OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 8, 2021) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) announced today it is using approximately $8 million in federal relief to strengthen school leadership and teacher retention in the state. The three-year initiative starts this school year and includes five specialized programs.
“The research is clear and compelling: Within schools, teachers have the greatest impact on students and their futures, with building leaders coming in a close second,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Using a portion of our coronavirus relief funds to strengthen and stabilize our leadership and talent pipelines is critical as we continue to navigate the pandemic landscape and remain true to our commitments to do everything possible to ensure student success.”
The School Leadership and Talent Development initiative includes the following programs:
Moving UP – supporting assistant principals with a focus on collaborative leadership
Principal Induction Academy – providing training to early-career principals in instructional coaching, school climate, professional learning communities, and personnel and resource management
First Class – providing virtual coaching and mentoring for new teachers
Data Institute – utilizing data to build effective schools and improve student achievement
The final program, a grant to the Oklahoma Chapter of Teach for America to combat the teacher shortage, was announced in August.
The OSDE has conducted five Moving UP programs since 2016. The new investment will fund three additional trainings for 120 assistant principals through the 2023-24 school year.
“Moving UP is not your typical professional development for leaders,” said Amber Round, assistant principal at Lincoln Elementary in Pryor, who participated in the program. “It is a think tank for improving education at all levels. The academic success of my school has been greatly impacted by my involvement with Moving UP.”
Applications for Moving UP and the Principal Induction Academy are open through Friday, Sept. 10. The first-ever Data Institute, in partnership with the University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education, is at capacity and will take place at the Francis Tuttle Technology Center Reno Campus in Oklahoma City on Sept. 23-24. The First Class program is underway for the 2020-21 school year, with 250 new teachers participating.
To learn more about the School Leadership and Talent Development initiative, see the FAQ document. The initiative is a component of Ready Together Oklahoma: An Action Plan for Supporting Students Through the Pandemic and Beyond. The OSDE launched the recovery plan in May with a growing portfolio of online resources to support schools as they leverage the best uses of federal relief funds.