Professional Learning for Superintendents:
Programs and Services 2017-18
The CAPSS Leadership Development Committee meets annually in the spring to evaluate the year’s programs and initiatives and to plan the following year’s programs. The results of their work is described in this section.
This section is devoted to providing an overview of professional development opportunities this year through CAPSS. For more information on any program listed here, contact Richard Kisiel (860-236-8640 x140) or Janet Garagliano (860-236-8640 x220).
CAPSS’ mission is to lead the continuous improvement of public education for all students by advocating public policy for children and by developing and supporting executive school leaders. CAPSS continues to be committed to providing a range of program and services to support and extend the professional learning of superintendents.
CAPSS, in partnership with Neag School of Education’s Educational Leadership Department, offers a community of practice seminar series for early career superintendents. CAPSS invites all newly appointed superintendents and superintendents in their first 3 years to participate in monthly seminars organized around district leadership problem of practice. The institute is intended to develop a networked-community of practice for early career superintendents (generally superintendents in their first to third year in the superintendency). Participants will be expected to commit to active participation in each session and to be willing to both share their evolving district leadership theories of action and to share timely district leadership problems of practice that will become the primary content of the Institute sessions. Key themes and discussion topics will also be identified with the group for each session. These seminars are fully funded by CAPSS.
CAPSS in partnership with the Neag School of Education and its Educational Leadership Department offer a networked community of practice for mid-career superintendents (generally who have completed three years in the position.) Participants will have the opportunity to actively share during monthly seminars their evolving district theories of action as well as their strategies for pursuing district goals and priorities. There will be a strong focus on instructional leadership and creating greater coherence and focus around learning for all members of the school community. This will be accomplished by engaging in timely discussions of district leadership problems of practice. These monthly sessions are fully funded by CAPSS.
CAPSS will arrange for a mentor for any first year superintendent who would like this support. The mentor will usually be a superintendent in the same general geographic area for ease of meeting. However, mentoring may occur via telephone as well as in person. Mentoring is focused on a current, experienced superintendent helping a new superintendent respond to situations by sharing his/her own experience in dealing with similar situations. Mentoring is usually an informal process that is not based on pre-established goals or objectives and does not follow a pre-established schedule or agenda. Rather it is a process that is determined by the needs of the new superintendents as they arise. In effect, the mentor is there when the new superintendent needs him/her. Mentoring works best when there is collegial relationship based on mutual respect and usually quickly evolves into both collegiality and friendship. The mentoring becomes a supporter, encourager, colleague, and friend.
CAPSS also offers a mentor to an experienced superintendent who moves from another state into Connecticut. This mentoring is focused on assisting the superintendent in understanding and responding to requirements of Connecticut education mandates. It also provides the superintendent new to the state with an immediate, accessible professional colleague.
The purpose of the Superintendent Support Team is to provide superintendents support and counsel when they are facing one or both of the following situations: A situation in which the superintendent’s job status in being threatened or a situation in which a superintendent is facing a particularly difficult challenge and needs the advice and counsel of others who have faced the same or similar situations in the past. CAPSS Executive Director is the key contact for superintendents who would like to access this level of support.
Executive Coaching is available to all interested superintendents who are beginning their career as a superintendent of schools. The coaching program provides a non-supervisory, confidential thought partner to encourage critical and targeted reflect on his/her practice as an instructional leader. The coaching program provides support for the superintendent to make progress on specific outcome goals, as well on general leadership topics on particular areas of need. The executive coach uses a proven coaching approaches based on the International Coach Federation Core Competencies. These coaching skills include listening, questioning, reflecting and direct communication to support the new superintendent towards designing, implementing, and measuring success of the plans they put in place to improving teaching and learning in their district.
CAPSS is engaged in a partnership with the Neag’s School of Education’s Educational Leadership Department in the Executive Leadership Program that prepares aspiring leaders for the position of superintendent of schools. CAPSS assists in coordinating the superintendent internship component of this program. Experienced CAPSS superintendents are invited to serve as ELP mentors each year. In many cases ELP mentors are also invited into Executive Leadership classes to share standards-based, best practices in district leadership with aspiring superintendents.
Leading a district to Student Centered Learning presents a district leader with interesting opportunities, new challenges, and, on occasion, unique adventures. This Community of Practice is for superintendents and district leaders to meet, talk, learn, and share. Each meeting will consist of three parts; 1) a presentation regarding a specific implementation need identified by participants, 2) presentation of a dilemma by a participant for feedback from the participants, and 3) general participant updates.
CAPSS is sponsoring a student panel to be held at the Saturday luncheon of the CABE/CAPSS Convention. Students will share what they think about transforming K-12 education and how schools can improve teaching and learning to insure that all students are college and career ready when they graduate from high school. This keynote panel features the leaders of tomorrow—students from diverse backgrounds, immersed in next generation learning models, who will share their perspectives on shifting toward student-centered approaches to learning. In a provocative, unfiltered and honest conversation, students provide first-hand accounts of what it’s like to reimagine their own education and illuminate their own paths forward.