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Hi Team! This bulletin is to provide consistent communication around action items and informational items on a bi-weekly basis. This will support our communication.

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"Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." -Harriet Tubman

Principal Institute Updates


We are conducting Leadership Walks focused on ELA-CCRS in all four of Aspire's regions: Bay Area, Central Valley, Los Angeles, and Memphis.  In March, we will bring all regions together to engage in a Community of Practice focused on the following areas:

  • Analyzing Curriculum alignment through the lens of the Mathematical Standards
  • Analyzing Curriculum alignment through the lens of the English Language Standards
  • School Leadership Session

We have been receiving positive feedback where participants strongly agree that the content is relevant to their work.

  • "Seeing the impact of aligned and strategic leadership moves AND discussing the importance of my role in the work."

Participant Survey Responses


Aspiring Principals:

  • 100% of participants strongly agree/agree that the session was delivered with high quality
  • 98% of participants strongly agree/agree that they will be able to use what they learned in the session when leading a school

Emerging Leaders:

  • 99% of participants strongly agree/agree that the session was delivered with high quality
  • 99% of participants strongly agree/agree that they will be able to use what they learned in the session when leading a team

Principal Institute:

  • 99% of participants strongly agree/agree that the session content was relevant to their work
  • 96% of participants strongly agree/agree that they will be able to use what they learned when leading a school

Facilitation and Principal Institute Newsletter

February 2017

Link to Session Materials and Participant Surveys

  • Aspiring Principals Session Materials (Days 20-27) and Participant Surveys
  • Emerging Leaders/Leading Instruction Session Materials and Participant Surveys
  • Principal Institute Participant Surveys

The National and Regional Facilitators engage in a Community of Practice 4 times a month.  Two CoPs focus on facilitation practices (F-CoPs) and two focus on Aspiring Principals content (C-CoPs).  Here's our schedule for upcoming Community of Practice Calls: 

  • F-CoP: Monday, March 6th 
  • C-CoP: Monday, March 13th
  • F-CoP: Monday, March 20th
  • C-CoP: Monday, March 27th




National Facilitation and Principal Institute Team

Nadira Ramcharan, Manager of Operations-National Facilitation and Principal Institute

Glynis Jordan, Executive Director-National Facilitation and Principal Institute


What is ONE best practice that you want to share with the NL community and how does it support the work of the organization?

  • Using personal learning goals for participants to have shared accountability/ownership in the learning.
  • It allows participants to frame their personal learning goals.

Maria T. Esponda-Medina, Senior Executive Director-National Facilitation and Principal Institute


During the week of February 13th, several members from the organization attended the Winter Standards Institute.  We had the opportunity to hear from John King, former Secretary of Education, David Sovde, from UnboundED, and the Writer of the CCRS-Math appendix, and Aida Walqui, Director, Teacher Professional Development Program, WestED and leading researcher on instruction for English Language Learners.  During our Community of  Practice, we will share some highlights.  The next Standards Institute is on June X to X.  Please let me know if you will be attending. 


As you know, I have been visiting some of you in your regions.  I want to thank for your hospitality and welcoming me into your session.  It is exciting to see how some of the facilitation practices discussed during F-CoPs are being implemented, i.e. framing, questioning, and the 5Ps; as well as exemplary practices around collaboration. Congratulations on creating such intellectual safety for your participants and pushing their thinking.


I know some of you have been asked to support with facilitation of other programs.   I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to go the extra mile, supporting the organization, and always facilitating at high levels.  I am truly proud of our work and the continued learning stance that we take as a community.   I look forward to seeing you in April. 

Julie Conason, Executive Director-National Facilitation and Principal Institute


What is ONE best practice that you want to share with the NL community and how does it support the work of the organization?

  • At Winter Standards Institute, we did an activity in one of our Leadership II sessions where, in small groups, we grappled with an aspect of the CCRS math shifts and crafted language to explain that aspect to parents and families.  This activity could be directly transferable to various programs, but perhaps AP in particular. Work throughout the year with Trevor and the NY Aspiring Principals group has been very rewarding.  Our session right before the winter holiday break was celebratory both in how far they’ve come in their understanding as well as in their acknowledgement of a deeper understanding of how many miles remain to be traversed.  
  • It would provide an AP (or other program) entry point into discussing how we generate and sustain productive relationships with parents and families in order to further authentic family engagement in students’ educational experience.   Many of us have noted that our work on parent/family/community engagement could use strengthening; perhaps this kind of practice, which is an exercise in making the CCRS “family-friendly,” would be a good starting point.

Chase Davenport, Director of Personalized Learning

Directors of Regional Facilitation

Terry Brown, Lakisha Covert, and Trevor Naidoo have facilitation practices and highlights that they want to share with the community!

Dr. Angela Bass, Director of Regional Facilitation-West

Terry Brown, Director of Regional Facilitation-South


What is ONE facilitation practice that you want to share with the NL community and how does it support the work of the organization?

