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Divisions > Academic Policy & Innovation > Programs

Maryland Principals' Academy

The Maryland Principals' Academy is a yearlong learning experience that includes a summer residential institute, two follow-up sessions during the year, and on-site visits to participants' schools.  The Academy's content is based on the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework and is focused on building the instructional leadership capacity of principals.  Participants with one to five years of experience as a principal work together to examine and synthesize instructional leadership theories, research, practical tools, and strategies to help them lead their schools. 


Academy Outcomes:


     1) Build leadership capacity aligned with the Maryland Instructional 

         Leadership Framework that will accelerate student and adult


     2) Examine and synthesize principles and practices that facilitate a  

         cycle of continuous improvement for student and adult learning

     3) Establish and maintain a network of colleagues who will engage in
         ongoing dialogue about student achievement



Alumni Workshops

Members of the Division for Leadership Development develop and implement workshops for principals who have participated in the yearlong Maryland Principals' Academy from its initial year of 2001 until the present.  Participation is voluntary. The content is based on the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework and is aligned with the Academy content. 


Maryland Principals' Academy Regional Chapters

The purpose of the Maryland Principals' Academy Regional Chapters is to establish professional learning communities based on the Academy goal of building leadership capacity for improved student achievement.  These networks of former Principals' Academy participants meet twice a year to continue the learning that takes place in the yearlong Academy program.  Participants design and implement these networking experiences to reflect their school-based and district-based learning needs and interests.


Academy Chapter Outcomes:


    1) Provide a forum for Maryland Principals' Academy participants 

        to continue their work together as a professional learning community

    2) Continue dialogues about continuous school improvement for

        student and adult learning

There are twelve regional chapters representing all 24 jurisdictions. 

The Chapters are as follows: 

  • Allegany/Garrett Counties
  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore City
  • Baltimore County
  • Calvert/Charles/St. Mary's Counties
  • Caroline/Kent/Queen Anne's/Talbot Counties
  • Carroll/Frederick/Washington Counties
  • Cecil/Harford Counties
  • Dorchester/Somerset/Wicomico/Worcester Counties
  • Howard County
  • Montgomery County
  • Prince George's County

Aspiring Principals' Institute

The Aspiring Principals' Institute is a yearlong learning experience for potential school leaders who have been chosen by their superintendents to participate. This institute was established in the 2007-2008 school year and is co-sponsored by the Eastern Shore of Maryland Education Consortium and the Division for Leadership Development at the Maryland State Department of Education.  A second Aspiring Principals' Institute was established in July 2010, co-sponsored by the  Leadership Development branch of the Division of Academic reform and Innovation and the Western Maryland consortium of Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties.  Using funds from the Race to the Top grant, new Aspiring Principals' Institutes will be established in 2011 in both southern and central Maryland. 



  • Understand how to use the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework as a self-assessment tool
  • Identify the interconnectedness of the Framework Outcomes and Evidences
  • Analyze components of school culture aligned to student and adult learning
  • Examine tools for assessing school culture
  • Determine strategies and formulate next steps for cultivating each participant's own school's culture
  • Analyze classroom instruction with a focus on student learning behaviors
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of instruction based on evidence of student learning
  • Communicate through specific oral and written feedback the relationship between teacher behaviors and student learning
  • Apply the concept of cause and effect to school data
  • Define root cause and use tests for determining a root cause
  • Analyze data based on a structural process of root cause analysis

International Learning Communities

The Division for Leadership Development has established unique partnerships with a number of entities in an effort to create a variety of international learning communities dedicated to developing instructional leadership worldwide.  The newest of these relationships is with the People's Republic of China as a result of a China-U.S. Education Leadership Conference in Beijing.  Also the International Leadership Centre Network has accepted the Division as a member, thus enabling the Division to form ongoing relationships with organizations around the world.  The Division's longest standing partnerships have been with the World Bank and the British Council.  In the fall of 2003, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) collaborated with Prince George's Community College and South African educators to enhance educational management and instructional expertise in South Africa.  These relationships have resulted in substantive collaboration in global leadership development.      

The Governor's P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland

The Governor's P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland brings the Maryland State Department of Education, the University System of Maryland, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and the Department of Business and Economic Development together to work on strengthening educational achievement from pre-school through college, and beyond.  Also, the Partnership has created programs to encourage students to consider and to prepare for college, and it works at the PreK-12, college and governmental levels to improve teacher quality.
Go To Program

Leadership Learning Series

The Leadership Learning Series are professional development workshops designed to provide Maryland principals, assistant principals, and potential leaders with the skills, strategies, and content needed to be effective instructional leaders who build leadership capacity in their schools.  The Leadership Learning Series is derived from the outcomes and evidences in practice found in the Division’s Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework. 


The Leadership Learning Series are delivered at the request of the local school system superintendents, and follow-up experiences are provided by their school system executive officers.

Executive Officers' Network

The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) defines executive officers as those who evaluate and supervise principals.  In local systems, these staff members have a variety of titles, such as assistant and associate superintendents and directors.  The Division for Leadership Development has established a statewide network of these system leaders so that they can come together to exchange and gain information on critical issues related to school leadership in Maryland.  Issues such as leadership succession, the content of professional development, and evaluation criteria are catalysts for the ongoing discussions during network meetings. 


PreK-12 Principals’ Advisory Council

The PreK-12 Principals’ Advisory Council meets three times a year for the purposes of (a) advising members of the Leadership Division and the Department on matters of policy, (b) exchanging information on leadership issues, and (c) discussing promising practices in regard to student achievement.  One principal from each local jurisdiction serves on the Council, and each member is chosen by the system’s superintendent.

Assistance to Systems with Schools in Improvement

In accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act, the Division for Leadership Development and the Division of Instruction work collaboratively with local school systems which have schools in the improvement continuum to provide professional development for school leaders and their leadership teams. 

The goals of this partnership are to:


    1) provide curriculum and leadership content to central office staff

        and school leadership teams based on the needs of the school

        system; and

    2) build the capacity of central office staff and school leadership teams

        to provide job-embedded professional development at the system

        and school level in both curriculum and leadership content to

        increase student achievement.

Through collaborative planning, district personnel and MSDE staff design a series of professional development activities that address school system needs in the areas of reading, mathematics, science, algebra/data analysis, biology, English, and government.  The activities focus on content and instructional strategies in a specific content area and include workshops, classroom visits, and lesson study.  MSDE staff members also provide coaching support for leadership teams from selected low-performing schools by collaboratively planning with teachers to apply content and instructional strategies.


Targeted Participants


This service is designed for teams composed of elementary, middle, or high school principals, assistant principals, coaches, special education lead teachers, English Language Learner lead teachers, and department chairs.  The intent is for the school leadership teams to provide training, practice, and coaching with their teachers. 


Partnership Benefits


  • A job-embedded professional opportunity that informs the participants about the curricular content and strategies that improve school performance and student achievement
  • A professional learning environment that promotes knowledge building and opportunities for collaboration and planning

Three Professional Development Partnerships

Contact Information
Division for Leadership Development
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
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