Instructional Leadership Academy

Never have the stakes been higher for our students to attend great schools. Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders believes that great schools require great leaders. We are proud to launch, in partnership with ANet, the Instructional Leadership Academy, which supports Philadelphia principals to drive results for students by improving the instructional systems and structures in their schools. In particular, the program will focus on leveraging teacher coaching, professional learning time, and data driven instruction to raise the bar for student learning. In addition, each participant will be paired with an Instructional Leadership Coach who will provide individualized coaching each month (in addition to the monthly sessions) to maximize principal growth in these areas.



You are an ideal Instructional Leadership Academy candidate if you are:

  • A current principal at a school in Philadelphia who is committed to staying in your role at least three more years and in the city of Philadelphia for the long term.
  • A leader in a school with a positive culture and climate and is ready to focus on instruction.
  • Hungry and poised to take your instructional program to the next level, and therefore, increase student growth and achievement.
  • Prepared to be pushed in your practice by a coach who will challenge and support you to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Eager to coach your teachers directly using a “research based teacher development framework” and develop a full blown coaching system.
  • Ready to improve your use of professional learning time to maximize the impact on teacher practice.
  • Excited to analyze quantitative and qualitative data to set goals, progress monitor, and strategically adjust plans for student learning.
  • Able to manage your calendar and prioritize fulfilling all program commitments with fidelity (attending and actively engaging in all sessions and coaching).


During the one-year program, participants will:

  • Set, work toward, and measure progress against core academic goals.
  • Develop instructional systems and structures around coaching, professional learning, and data use for school-wide academic improvement.
  • Build your own coaching, planning/facilitation, and data analysis skills and then turn key learnings to develop your own staff.
  • Participate in monthly development sessions with other participants, including:
    • A two-day in-person kick-off over the summer (July 19-20, 2023).
    • Monthly in-person sessions during the school year (3 hours each).
  • Actively engage in four hours of individualized coaching from a designated Instructional Leadership Coach (on-site and virtual).
  • Develop a diverse network of principal colleagues to learn from and alongside.

Application Process and Program Timeline

Activity Date
Info Sessions Weekly from April 12 – May 3, 2023
Online Application Opens April 17, 2023
Application Deadline May 7, 2023
Supervisor Recommendation Due May 10, 2023
Virtual Interviews May 22 – June 2, 2023
Admission Notification June 13, 2023
Program Kick-Off

July 19 – 20, 2023

Full day sessions; includes evening social activity

Monthly Whole-Group Sessions

~4 – 7pm

Once per month; September 2023 – May 2024

Monthly Individualized Coaching A set number of hours per month from September 2023 – May 2024

“In a year marked by a 200% increase in mid-year teacher resignations, Mastbaum has had zero. Among other critical levers, our work with Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders focused on coaching teachers has been essential in helping us to gain stability through effectuating a nurturing system of teacher coaching and development.”

David Lon

Principal, Mastbaum High School
2022 Neubauer Fellow

Selection Criteria

The selection process identifies principals who are poised to take their instructional leadership skills and their schools’ performance to the next level.  Successful candidates demonstrate an ability to:

  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to Philadelphia’s schools and students
  • Reflect, accurately assess own strengths and growth areas, solicit candid feedback, and actively pursue ongoing growth opportunities
  • Hold self and others accountable for improving student outcomes based on a belief that all children can achieve at high levels
  • Create a safe, respectful, supportive, and inclusive environment that prepares all students, particularly students in poverty and students of color, to pursue and achieve their life aspirations.
  • Use data to identify and prioritize problems, inform decisions, and implement effective solutions.
  • Facilitate student mastery of standards through data-driven instruction and effective instructional practices



Applicants must be principals serving students in Philadelphia’s district, charter, or faith-based schools and possess at least one full year of experience as principal prior to starting the program (2023-2024 must be at least the second full year of principal experience).


The Commitment

Successful candidates must commit to full participation in the program, including attending all sessions (Summer Kick-Off in July and monthly evening sessions September through May) and monthly coaching appointments.


Candidates must also demonstrate a strong commitment to Philadelphia and remain committed as a school or school system leader in Philadelphia for two or three years after program completion.


Interested in applying?

The application for the 2023-2024 year is closed.