Tuition: $2,900 per person
Develop a theory of action for successfully turning around underperforming schools. Understand how to use an accelerated timeline to create learning environments that support high levels of achievement for all students and full engagement of all stakeholders.
Together with Harvard faculty, expert practitioners and a cohort of fellow turnaround leaders, you will analyze elements critical to your school’s turnaround plan. You will gain key leadership skills and learn strategies for successful implementation.
Specific topics include understanding the importance of high instructional quality and expectations, translating data into action, developing effective teams, leading a change effort, and creating meaningful engagement with community and external partners.
School turnaround efforts require highly effective leaders able to create the conditions for rapid and sustained change. To successfully impact student outcomes, leaders in turnaround contexts must drive a fundamental shift in school culture and instructional practice that results in early gains and ongoing high performance. The demands are great, but the need to improve the opportunities for our children in failing schools is even greater.
By the end of the program you will understand how to:
The program’s capstone project is where you will develop a theory of action, specific to your school or district turnaround efforts. The plan will focus on establishing priorities to achieve rapid and meaningful improvement. Once drafted, you will present your plan and receive direct feedback from peers and faculty through a facilitated consultancy exercise. By the end of the program you will have a defined plan that you can put into action right away.
Educators who attend as part of a team are able to increase the impact of their learning both while on campus and once they have returned home. Free from the usual distractions of the work setting, your team will benefit from additional opportunities to focus on your specific turnaround plan. Teams are able to collectively work on their theory of action, build a shared vision for moving forward, and be better prepared to implement the plan as soon as you return home.
“I want to bring a team with me next year so that we can gain insight on the instructional core and think about our strategy as a group.” —Judy Wright, Principal, Mueller Aerospace & Engineering Discovery Magnet, Wichita, KS
“At first the program was intimidating, but everyone quickly made me feel comfortable. The program really stretched me. I felt empowered.” —Mario Mandlazi, Deputy Chief Education Specialist, Johannesburg Central District Office, Johannesburg, South Africa
"Wow. I feel like I now have a new place to start.” —Wendell Coleman, Principal, Oxon Hill Middle School, Ft. Washington, MD
“The consultancy session was wonderful. One of the highlights of the week! It was a great way to share issues, get feedback and hear suggestions from leaders who come from different states, districts and environments.” —Judy Wright, Principal, Mueller Aerospace and Engineering Discovery Magnet, Wichita, KS
“The program offered up-to-date tools that will help me connect the many components of my plan and empower staff, students and parents.” —Sonia Jaramillo, Principal/Head of School, Greenfield USD, Greenfield, CA
Katherine Merseth is Senior Lecturer on Education and Director of the Teacher Education Program at HGSE. Merseth has over 40 years of experience in instruction, administration and research in public education in the United States and internationally and was the founding Director of the School Leadership Program at HGSE. She brings an extensive knowledge of school organizations and instructional practice to the leadership of this program. Her academic work concentrates on K–12 school reform, teacher professional development, mathematics education and the case-method of instruction. Most recently she was the principal investigator for a study researching high-performing charter schools, the results of which are presented in the award-winning book Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Charter Schools. Merseth is also a recipient of the Morningstar Award, HGSE’s highest honor for teaching excellence.
School Turnaround Leaders is an application program. To maximize the learning experience, the program aims to bring together as diverse a group as possible. As the work of the program is team-based, it is highly encouraged that educators attend as a school-based or district-wide team. Both individuals and teams are welcome to apply. As the program fills quickly, early application is encouraged.
School-level teams may be composed of principals, assistant principals, educators in leadership roles, school administrators, instructional leaders and teacher leaders. Teams composed of school- and district-level leaders are also encouraged. Educators who attend as part of a team are able to increase the impact of their learning both while on campus, and once they have returned home.
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:
Identify Your Team Coordinator
The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.
Payment or a purchase order is due 30 days after registration. If acceptance into the program falls less than 30 days prior to program start date, payment is due upon acceptance. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses.
Hotel accommodations are made available to participants at a reduced rate. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Detailed program information and accommodation options will be provided to all admitted participants. Please note, the Harvard Graduate School of Education is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred. We recommend that you not make lodging and travel arrangements until you are admitted to the program.
Cancellations must be submitted via fax or email. Full refunds will be given up to 30 days prior to the start of the program. Due to program demand and pre-program preparations, cancellations received 29–14 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of 10% of the program tuition. Cancellations received within 13 days prior to the start of the program and no-shows are subject to the full program tuition. Please note: cancellation fees are based upon the date the written request is received.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education affirms the right of all individuals to equal treatment in education without regard to age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, handicap, national origin, or any other factors that are extraneous to effective performance. The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accommodate anyone with disabilities.