Strong and actively engaged school leadership are committed to equity and excellence in teaching and learning through shared power.

Superintendent Kishimoto, Deputy Superintendent Unebasami, principals and other Hawaii State Department of Education staff at the 2019 Educational Leadership Institute

Perhaps the most critical role in successful inclusive schools is the role of the principal. The school principal’s active participation is the single most important predictor of success in implementing change, improving services, or setting a new course. The school principal is central to facilitating systemic change and leading faculty to adopt new attitudes and new practices.

Today’s principal must create the conditions for a positive learning environment, academic rigor, and set the standard for shared ownership across the entire faculty, on top of their added responsibilities.

Strong leadership in schools is characterized by actively engaged school leaders committed to equity and excellence in teaching and learning through a system of empowerment. The following leadership practices must be in place to achieve a high level of effectiveness and impact for all students in inclusive environments.

Leadership Standards of Practice

1.1 All administrators, teachers, and staff share responsibility in supporting academic and social/emotional learning of every student.

1.2 Leadership team involves the school community in creating a clear and consistent vision of inclusive practices.

1.3 School community members engage in collaborative decision-making that support the vision of inclusive practices.

1.4 Professional learning is provided by instructional coaching.

1.5 Leadership team analyzes data to make changes that improve teacher practices and student outcomes.

Principal, teachers and educational assistants with students.

Resources for Improving Your Practice

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure to embrace the new. But there is no real security in that which is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

— Alan Cohen