  • The one facilitation practice and I am working feverishly on implementing with fidelity is delivering accurate, clear, and concise directions. I am appreciative of the work our community is doing in The Secrets of Facilitation.  The strategy I am using is described in our text as the PeDeQs.  The PeDeQs are a systematic approach to ensuring participants understand, execute, and enjoy the learning process for the session.  They are as stated on pg. 92:
    • State the overall Purpose of the activity.
    • When appropriate, use a simple example, outside the topic area, that helps participants understand how to complete the activity.
    • Give general Directions using verbal pictures and gestures.
    • Explain specific exceptions and special cases.
    • Ask for Questions.
    • Ask a starting question that gets participants visualizing the answers.

I have focused on this practice/strategy because I see it as an area for personal improvement and an area critical to the participants’ understanding short and long term.


Question 2:


As it relates to celebrations, there is much to choose from.  However, there has been a focus in our MPGs by the organization’s leaders on increasing the percentage of survey respondents for our sessions.  I have focused on increasing that number and the percentage thus far has improved dramatically.  


Lakisha Covert, Director of Regional Facilitation-Mid-Atlantic

 What is ONE facilitation practice that you want to share with the NL community?


Writing Personal Objectives:  Having participants write personal objectives before sharing the session objectives gives the participants reflection time on the topic of the day before you start.  Participants should discuss their personal objectives of the day and revisit them during the session to see if they are being met.  It is a simple, but powerful way to have participants own their learning around the topic of the session. 


  1. How does this practice support the work of the organization?

This practice supports the work of the organization by promoting transference of knowledge learned in sessions to the practices of an effective school leader.  Personal Leadership is a pillar of our organization that is vital to the sustainability and effectiveness of a leader.  Having participants write personal objectives for learning meets their individual needs and enhances their ability to use what they learn to increase student achievement.


  1. What is ONE celebration/experience you’ve had with your participant(s) that you want to share with the NL community?

I would like to share the fact that we do see participants transferring learning to their schools.  When I visit schools it is clear that participants are practicing learning and making meaning for themselves in the school.  We also hear a lot of testimony about how the tools are tried out in real world settings with teams and the community.  We have mini consultancy protocols around implementation as well.  It’s rewarding to know that the work of developing effective leaders shines through, even when you least expect it.  


Trevor Naidoo, Director of Regional Facilitation-Northeast

How does your facilitation practice support the work of the organization?


  •  At New Leaders we practice “transparent facilitation” where the facilitator will pause and reflect on the facilitation moves he or she has made or that a participant has made, which is intended to build the facilitation skills of the participant.   There is a level of metacognitive awareness generated through this process that builds awareness and the craft of facilitation among participants.   In session 27 of APP, there were several readings that were intended for use in the session.   Generally I use, as the facilitator guide suggests,  the Jigsaw method to disseminate information and usually one person reports back. This time, as part of transparent facilitation practice, I divided the class into groups giving them different articles to read with the instruction to  extract the key learnings and then DID NOT GIVE THEM A REPORTING BACK PROTOCOL.  Instead I asked them to creatively  facilitate the learning with the class  and time-boxed the activity.    One group came up with a game where they listed 5-6   key emotions  that the article had claimed, was the cause of negative  behaviors, relating to the “difficult teacher”.     They divided the class up into two teams and explained that they will be reading out a brief scenario and required that the teams identify the correct emotion reflected in the scenario.  Points would be allocated.  At the end of ten minutes, everyone understood the article which became the basis for the next part of the session that focused on coaching conversations! Another group did a coaching role-play where a  commentator introduced the role play, and then went into “freeze frame mode” during the roleplay, asking questions and highlighting aspects related to the article.   The third group  reported back in a traditional “ reporter with a chart format.”  The lesson for me was that  that we have modelled and even directly taught facilitation and coaching skills to our participants.  I therefore need to expand the facilitation opportunities I give to our participants in the session and tap into the collective creativity.


 What is ONE celebration participant(/experience you’ve had with your s) that you want to share with the NL community?


  • Site visits have become an integral part of the APP program in the northeast where each participants will host the program participants  at their resident sites.    This is followed by a debrief and a NL learning session that I, as the facilitator and coach, will facilitate in a way that connects the site experience with the content of the learning session, which is often adapted to optimize the authentic “ teaching moments.”  This month Derek Stanton hosted in his resident school in Jersey City, modelling outstanding organizational and instructional leadership.  At the session, his principal recognized Derek as a participant in the New Leaders program, as having  being instrumental in introducing the school to “instructional rounds” .  This day was the official launch of the practice where a wide range of people including the district administration, politicians and other stakeholders were invited to participate in an “instructional Round”.  This provided a rich experience from we were able to learn directly but also raise questions about instructional practice, consistent implementation and the impact of culture, relationships and leadership within schools.  Congratulations go to  Derek on his superb organization that made the day powerful for us and the stakeholders that were present!  


Matthew Rodriguez, Director of Regional Facilitation-West

Dr. Tracy Anderson, Director of Regional Facilitation-Arlington

Susan Gonzales, Director-San Antonio