Desert Sands Unified School District is proud to announce the Desert Sands Leadership Academy (DSLA) for School Leaders. We are extremely pleased and delighted at this opportunity for teachers, facilitators, academic coaches, site, and district administrators and directors to come together and build their leadership capacity to improve outcomes for all students in Desert Sands Unified School District.

The DSLA for School Leaders is a partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) created following more than 25 years of research into school systems around the world that consistently outperformed the United States in student achievement, equity, and efficiency. NISL worked with industry leaders to develop the Executive Development Program (EDP) which builds leadership skills, teaches best practices, and gives leaders the tools to coach their faculty toward highly effective instruction in content areas.

The EDP is strategically designed and uses a model of facilitation which focuses on participants collaborating to solve current problems of practice using case studies and applied learning. The curriculum is separated into three courses, delivered in 24 days over 15 months. Course 1 is focused on world class schooling and strategic thinking about the educational system. Course 2 is comprised of four units centered on teaching, learning and coaching. Participants will dive into the work of sustaining transformation through the lens of instructional and ethical leadership in Course 3. The academy culminates with presentations on the action learning projects which each participant designs, develops and implements throughout the 15 months.

Over 110 faculty members attended the district’s information sessions and 75 applied for the first EDP cohort. Cohort 1 will kick off with an orientation on May 21st and conclude in Oct. 2019.  The inaugural cohort will consist of 25 participants.  A second cohort will begin late fall 2020.

As memorialized in the Superintendent Action Plan, the leadership Academy for School Leaders is a component of a district-wide leadership program. The overarching goal of the program is to build and develop the capacity of our own employees to lead their departments and schools, aiming for increased student success. The program includes support for new principals, professional development for certificated and classified administrators, and opportunities for those seeking to increase their knowledge and improve their leadership skills.