Announcing New Partnership with University of Kentucky + Two Incredible Opportunities!

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What School Could Be is excited to announce a new partnership to offer summer Leadership Sprints and a year-long What School Could Be Academy for the 2021-22 academic year. We want to support school leaders and transformation teams as they engage in the work of exploring and implementing better models of What School Could Be!

The University of Kentucky, Center for Next Generation Leadership is the lead partner for both the summer Leadership Sprints as well as the year-long Academy. Over the last decade, “UK Next Gen” has served as the primary partner for dozens of school transformations across Kentucky. In particular, the year-long Leadership Academy, upon which the What School Could Be Academy is based, has supported school teams in taking tangible early steps toward deeper learning models.

As Ted Dintersmith has said, this is a critical moment for schools. Coming out of the pandemic, with the support of unprecedented federal dollars, school leaders should not seek to reopen schools in the fall the same way we have always run them. Instead, we should be seeking to operate schools “better than normal” and the path forward toward deeper learning models of school is clearly established. Both the Sprints and the What School Could Be Academy rely on tested strategies to establish well-known deeper learning approaches that schools can implement now.

Leadership Sprints

The summer Leadership Sprints are designed to support leaders in this moment to develop deeper learning implementation plans at the school and district level for the 2021-22 academic year. With support from the Dintersmith Foundation these 6 hour sprints over 3 days are being offered for free to members of the What School Could Be Community. 

The Leadership Sprints will be led by a team with decades of collective experience both practicing leadership for deeper learning as well as conducting research on school leadership. Dr. Justin Bathon and Dr. Jayson Richardson are both current Chairs of Educational Leadership programs at the University of Kentucky and the University of Denver, respectively. Karen Perry and Dr. Aaryn Schmul worked together for years leading implementation of personalized learning in Henry County, Georgia. Karen is now a Director at the Center for Next Generation Leadership and Aaryn is Vice President of Program Development and Innovation at the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement. 

The Leadership Sprints are guided both by these decades of experience but will also feature recent research to be published this summer in the book Leadership for Deeper Learning: Facilitating School Innovation and Transformation. Examples of leadership for deeper learning that emerged from visiting 30 school models across the world will be shared in each session. 

Learn more about the Sprints and how they will operate in the community in the video below!

Meeting dates and registration are open now for the summer Leadership Sprints.

What School Could Be Academy

The year-long What School Could Be Academy is a custom version of the flagship professional development from the Center for Next Generation Leadership. Meeting 8 times throughout the year, school implementation teams will build their knowledge base of deeper learning practices, build local empathy through student interviews, choose a deeper learning entry point, implement a change initiative during the year, and share the results of the effort in Spring 2022. This change cycle has proven to be a gateway to other deeper learning practices in subsequent years.  

The What School Could Be Academy is being operated by the Center for Next Generation Leadership but is being supported by Ted Dintersmith, Tony Wagner, and a variety of experienced deeper learning leadership organizations across the country. 

Additional detailed information about the year-long What School Could Be Academy will be released soon, but registration for school teams is open now


Spaces for both the Leadership Sprints and the What School Could Be Academy are limited, so early registration is encouraged. You can learn more and sign up to participate for both the summer Leadership Sprints and the year-long What School Could Be Academy at the Center for Next Generation Leadership:

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