The Urban Learning and Leadership Center offers personalized school improvement services to schools and districts. ULLC is dedicated to helping schools develop workable plans to achieve greatness – and to staying with them through the difficult work of putting those plans to work.
“One size fits all” solutions don’t work for all schools.”
That’s why the Urban Learning & Leadership Center’s services are custom-tailored to the unique challenges facing schools striving to become places where students and teachers succeed.
Leadership Development Series
Central Office Leadership Training
Leadership Development Series for Current and Aspiring Leaders in 21st Century Schools
The stakes have never been higher in public education. At no time in our history have schools been held more accountable for the achievement of all students. Schools where all children achieve at a high level do not happen overnight. There are no silver bullets! However, there are research-based leadership practices that can help create the types of schools needed to help America reach its goal of a highly educated citizenry.
LDS Module I:
Leading with Mission and Vision
Leading today’s schools with no mission and vision is like traveling with no map and no destination. This module is designed to help school leaders realize the power of mission and vision by providing participants with current research and comprehensive strategies to use with their stakeholders. Participants will leave prepared to lead with purpose and create collective conviction in their schools.
LDS Module II:
School Climate and Culture
Participants will be presented with a comprehensive, holistic framework for creating and sustaining excellence in today’s schools. More than any other time in our recent history, children need effective pedagogy. Where many schools miss the mark is that they fail to develop the whole child. This module will help leaders create and sustain unparalleled professionalism among the adults in the school while providing children with a social, academic and moral education.
LDS Module III:
Managing Schools to Maximize Potential
We all know that effective school leadership requires that administrators wear multiple hats. This module is designed to help take leaders off the treadmill of purposeless redundancy and distribute school leadership in such a way that all children are effectively taught in a well-managed school. This is a tall order. Our training will, without question, help participants maximize time, talent, and resources.
LDS Module IV:
The Power of Collaboration
Effective collaboration must start within the school FIRST. Educators in today’s schools must be on the same page and maximize the talent within the building. Unfortunately, this is not enough to create and sustain excellence. Leaders must be equipped with creative and often unconventional strategies to gain the full support of the community. Collaboration starts with communication. This module is designed to help school leaders bring stakeholders together for the benefit of all children.
LDS Module V:
Let’s Talk about Ethics
Educational leaders are often the moral compass for the schools and communities they serve. It is imperative that programs, policies, procedures and daily decisions reflect the ethics of the school district. This module will provide participants with real-world scenarios that will stimulate deep thought and lively conversation as we tackle a topic that leaders must consider on a daily basis.
LDS Module VI:
Understanding the Politics of Education
Whether we realize it or not, effective educational leaders must often demonstrate the political acumen of an elected official. This module will help participants tread the sometimes rough waters of local politics while remaining focused on the success of all students.
Central Office Leadership Training
District Leadership Seminar:
As the demands for academic accountability in this era of high stakes testing have increased, the pressure on district offices, as well as schools, to perform on externally developed measures have created new roles and responsibilities for both district and school leadership teams. The purpose of the District Leadership Seminar series is to clarify these new roles and responsibilities for the central office team and to develop new operating protocols to increase the individual and corporate effectiveness of the team members. Five sessions will focus on the following topics:
The Central Office Role in Leading School Reform
Team members will analyze their individual and corporate roles and responsibilities in leading school change from the district level. The delicate balance between providing pressure for change and support for growth in schools requires a high level of communication and program coordination. The deliverable for this session will be a model for district leadership in instruction which builds capacity at the school level for educational reform.
An Analysis of Team Effectiveness
Team members will review and discuss the results of the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) which is a self-report measure completed by team members to give feedback in Kouzes and Posner’s five research-based components which are essential to team effectiveness:
I. Challenging the Process
II. Inspiring a Shared Vision
III. Modeling the Way
IV. Enabling Others to Act
V. Encouraging the Heart
The deliverable for this session, based on this self-assessment, will be a set of working protocols to address any areas for growth identified by the team.
Interpersonal Skills for Team Growth
Just like living in a family, the daily demands of participating in a high performance work team can be challenging and lead to friction and conflict. This session will focus on interpersonal and team skills in communication (speaking and listening) and on conflict resolution and mediation. The deliverable for this session will be a set of strategies which, if used by the group to self-monitor, will yield a higher effectiveness level and a healthier work environment for the team.
Strategies for Effective Team Decision-Making
What strategies do high performing teams use to maximize the talents of all team members and to increase the effectiveness of team decision making? Synergy is achieved when the quality of the team decision is superior to that of any one individual, and it is achieved only in teams which are skilled in group processing strategies. The deliverable for this session is the identification of group decision making skills which the central office team can use to increase the quality of instructional decisions for the district schools.
Pulling It All Together
Using the enacted theory of action identified in session 1 and the team skills developed in sessions 2-4, the central office team will develop an action plan that re-defines the roles of the central staff to support school based improvement strategies. Strategies to communicate the district support strategy and to collect feedback on support efforts will be identified. Timelines and monitoring assignments will be developed.
Teaching Your Buffaloes to Fly:
Leading Your Schools in Turbulent Times
Do you sometimes question why you got into this educational leadership business in the first place? Do you ever feel like all of your hard work is for naught and is not appreciated? Does the new era of accountability have you and your staff reeling? What you need is to slow down, step back, and get your perspective in line with reality. People are depending on you to provide the vision for the desired future for your organization and you cannot do that from a defensive position. This session will delve into the critical issues of leadership that are required of the principal and senior staff of any organization if it is to successfully navigate the turbulent waters of the 21st century.
Getting Organized for Classroom Success
How many times have students entered your classrooms unprepared to learn? This training is designed to equip students in grades 3-12 with the skills necessary for academic success in all content areas.
Higher Order Thinking Skills
Having trouble getting all of your student sub-groups to achieve at high levels on your NCLB assessments? The research is clear! Higher Order Thinking (HOT) skills are essential to success on state assessments, particularly for students who don’t come to school with all of the school and test readiness you would hope to see! Learn practical strategies that you can take back to classrooms immediately to lead to dramatic improvements in student achievement.
In the midst of adversity (poverty, family substance abuse, divorce, etc.) some children are able to rise above the difficulty while others succumb to the tragedy. Current research demonstrates the strengths children possess and provides educators with an asset- based approach to student success.
Having trouble addressing the multiple ability levels and learning styles in your classroom? This session will give you practical answers to this complex issue.
The Amazing Power of the Brain:
Experience the excitement and confidence which results from a basic understanding of the relationship between brain functions and academic achievement.
Understanding Our Families
Many of our children live in families that do not provide the emotional, social, and physical resources that they need for healthy development. Learn the characteristics of these families, how children are affected, and what we as educators can do to meet these needs.
Are You Bully-Proof?
Presenter: Bobby Kipper
Bullying, harassment, and assault are major issues for schools, and we can no longer ignore the criminal consequences of this behavior. This is not a program to implement, but a process of changing the culture of the school through the successful research of the Bullying Prevention Group.
Using Data to Lead Change: A Teacher’s Perspective
The focus of this session will be to discuss how to use data to plan and drive instruction in the classroom. Further analysis will be on planning instruction for students who are in need of remediation, re-teaching, or enrichment. Examples of strategies to address all of these instructional needs will be discussed.