State grant will fund training for school leaders

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IECN photo courtesy SBCUSD: An SBCUSD administrator reviews materials during a training session.
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Every principal in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), as well as vice principals clearing their credential, will participate in professional training over the next three years thanks to a $1-million state grant designed to help them succeed.

The California Center on Teaching Careers grant will equip school principals and vice principals with the leadership skills they need to thrive in their challenging positions and help more students succeed academically, said Mary Pierce, the District’s Director of Employee Development.

“The research shows that school administrators play a crucial role in the success of students,” said Pierce, a former elementary school principal. “The additional training and support that we provide to our school leaders will result in more skillful teachers, and in turn that yields students who are prepared to succeed.”

Of the 26 educational agencies that applied for $9.2 million in grant funding, SBCUSD received the largest share, edging out other large school districts like Los Angeles Unified and the Alameda County Office of Education.

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A high-quality induction and mentoring program is an integral part of the training that principals and vice principals will receive. This program is aligned with Strategy 3 of the District’s Community Engagement Plan, which calls for coaching and mentoring to strengthen human capacity throughout the District.

New principals are not the only ones who will benefit from professional development, Pierce said. Seasoned principals, including those who are excelling, will also expand their skills by becoming certified California administrative coaches and by participating in training offered over the summer by the Association of California School Administrators and UCLA.

“The job of a principal is so very challenging and so impactful,” Pierce said “A high-caliber leader can always grow and be an even better principal.”

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