Transforming Leadership Practice and Schools

Connect Lead Succeed partners with districts, Charter Management Organizations and other education organizations to develop and empower leaders to effectively execute school-wide transformational change and drive higher student achievement gains.  In partnership, we launch high-functioning professional learning networks for school leaders.

CLS professional learning networks provide 40 hours of rigorous, ongoing leadership development. Once a month, for ten consecutive months, leaders, leave the isolation of their schools, to join with 12-18 of their peers in a four- hour community of practice where they deep dive into actionable strategies for improving academic results.

CLS professional learning networks are distinguished by five key components:

1. Student Achievement Goal and Strategy

At the outset of the formation of a professional learning network, leaders hone their aspirations for school-wide student achievement gains by identifying a single student achievement goal and a strategy for attaining that goal.

2. Learning Focus: School Transformation

Learning is focused on the five leadership domains that research has identified as being most effective in improving school and student performance using CLS’ Design for Leading Framework.

3. Inquiry to Solve Problems of Practice 

Connect Lead Succeed professional learning networks function as a form of action-research to allow leaders to continually question, reevaluate, refine and improve thier leadership knowledge and practice. Leaders engage in inquiry-based learning and reflection in a safe, practice rich environment. Problems of practice are discussed and resolved using peer collaboration and coaching to foster professional growth.

4. Capacity Building

Professional learning networks build the capacity of leaders to facilitate high-functioning professional learning communities in their schools. Leaders gain experience of and access to new protocols, tools and resources for facilitating collaborative learning and for building instructional and teacher leadership. As school leaders become better at promoting leadership across their sites, leadership capacity grows school- and district-wide.

5. A High-Functioning Learning Environment 

oSkilled educators trained to facilitate inquiry-based, leadership development and, communities of practice lead SLN professional learning networks. Rigorous facilitation ensures the kind of intentionality, planning and in-the-moment changes that are essnetial to a high-quality network learning experience. Regular surveys of participants ensure individual learning nees are being met and drive data-driven continuous improvements.

Learn more about the Connect Lead Succeed network learning experience.


Impact data shows that schools led by leaders who participate in a CLS professional learning network achieve substantial gains in student achievement. Increased student learning is a result of:

  • Stronger school leadership
  • Increased instructional and teacher leadership
  • Enhanced school cultures
  • Higher school performance
  • Improved principal retention

Participation in an CLS professional learning network increases the effectiveness, efficacy and tenacity of school leaders to advance instructional and teacher leadership, school performance and academic achievement.

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