EdLeaders Pittsburgh (ELP) is tackling a full agenda this fall— adding a new member, starting a Principals Collaborative, laying the groundwork for a common in-service day, and planning an event to raise its profile in the community.
West Mifflin Area School District is the latest to join the network, bringing membership to nine districts, also including Clairton City, Duquesne City, East Allegheny, McKeesport Area, Penn Hills, Steel Valley, Wilkinsburg and Woodland Hills.
Participating districts share similar opportunities, challenges, and demographics. The Consortium organized the network several years ago for superintendents to collaborate and exchange ideas and strategies. Most recently, their discussions have focused on grappling with issues related to COVID-19.
The newly formed Principals Collaborative is intended to give building principals from the ELP districts their own forum for sharing ideas and best practices, discussing challenges, and networking among peers who can provide insights from their own experience.
The group, which drew 17 principals to its first meeting, will operate as a Professional Learning Community (PLC) initially focused on equity, family engagement, and traumas that can influence student behavior and academic performance.
“By networking principals from ELP districts, we’ll be drilling down deeper into the system, to the building level, where issues around our areas focus come up and can be addressed,” said Aaron Johnson, Ed.D., who is organizing the group.
Following an effort this year among three districts—Penn Hills, Duquesne City and Clairton City—to collaborate on Professional Development opportunities for staff, the entire ELP network is tentatively aiming to hold a common in-service day next year. The in-service would be made up of practitioner-led workshops in which educators share best practices or discuss other topics of interest. The Consortium, which facilitates ELP discussions, would organize the in-service.
ELP districts also are working with the Consortium to convene school, elected, and community leaders next spring to introduce and connect their districts to a wider audience.