Goal: To provide learning experiences for current assistant principals to prepare them for roles and responsibilities of elementary, middle and high school principals

DASL’s STEP-UP Program for Assistant Principals is aligned to the National Standards for Professional Learning (Learning Forward) and approved by the Delaware Department of Education. DASL staff will use direct instruction with highly interactive methods such as group discussions, role-play, and video. All activities will be job-embedded learning over an extended period of time, allowing for application and review of new learnings. Assistant Principals will work collaboratively on Problems of Practice that empower them to assume the roles, responsibilities and challenges principal face in their buildings. Assistant Principals will participate in a Professional Learning Community that encourages peer-to-peer interactions and creates a network of support throughout the program.


The curriculum for the Assistant Principal STEP-UP Program is aligned to the new principal practice rubric approved by the Delaware State Board of Education 2014. Assistant Principals will engage in learning opportunities that provide them opportunities to demonstrate effective leadership practices as described by the rubric components and criteria. Each session will focus on a unique school problem that assistant principals will work on in collaborative teams. Assistant Principals will take on the role of principals as they analyze the “problem.” Assistant Principals will identify the financial, legal, staffing, and policy implications of the problem and solutions. They will demonstrate leadership skills in the following areas: Vision, Instructional Leadership, Data User, Talent Manager, Coach and Mentor, Leader of Change, Builder of a Culture of Caring, and Team Leader. Teams will work on the problem for minutes, prepare a draft plan, and receive warm and cool feedback from peers. Assistant Principals will also view vignettes from the Principal Story (Wallace Foundation and Learning Forward) and discuss as a group.

Pre-work   Self-Assessment: Assistant Principals will use the new DE Principal Practice Rubric to self-assess themselves on the four components and seventeen criteria.Reading: THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL AS LEADER: GUIDING SCHOOLS TO BETTER TEACHING AND LEARNING, Wallace Foundation
Session 1 Problem of Practice 1: Vision & DataClinical: The Principal Story
Session 2 Problem of Practice 2: CurriculumClinical: The Principal Story
Session 3 Problem of Practice 3: InstructionClinical: The Principal Story
Session 4 Problem of Practice 4: School CultureClinical: The Principal Story
Session 5 Problem of Practice 5: Developing TeachersClinical: Leading Change
Session 6                             Problem of Practice 6: Working with FamiliesClinical: Leading Change
Session 7 Problem of Practice 7: Cultural CompetenceClinical: Leading Change
Session 8 Mock Interviews:Participants will participate in mock interviews with a panel of administrators and board members (outside the district).  The interview will be videoed and following the interview the Assistant Principal will meet privately with DASL staff to view the video and receive constructive feedback on his/her interviewing skills.
Readings Clinical AssignmentThe Principal Story



The New Principal Field Book, Robins and Alvy

Leading Change



The Effective Principal, Pam Mendels, Wallace Foundation, 2011

Teacher evaluation and school improvement: Analysis of the evidence, Philip Hallinger & Ronald H. Heck & Joseph Murphy, 2014

Creating Strong Principals, Mendels & Mittang, Education Leadership, ASCD

Leading Schools, Syed, Wallace Foundation, 2014



For more information about DASL’s Step-Up Program for Assistant Principals, contact Sharon Brittingham at sharonbr@udel.edu.