Before students return to school in a matter of days, it was back-to-school for principals and administrators at Des Moines Public Schools this week as more than 200 education leaders took parts in the Leadership Institute.
This new professional development event was held in two parts over the summer.
It began in June, soon after classes were dismissed for the year. Meeting at their schools, principals, associate principals, teacher leaders and instructional coaches were introduced to the district’s plan to meet the Board SMART Goals for student success. They worked on a variety of topics, from Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to Engagement and Community Building and from Equitable Access to High Quality Curriculum to Data Literacy.
Round two was held this week, first at their schools to continue plans began earlier this summer and then together on Wednesday at the Iowa Events Center.
“This is our launch for the new school year,” said Noelle Nelson, executive director for leadership and learning for secondary schools at DMPS. “We want to get our school leaders fired up, excited and grounded in their work to achieve the Board Goals.”
Wednesday’s gathering included several sessions on leadership, competencies and understanding in order to meet goals to help all students succeed.
In addition, the session keynote speaker Dr. Howard E. Fields III, author of How to Achieve Educational Equity. He spoke to the meaning of equity – a top priority at DMPS – and how that ties to the school district’s on-going work to being an antiracist organization.
“We are excited to be able to soon see our students back in person,” added Nelson. “There are challenges heading into this school year, but people are ready to get the work done.”