Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders | Teacher-Leader Collaborative – Overview
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Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants

Despite significant resource limitations, teachers and principals in Philadelphia creatively address challenges in their schools on a daily basis. Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders acknowledges the impact that collaboration between teacher-leaders and school administrators can have on addressing impediments to students’ success. This program seeks to provide resources to teacher/principal teams to address more significant obstacles to student learning.

The Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants program, made possible through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation, reinforces strong collaboration between principals and teachers as a means to increase broad-based leadership in Philadelphia schools. The program provides an opportunity for teams of teacher-leaders and their principal, led by a designated project lead, to apply for grants totaling between $5,000 and $15,000 to address a school-specific challenge to student learning.

In addition to receiving critical grant funding, awardees also receive professional development that will focus on improving skills in leadership and initiative implementation.

Research clearly points to the impact that distributed leadership has on student achievement gains – highlighting the positive impact of shared responsibility for students’ learning. The Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants Program builds on these findings by encouraging and supporting teachers and principals to work together in identifying the challenge, applying for the grant, and implementing the initiative, thus having the greatest possible positive impact on their school communities.


Click here for more information about Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants

“Neither superintendents nor principals can carry out the leadership role by themselves.
Highly successful leaders develop and count on leadership contributions from many others in their organizations.”

How Leadership Influences Student Learning
Leithwood, Seashore Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom

“A collaborative approach is beneficial to both the best practice teachers involved in the project and to the other teachers within our school. Those who are a part of the team have the opportunity to be recognized for their leadership and share best practices with their colleagues. The other teachers benefit because they hear strategies that are working and can implement into their practice . Collaboration allows for the swapping of ideas and building of a culture of learning from each other.”

Sharon Marino
Principal, Alexander McClure Elementary School
Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grantee and Neubauer Fellow

The Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants program includes:

  • A grant writing technical assistance session, open to any interested Philadelphia teachers and principals;
  • A one-day Teacher-Leader Institute for grant awardees that provides professional development focused on building the specific skills and knowledge for leadership and project implementation;
  • Grant awards of $5,000 – $15,000 per project;
  • Ongoing support from Academy staff throughout program implementation and evaluation.

At its core, this initiative promotes collaboration among teachers and school leaders as they identify an authentic problem faced in their school, develop a strategy to address this unique challenge, and receive the funds and support to implement an initiative that solves it. As a result, the program will benefit a school’s entire community, by building and increasing the capacity of school-based leaders (both in teachers and principals) to create continued positive change in Philadelphia schools.