California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Distributed Leadership

In effective middle schools, the school principal organizes and oversees a series of leadership teams that help ensure a focus on student success. Leadership teams within the school assist the principal in maintaining the vision for continuous improvement and ending the achievement gap. “Strong, distributed leadership teams eliminate distractions and support the business of teaching and learning. The distributed leadership team has developed a system to govern democratically and involve all staff members.”1

Later sections discuss each of the following types of leadership roles in more detail:

  • Teacher leaders help to ensure that team members focus on student achievement.
  • School site council members are responsible for helping to develop and monitor the implementation of the school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement.
  • Parents and community partners assist the school staff members in providing the support to ensure that every student succeeds.
  • Student leaders help to organize events that engage students as members of the school community so that they take pride and ownership in their education.

Connect families

Teacher leadership

1 Lou Cicchinelli and others, Success in Sight—A Comprehensive Approach to School Improvement (Outside Source). Denver, Colo.: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), 2006, 7.