L. James Kiscaden, Director
Superintendent Leadership Development Program
This program, conducted by the Pennsylvania Leadership Development Center, is designed for the professional development of current and prospective school superintendents and assistant superintendents.
The Superintendent Leadership Development Program (SLDP) involves the assessment of performance in simulated situations to identify participants' strengths and "potential derailers" in eleven skill dimensions identified as necessary for success in the superintendency. This unique development approach emphasizes strengthening a participant's identified skills and learning how to manage the derailers.
Each person who participates in an SLDP "center" assumes the role of a newly employed CEO of a fictitious non-profit organization. The participant engages in six different, but related, activities. The activities include organization analysis, situational simulations and strategic planning.
A team of six specially trained facilitators records observations of participants' behaviors as they complete the activities and relate those behaviors to one or more of the eleven leadership skill dimensions. Facilitators prepare written reports for each participant based on their observations during the activities. The individual activity reports identify participants' leadership strengths and possible "derailers."
A comprehensive report for each participant is produced by the facilitator team. It summarizes the participant's leadership style, strengths, situational skills and potential derailers. It also includes ideas for a personal development plan for improving the participant's prominent strengths and managing the derailers.
Only one copy of the report is prepared. It is given to the participant along with one-on-one confidential verbal feedback on his/her performance on the key skill dimensions in the SLDP activities. Additional information regarding the participant's background, career goals and viewpoints on the superintendent of the future is gathered through an in-depth interview. Whether or not the report is shared with anyone else is up to each participant.
The Pennsylvania Leadership Development Center's corps of facilitators was trained by members of the AASA/NASSP professional development staff. Facilitators were familiarized with the context and activities of the Superintendent Leadership Development Program. They were coached on observing behaviors of participants during responses to simulated decision-making situations. They practiced writing reports to accompany each activity and how team consensus is used to produce each participant's final report.
Opportunities to participate in a Superintendent Leadership Development Program "center" will be available in various areas of the state during 2002-03. Most SLDP "centers" are sponsored by intermediate units and involve six participants and six facilitators in a 1 1/2 day program. The fee for SLDP participants is $1,000/person, which may be offset by grant funds and "scholarships."
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Pennsylvania Leadership Development Center