California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

School Site Leadership

School site leadership begins with the principal but should not stop there. Professional learning communities, teacher leadership teams, along with students, parents, and community leaders all play a role in helping local middle grades educators achieve results.

According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, site leaders are responsible to “Institute structural leadership systems that allow for substantive involvement in decision-making by students, teachers, family members, and the community and that support effective communication among these groups.”1 Principals play a central role in creating a system of distributed leadership where all stakeholders play a role in the success of the enterprise. “It is this simple: schools won’t improve until the average building leader begins to work cooperatively with teachers to truly, meaningfully oversee and improve instructional quality.”2

Provide curriculum and instructional leadership

Principals—The Learning Leaders

1 Cornerstone Strategy #7, Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform (Outside Source), Reston, Va.: National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2006, 8.
2 Mike Schmoker, Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006, 29.