In the current climate of test-based accountability, many building leaders have found it difficult to hold to and expand their school’s commitment to the progressive practices embedded in the CES Ten Common Principles. Both state and federal regulations and rules often seem to conspire to push out such successful progressive practices as extended learning time, personalized educational plans, integrated curriculum, performance assessments, and advisory among others. At the same time many principals find that traditional sources of support for their work as progressive leaders has evaporated.

Purpose and Mission

The Coalition of Essential Schools’ Sizer Principals’ Network (SPN), is designed to support sitting school principals in their work to lead their schools in progressive ways consistent with the CES Ten Common Principles. Named for Ted Sizer, the founder of CES, this network stays consistent with his intent that CES be a ‘conversation among friends.’ To this end, SPN will link together up to two dozen school principals with CES leadership for support, resources, and networking opportunities.

SPN is designed to provide direct, hands-on support and consultation for principals striving to implement the CES philosophy. All participants will be named Sizer Principal Network Fellows, a title they will earn upon completion of the year-long program and to which they are entitled to identify themselves.

Program Components

SPN participants will benefit from a variety of support tools, including the following:

Mentoring: George Wood, CES Chair, will facilitate SPN mentoring and support to all participants. This includes connection to Dr. Wood via email, phone and in person for the entire year, based on availability.

Monthly Meetings: From August to May, electronic meetings will be held with one of the leaders of CES or the progressive education movement. These 90-minute sessions will include materials, lecture/commentary, and time for questions and discussion. Principals will have the opportunity to hear from such leaders as Deborah Meier, Linda-Darling Hammond, James Comer, leaders of CES centers, and others that are currently engaged in progressive reform work.

Materials and Resources: Participants will receive materials for each of the monthly meetings. As well as materials and resources that address topics of their interest through the year.

Face-to-Face Meeting: Participants will meet once a year, most likely at the annual CES Fall Forum. This meeting will be structured around the interests of the participants and will include participation from CES leaders.

CES Fall Forum: Participants will be given a free registration for the CES Fall Forum.

School Visits and Connections: Participants will be encouraged and welcome to visit one another’s schools. When possible, small group visits will be arranged and SPN participants will be accompanied on these visits by the program coordinator/mentor.

Costs and Admission

Eligibility: Current principals who are leading a CES affiliated school and are nominated by their superintendent or head of the governing body of the school.

Enrollment Deadline: May 30th

Maximum Enrollment: 24 Principals per year

Cost: $1,500 annually

Application Process: Online application and letter of nomination.

Participants will be asked to explain how involvement in the Sizer Principals’ Network will enhance your leadership activities, the ongoing work in your school, or skills and knowledge you are hoping to improve upon.

Superintendents should nominate principals who possess the leadership skills needed to carry out the challenges of implementing the 10 common principles of CES.

Please Note: The Sizer Principals’ Network will reconvene in the spring of 2016.