Virginia Tech - Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement - School Leaders Institute

Building Relationships/Effective Communication

Effective leaders understand the importance of developing and maintaining positive relationships with a wide range of individuals and diverse audiences. The four sessions included in this workshop highlight knowledge, skills and behaviors that enhance effective communication.

Participants explore some of the challenges related to working with different people who may have competing agendas, and learn ways to win their support. Participants engage in small group discussion, analyze vignettes, and review actual situations relating to:

  • crisis management,
  • handling the unexpected and
  • working with the media.

Workshop discussions highlight how school safety can be promoted through clear and frequent communication. The workshop assesses participants’ current level of effectiveness as communicators. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should possess a clear understanding of how appropriate communication builds trust which cultivates solid relationships.


  1. Communicating Effectively
  2. Promoting Internal and External Positive Climates
  3. Maintaining a Safe and Orderly Learning Environment
  4. Crisis Management

Appropriate time on Friday morning will be allotted to organizing and planning cohort meetings and discussion of the process for coaching. Time will be allotted for reflection and sharing based on discussions and activities from the workshop. An evaluation will be completed at the conclusion of this workshop.

Instructional Leadership For Success In Our Schools

School leaders must stay focused on the core business of public schooling. Small group discussions will be used to explore a variety of skills and behaviors associated with successful instructional leadership.

Three sessions in this workshop provide examples of proven ways to increase faculty involvement in instructional leadership initiatives. Institute faculty stimulate discussions that increase understanding about influencing teachers’ involvement in instructional decisions. Participants examine legal issues associated with special education and share their own methods for success.


  1. Instructional leadership
  2. Special education compliance and delivery
  3. Equity focused leadership

Appropriate time on Friday morning will be allotted to sharing reflections and lessons gleaned from discussions and activities during the workshop, cohort meetings, and coaching interactions. An evaluation will be completed at the conclusion this workshop.

Success Is in the Data

This workshop includes three sessions related to performance of employees and students. Decisions based on an analysis of relevant real time data are the most productive and sustainable. Following the presentation of information to establish context and foundation, participants examine data sets, and engage in discussion to determine implications for better decisions.

Participants sharpen their skills in the area of analysis, assessment, and outcome evaluation. The use of technology will be explored from the perspectives of both instructional and administrative uses. Participants learn skill building techniques to analyze data, which enhances decision making.


  1. Performance Reviews
  2. Data Driven Decisions
  3. Using Technology Effectively
Appropriate time on Friday morning will be allotted to sharing reflections and lessons gleaned from discussions during the workshop, cohort meetings and coaching interactions. An evaluation will be completed at the conclusion of this workshop.

Workshop 4
Achieving Balance

School administration operates within a sociopolitical context. The job of a school principal seems never-ending. The demands of the job require an individual to be attuned to his/her own ethical beliefs and physical stamina while simultaneously being aware of the needs/agendas of others. This workshop focuses on three sessions.


  1. day-to-day activities of school administration
  2. ethics and politics of school leadership; and
  3. balancing personal and professional lives.

Day to day job related demands compete with personal and family needs for the administrator’s time; successful administrators strive to find an appropriate balance between their professional and personal lives. Participants discuss the difference between leadership and management in school settings. The institute faculty shares their day to day activity plan of how to effectively operate. Participants will develop a written personal vision statement. They will also complete a two-page reflective synopsis that highlights what they have learned and how they will apply what they have learned in their role as school administrator.

Program Dates

Due to Covid-19 concerns this program will start in February 2021 and be taught in three expanded in-person cohort sessions instead of four.

Workshop 1 - Feb 17, 2021 - Virtual

Workshop 2 - Mar 3-5, 2021 – In-person

Workshop 3 - Apr 14-16, 2021 – In-person

Workshop 4 - 4 May 5-7, 2021 - In-person

* Each workshop starts at 8am on day one and ends around 4pm on day three. Three nights of lodging are provided for each workshop, beginning the night before day one

participants in a discussion

Recently Appointed Administrators Program

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