Principal Supervisor Initiative

A key component of the work at Des Moines Public Schools, supported by the Wallace Foundation, is the Principal Supervisor Initiative.

The following are the goals and strategies to support and improve principal leadership in our schools, and in turn support and improve the academic achievement of our students:

The principal supervisor initiative has four goals:

  • Design, implement and test training and support to improve the performance of all principal supervisors in selected districts;
  • Assist districts in reducing principal supervisors’ “span of control” (i.e., the number of principals they supervise) and in planning central office redesign to support and sustain these changes;
  • By looking across all the districts, develop emerging lessons about best ways to change the central office structure to support principal supervisors; and
  • Assess the effectiveness and the effects of these activities across participating districts.

Component Strategies to Address the Five Main Issues Regarding Principal Supervisors

  • Revising the position descriptions;
  • Expanding the capacity of those in the position in regard to their ability to coach, mentor and provide professional development and learning communities for principals;
  • Developing a system for the identification and training of new principal supervisors (a “pipeline” of leaders ready to step into the position);
  • Reducing the number of principals supervised by each incumbent; and
  • Strengthening the central office structures to support all the above.