Mar 01, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education today released an application for grant funding to support professional development for school principals. All school systems are encouraged to apply for the Principal Support Grants by April 7, 2017.

"The Department believes strong leadership is critical to maintaining strong schools," said State Superintendent of Education John White. "For that reason, Louisiana has made a conscious effort to dedicate funding to empowering principals as instructional leaders and developing their skills through various support structures, tools and resources."

The grants, funded by existing state and federal dollars, support school leaders in key ways by establishing programs and resources that enable principals to:

  • implement effective practices for teacher collaboration, observation and feedback, and goal setting;
  • build leadership skills by engaging in new learning techniques and collaborating with their peers;
  • think strategically about how to organize the many aspects of their roles; and attract, develop, motivate and retain highly effective educators in order to raise achievement for all students.

Theresa Hamilton, chief academic officer for the Tangipahoa Parish School System, said principals in her parish have benefited from the programs these grants have helped to fund.
"We have district level and school level leaders participating, so we get a 360-degree view of how they see this leadership development opportunity and how they think about best practices," Hamilton said. "Our leaders are working on projects about things actually happening in their current roles. They are applying what they are learning to plans for their school and for the district."

The benefit of the professional development programs is two-fold, she said. First, it develops the individual leader.

"Principals must achieve a school culture that encourages students and educators to meet high expectations," Hamilton explained. "The program emphasizes the role of a principal as a strategic thinker, an instructional leader, a change agent, and it gives them the opportunity to work on their skills and learn to function in an accountability-based system that builds and sustains future ready learning."

And, she added, those leaders then contribute to the betterment of the entire school system.

"As a system, it's important to have principals who understand the mission, the climate and the culture of 21st century learning and who can help develop and use best practices to sustain improvement and prepare students to be college and career ready," she said. "It's important to use the resources and the capabilities of these principals to mentor and support others. Not only does that help produce highly effective educators, but it builds collegiality."

Additional application details are available on the Department's website, and the Department will work individually with school systems on their applications, as requested. Furthermore, the Department will host a series of question-and-answer sessions about the support grants at the Supervisor Collaborations taking place in three locations around the state later this month.

Upon submission, the Department will review the applications and select the top plans to recommend for approval to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at the June meeting.

For more information on Principal Support, click here.
With questions, email

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