Picture credit- Brian Kemp , Creative Commons

 Governor Brian P. Kemp is proud to announce a new partnership to support school leaders in Georgia. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) will offer leadership training and one-on-one coaching to current and aspiring school principals through the Governor’s School Leadership Academy (GSLA).

“Strong, effective leadership is key to transforming Georgia’s struggling schools and equipping our students with the right tools to ensure their future success in life,” stated Governor Kemp. “I wholeheartedly support this partnership to provide high-caliber training and leadership skills to current and aspiring school principals.”

Launched in 2018, GSLA is designed to support school leaders working to achieve positive, transformational school-level change. During a year-long cohort experience, participants receive in-depth leadership training and support through a combination of in-person meetings, coaching and mentorship from a former Georgia principal, and opportunities to network with fellow principals who are also working to transform their schools. Ultimately, the goal of the GSLA is to strengthen leadership capacity – and the principal pipeline – in underperforming schools.

Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, GaDOE will join GOSA and GCPS as a collaborative partner to continue the work of the Governor’s School Leadership Academy. The new cohort of principals will be selected from schools identified for support by GaDOE’s Office of School Improvement. This partnership will allow an expansion of the one-on-one support provided through GSLA. Each participant will work with their assigned GaDOE School Improvement Specialist to implement and apply the lessons learned in face-to-face sessions at their own schools. The partnership between GOSA and GaDOE will allow for expansion of GSLA to serve three (3) regional cohorts of twenty (20) to thirty (30) sitting principals, compared to twenty-six (26) principals statewide in the 2018-2019 year, along with a cohort of approximately fifty (50) aspiring principals throughout the state.

“To turn around an underperforming school, we know leadership is absolutely the cornerstone of anything you are going to be able to accomplish,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “What a school is able to offer its students has a ceiling, and that ceiling is leadership. The Governor’s School Leadership Academy allows us to work directly to improve the capacity of principals and aspiring principals in our state, ultimately to the benefit of students. I appreciate the opportunity to partner with Governor Kemp, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and Gwinnett County Public Schools – which have pioneered this work – to make this opportunity a reality for Georgia school leaders.”

The Governor’s School Leadership Academy is based on a model developed and championed by Gwinnett County Public Schools.

“Leadership matters, plain and simple,” says GCPS CEO and Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “Every school needs and deserves an effective principal who can shape a vision of academic success for all students and ensure there is quality instruction in every classroom. To that end, the Governor’s School Leadership Academy can be a powerful force in addressing this critical need in our state. Based on the evidence regarding the performance of the academy Gwinnett began twelve years ago, I am confident the GSLA will positively impact school leader effectiveness across the state. We look forward to working with GaDOE and GOSA on this initiative so vital to Georgia’s success.”

About the Governor’s School Leadership Academy

The Governor’s School Leadership Academy (GSLA) provides a high-quality, selective, statewide leadership preparation and support program designed to develop high-capacity school leaders. Through its two independent programs, GSLA serves two groups of leaders: current principals in Turnaround Eligible Schools and aspiring principals from targeted districts throughout the state. For both programs, GSLA employs a three-tiered structure that incorporates face-to-face cohort meetings, job-embedded assignments to practice data-driven decision-making, and onsite and virtual coaching opportunities. These components reinforce the need for an instruction-focused, collaborative model of school leadership and establish a network of support for school leaders across the state.

About the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

As Georgia’s P-20 education agency, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement strives to increase student achievement, school completion, and life opportunities for all Georgia students. GOSA provides policy support to the Governor and citizens of Georgia through communicating meaningful education data to stakeholders; providing research support and data analysis on various education programs in Georgia to inform the Governor’s policy, budget, and legislative efforts; auditing education programs to ensure fidelity at the district and school-level to performance and accountability requirements; and identifying, supporting, and sustaining educational innovations which align with the Governor’s education priorities.

Information from Office of Governor Brian Kemp

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