Information was presented at the October 22nd Board meeting on two grants providing professional development for school leaders. The IL-PART (Illinois Partnership Advancing Rigorous Training) grant facilitates a partnership between Western Illinois University and Quincy Public Schools focusing on school leadership. Michaela Fray, IL-PART Director, said the five-year grant will provide current and future principals with a variety of experiences in the new school leadership requirements aligned to new state certification and the Illinois Performance Standards for School Leaders. QPS and WIU will partner to provide QPS Principal Mentors with training to develop competencies to serve as a Principal Mentor for the new internship requirements. Principals Interns will then engage in a full semester internship following the QPS-WIU Internship Action which provides authentic experiences for the Principal Intern. The interns will learn what principals are experiencing in the field. QPS Principals have completed extensive training for the program and will continue to engage in professional development.
Secondary Curriculum Director Carol Frericks reported on the National SAM Innovation Project (SAM), funded through a Tracy Foundation Grant. SAM is a professional development process using a unique set of tools to change a principal’s focus from school management tasks to instructional leadership—activities directly connected to improving teaching and learning. SAM process identifies staff members who should be the first to try to deal with management issues instead of immediately pulling the principal from instructional work. The SAM team works to create management systems within the school to manage the management so the principal can stay engaged in activities designed to improve teaching and learning.