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Balanced Leadership for Student LearningTM

What makes a principal or school leader effective? What’s the best leadership style to improve student success? McREL’s analysis of effective principals and schools revealed a set of specific “Balanced Leadership” actions that leaders should take to help their students learn more and help their teachers increase their collective efficacy. We then created the Balanced Leadership professional learning program to help current and future principals, school leadership teams, and district administrators learn how to put these strategies and actions to work in their own leadership to drive higher levels of school performance.

We’ve helped more than 20,000 school leaders across the U.S. and around the world learn how, when, and why to enact Balanced Leadership in their schools to increase student learning, teacher efficacy, and school success. When working with school and district staff, our team of school leadership experts collaborate with them to fine tune our evidence-based professional learning program to match their specific contexts, strengths, and goals for leadership development and school improvement.

Contact us today to learn how we can support your school leadership team’s development.

Professional learning for transformative school leadership

Focus your leadership efforts on the right work at your school that will have the biggest impact on student success:

  • Inspire your teachers, support staff, students, parents, and community with a shared vision and purpose for your school.

  • Develop your school’s positive, engaging learning culture and collective efficacy.

  • Engage and empower your leadership team to define and drive success together.

Learn more about Balanced Leadership for Student Learning.

Contact us today to start a conversation with our team about your school or district goals,

and how our leadership development services can support your journey.

What superintendents and principals are saying . . .

“I highly recommend Balanced Leadership to any district.”

“Our achievement scores show that McREL’s research-based practices lead to improvement.”

“Balanced Leadership has become our culture. If I were to hire a new principal, I would send them to the training before they ever worked a day.”

 “A tremendous learning opportunity for principals and district leaders.”

“I learned how to have a purposeful community at school and it made my life easier,
as everyone agreed on what we needed to do and accomplish.” 

School leadership development for school improvement

Our team of former educators most often deliver Balanced Leadership through four one-day learning sessions spread out during a semester or a school year. We know that every school is different, so we can contextualize our sessions to meet your specific needs and goals, and we’ll create a scope of work that matches your schedule and budget. In addition to on-site professional learning sessions, our school leadership team can also deliver online learning and coaching to sustain your team’s momentum and continued growth.

Let’s work together to achieve your goals!
Start a conversation on how we can support your school or organization.
800.858.6830 |

Balanced Leadership learning sessions overview

Day 1: Leadership for better school performance

In this initial session, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the 21 specific research-based responsibilities that drive higher levels of student learning, and leave with knowledge and skills to lead better decision-making processes using goal-oriented analysis and collaboration focused on your students’ needs.

Day 2: Focusing on what matters most for student learning

During this session, you’ll explore our What Matters Most® pathways and insights from research on effective schools and continuous improvement cycles. Using school data and the high-leverage area(s) of need you’ve identified, we’ll help you identify what matters most right now for your school to improve student outcomes and begin to develop real action steps aligned to your school’s specific contexts.

Day 3: Inspiring and leading change

You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of the phases of change and how to develop action plans for monitoring implementation and proactively supporting stakeholders through the change process.

Day 4: Cultivating a purposeful school community

In this culminating session, you’ll not only discover how to engage staff, families, and community to create a shared moral purpose and empower their voices in important decision-making processes; but also develop plans for creating a positive, continuous-improvement culture at your school, using the power of asset-based thinking and community engagement.

Balanced Leadership related resources