School district officials in Rockford are partnering with NIU's College of Education to better train administrators. The goal is to build leaderships skills among Rockford's 100 public school principals and assistant principals.
The 11 week course pairs the district's leaders with Northern Illinois University education faculty members. Ehren Jarrett is assistant superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools. He starts the job of superintendent July 1st. He’s also an NIU graduate, so he is excited about partnering with his alma mater in what he hopes is a long-term program.
"We just think this will make them so much more effective as leaders by tacking on these essential skills. " - Ehren Jarrett
Rockford Public School staffers were asked about their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Jarrett says that’s why the Leadership Academy’s three-track focus is on general leadership, literacy, and technology.
"If you are really going to be the instructional leader of your building, you are going to be limited if you don’t have a strong enough background to have those professional conversations with your teachers." -Ehren Jarrett
NIU College of Education Dean La Vonne I. Neal says the training develops administrators beyond their own specialties:
"A culturally responsive principal will be able to lead organizational change and lead across diverse cultures." -La Vonne I. Neal
NIU instructors will conduct the academy at Rockford schools through April 24th.