Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) is implementing leadership development academies this school year to strengthen administrative skills within the district.
Five types of leadership academies will take place at the District Professional Development Center (PDC), including the District Leader Academy, New Principal Academy, Aspiring Assistant Principal Academy, Aspiring Principal Academy and Model Principals’ Academy, according to the W.P. McLean Sixth Grade Center website.
The leadership academies were created to train administrators who are new to the district. Administrators involved in the academies will meet once a month throughout the school year.
Miguel Del Toro, assistant principal of R.L. Paschal High School, began at Paschal in August and is part of the New Assistant Principal Academy.
Del Toro said that the new leadership academies are a good addition to the district for administrators.
“Teachers of course get tons of opportunities to build their repertoire and to build capacity as far as their content or classroom management or pedagogy in general,” Del Toro said. “Districts are now finding the advantage of training and equipping their administrators with programs such as the leadership academies.”
Del Toro said that we are in a new era of education where there is a change in paradigm for administrative roles.
“It’s about being academic leaders, instructional leaders, helping our teachers improve and build their craft,” Del Toro said.
The academies have gained positive response from aspiring educators studying at Texas Christian University.
Taylor White, a senior math education major at TCU, said she would be interested in participating in a leadership development academy in the future.
“Having the opportunity to grow within the district compels me because my end goal as an education major is to one day be principal,” White said. “It’s good for the district to grow from within because teachers who have been in FWISD for years know what needs to be improved and what changes need to be made.”