About the Program
The Collaborative Leadership Advancing School Success (CLASS) program equips passionate teachers with the tools to become change agents and leaders of influence in their school communities. In partnership with Hunter College, CLASS is a clinically-based school leadership program that engages teachers as learners and leaders, readying them to supervise and support the professional development of fellow teachers and the management of systems at the building and district levels. Teachers graduate from CLASS with a master’s degree, equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the School Building Leader (SBL) and School District Leader (SDL) advanced graduate certificate exams.
The curriculum is organized to help participants develop the capacity to accomplish leadership and school improvement goals. Our program is designed to empower teachers to "move" and transform the school communities in which they teach.
Participants will learn to identify learning deficits for a specific group of students outside the school’s sphere of success and improve outcomes for those students by designing targeted interventions.
Through immersion in a strategic inquiry process, participants learn the skills and habits necessary to create change. They then lead their colleagues in learning and practicing these behaviors. By practicing shared accountability, evidence-based decision-making and distributed leadership, participants can help make significant and lasting shifts in their school’s culture.
Participants will understand how decision-making systems operate to constrain student outcomes and work to improve at least one such system.
“I have never seen collaboration work as effectively as I have this year at our school. I think this is largely a result of the work we do here in CLASS and what I have learned from everyone here. ” Jessica K., Current CLASS participant and ESL Social Studies Teacher
How CLASS Works
A school is only as successful as its students. As a CLASS participant, you will develop a school leader’s habits of mind, making continuous improvement of student outcomes a primary goal. Leading these efforts, you will learn to improve systems at your school, helping students to achieve more. Over the course of two years, participants will benefit from the following:
Seminars provide structure and support for participants’ school improvement work. Seminar content exposes participants to research and theory-based options for action (8 credits per semester, 32 credits total).
Clinical experiences in schools provide candidates with time to develop leadership skills. In the program’s second year, participants learn and practice effective leadership and school improvement skills at their home school.
Intervisitations provide an opportunity for principals and teachers at participating schools to give feedback on instructional and operational decision-making systems. Pre-semester intensives provide an opportunity for uninterrupted, focused and sustained work toward a specific school improvement goal.
“I had a desire to change the problems that I saw my students struggling with, especially students of color. I want to make sure that I can change the state of education for the better. In CLASS, we don’t just talk about concepts, but you put it into action. You learn about it, read about it, look at case studies, and take what you learn into your school.”
“CLASS has helped with systems thinking and understanding relationships in a way that is less emotional and more calculated. It gives you a sense of both the art and science of relationships within an organization. I’m now better able to navigate those tough relationships.”
“CLASS was great because I was able to take my experiences graduating from the first cohort to teach the fifth. In the course of co-teaching, I became an Assistant Principal at my school and was able to bring an on the ground point of view things we were learning in CLASS and apply it to my school.”