Explore. Learn. Lead.
Announcing application period for Second Leadership Cohort
As we continue in our commitment to serve all districts in Texas over the coming years, we are excited to announce the opening of online applications for our second cohort of districts. During this application period, all districts in Texas serving 6,000 students or more are eligible to apply, including districts that applied to be part of our first cohort of school districts.
From eligible districts that apply, a cohort of six public school districts will be selected to participate in The Holdsworth Center’s combined five-year program, beginning in Spring 2019. Please note we are in the early stages of identifying the ideal structure to serve smaller-sized districts by 2020.
About our programs
At The Holdsworth Center, we are distinguished from many leadership development programs by our long-term partnership and deep investment in leaders at every level of school districts. We work at the individual, team and system levels and know that building the capacity of all three is critical to sustainable organizational improvement that positively impacts students over time.
The five-year partnership entails a three-pronged approach to building leadership capacity: these are the District Leadership Program, the Campus Leadership Program and District Support. Holdsworth serves all levels of leaders in the system—from the superintendent’s office to classroom teachers—through our District and Campus Leadership Programs. Throughout these two programs, participants learn through site visits (to high-performing schools, districts and other organizations), interactions with world-class faculty and from their peers. District Support includes embedded assistance to district leaders as they assess their current approaches to leadership development, identify key strengths and areas for growth and design new strategies to implement across their entire systems.
“Holdsworth has had a significant impact culturally in Klein ISD. In Klein, we say we are all Holdsworth, all the time because of Holdsworth’s commitment and partnership with us to help achieve our shared vision.” Dr. Bret Champion, Superintendent of Klein ISD
As noted by Dr. Bret Champion during the Superintendent’s Panel at ElevatEd, our programs provide the potential for invaluable growth ; however, these rich learnings are not possible without a significant time commitment. Sessions are usually one week in duration during the summer and three to four days during the school year.
Participants in the District Leadership Program (sitting superintendents and central office leadership teams) participate in a total of 60-70 days of off-site programming over the course of two years. These learning experiences are both extremely rewarding and rigorous, involving pre-reading and preparation as well as travel.
Within each district, participants work closely with their District Support Teams to continually strengthen their approaches to identifying, developing, selecting and supporting leaders. Following the first year of the District Leadership Program, participants in the Campus Leadership Program (sitting principals and their teams) begin participating in 50-60 days of off-site programming over the next two years. Campus Leadership’s learning experiences are rigorous as well, involving pre-reading, preparation and travel.
Our program curriculum includes four strands—personal leadership, effective teams, aligned systems and structures and change leadership. They are taught by world-class faculty from education, business and other disciplines, including Chip Heath, Liz City, Ram Charan and Pedro Noguera.
The learning is designed to push our participants in their thinking and it requires school district teams to move from theory to practice as they transition to strategic planning and implementation.
Participants in the District Leadership Program apply their learnings to improve the districts’ leadership development systems and structures while participants in Campus Leadership Program apply their learnings to a problem-of-practice related to student achievement on their campus.
“Holdsworth isn’t just a program that will help your district be better from the outside. Holdsworth has been able to work with us as a partner and bring us experiences that are so often denied in publicly-funded public education. This program is the best leadership experience I’ve had in 37 years.” Dr. Susan Simpson Hull, Superintendent of Grand Prairie Independent School District
Interested districts should submit their intent to apply by Friday, September 14. Applications are due by Friday, October 19. Applications will be reviewed by Holdsworth leadership in addition to a selected panel from the existing cohort of seven districts.
After reviewing all applications, we will name finalists in November who will each receive a site visit from the selection team. The final cohort of six districts will be announced in April 2019.
In selecting the districts to participate in our district and campus leadership programs, we first look for districts that are hungry to improve—those who see developing leaders as a critical priority for their organization and who believe they have room to learn and grow. We look for districts who are open to new ideas and are eager to make major improvements to their current practices.
Second, we look for districts who are ready to do the work. Being a Holdsworth partner district is a significant commitment over a five-year period. We look for districts with alignment of vision and shared commitment at every level of leadership—the superintendent, the senior leadership team and the school board.
Finally, we look for districts who have demonstrated an ability to lead change. We look for evidence that the district has moved the needle on its key priorities.
We are excited to engage with new districts over the coming months and look forward to welcoming a new cohort in April 2019.
For districts serving less than 6,000 students, we plan to study the needs of smaller districts across the state to develop a tailored approach to supporting their leadership development objectives. Our goal is to be prepared to welcome smaller districts to The Holdsworth Center when our Austin campus opens in 2020.
Want to learn more or register for a webinar? Visit DLP.HoldsworthCenter.org.
Now accepting applications for our Second Leadership Cohort
As we continue in our commitment to serve all districts in Texas over the coming years, we are excited to announce the opening of online applications today for our second cohort of districts.
During this application period, all districts in Texas serving 6,000 students or more are eligible to apply, including districts that applied to be part of our first cohort of school districts.
From eligible districts that apply, a cohort of six public school districts will be selected to participate in The Holdsworth Center’s combined five-year program, beginning in April 2019.