyzing a growth area to develop a targeted action plan, taking into account the various stakeholders, variables, and challenges that may arise during implementation. Through participation in a model prioritization session, followed by a facilitated analysis wherein small groups of Successor Prep participants complete the prioritization process to address an individualized problem statement, participants engage deeply in each of the steps of action planning. They also develop a focused action plan for a single pre-identified growth area, drawing on the support of their peers and facilitators.
In addition, SchoolWorks facilitates several follow-up workshops to support the members of the Successor Prep cohort in evaluating the impact of the action plan developed during the summer, and leads the cohort through the development of any necessary adjustments to their plans.
Workshops will be modeled on the successful series delivered in 2015, with regular communication and collaborative planning in order to support the Successor Prep team.