Grant Overview

Des Moines Public Schools is regularly working, revising and updating its plan to implement projects funded thanks to support from the Wallace Foundation.

The following highlights key components of the work currently underway and/or in development. A copy of this information may also be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.


  • Adopt district and school leadership framework.
  • Provide substantial leadership development for the Office of Schools and other departments within the district including principals and school based leadership teams.
  • Align systems for departments within the district to form a more collaborative independent structure.
  • Reduce the span of control among the elementary directors.
  • Mentor and coach first and second year principals.
PSI Grant Goals      DMPS Strategy   
Component 1
Revising the Position Descriptions
  • Redesign the principal supervisor position from compliance-based manager to school principal leadership developer.
Component 2
Expanding the Capacity of Principal Supervisors
  • Ensure that incumbent and new principal supervisors receive the training and support in the domains and elements of the District Leader and School Leaders Evaluation Models in order to carry out the expectations of their redesigned roles as instructional leaders.
  • Ensure that incumbent and new principal supervisors learn how to support new and experienced principals as instructional leaders by creating a culture of continuous learning through coaching-based conversations.
Component 3
Ensuring a Continuous Supply of Qualified Leaders to Assume the Principal Supervisor Position in the Future
Develop a pipeline of up and coming potential principal supervisors to fill positions now and in the future:

  • Succession planning
  • Pre-position training
  • Hiring criteria
  • Support for new principal supervisors
Component 4
Reducing the Span of Control
  • Decrease the principal to principal supervisor ratio across elementary schools and shift management responsibilities to other administrators.
Component 5
Strengthening the Central Office Structures
  • Office of Schools and CIA will engage in a strategic planning process to develop a vision, clear expectations, and common message for central office support of school leadership and student achievement.