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Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders November 10 –12, 2019 | Cambridge, MA | $3,175 per person |

Learn how district leaders can bring excellence to all students in a time of competing agendas and rising expectations. PROGRAM OVERVIEW


District leaders have always faced enormous challenges, but in the past two decades that pressure has spiked. Achieving a vision of excellence for all students continues to elude most districts, even as we learn more about what such change looks like at the classroom level. At the same time, superintendents grapple with tough questions about the best use of resources, how to navigate union and school board politics, and how to sustain capacity during leadership transitions.

This four-day institute will introduce you to the essential questions that district leaders must consider to achieve excellence for all students. You will explore the elements of a standards-based reform framework: clear expectations for students; rigorous curricula aligned to standards; professional development that improves instructional quality; and assessment as a tool for feedback and accountability. You will also have opportunities to reflect on your personal leadership strengths and explore strategies for developing a team with the full range of capacities needed to lead systemic reform.

The Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders brings together experts in the field to help district leaders reflect on their practice, develop new capacities, and explore approaches to building leadership in others. The program explores the challenges of implementing standards-based reform and equips participants with strategies for overcoming common hurdles and becoming catalysts of systemic change.

“The Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders identifies the most pressing issues facing educational leaders today and provides a platform for engagement of academic discussion with colleagues from around the world.� Christy Prosser, Director of Student Information & School Safety, Jones County School System, 2016 participant



Gain strategies to sustain change and lead innovation

Learn approaches for leading learning across your organization

• District superintendents and assistant superintendents • School board members

Examine governance and organizational structures and their implications for decision-making and management

• Central office administrators responsible for developing quality schools and central systems

Improve your skills in communication and stakeholder engagement

We strongly encourage enrollment by teams of senior leaders that include a superintendent.

Define and analyze a central challenge and consult with peers and faculty as you refresh your approach to managing it

FACULTY CHAIR Deborah Jewell-Sherman is professor of practice at HGSE. Jewell-Sherman is a graduate of the school’s Urban Superintendents Program and has built a reputation over the past decade as one of the most successful urban district superintendents in the country. She served as superintendent of the Richmond, Virginia, schools from 2002 to 2008. During her tenure, 95 percent of Richmond’s lowest performing schools achieved full accreditation under Virginia’s Standards of Learning legislation, and the district as a whole improved from 18 to 91.7 percent. In 2009, JewellSherman was named Virginia Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, and in 2015 she received the Morningstar Family Award in recognition of teaching excellence. She has done extensive work with the University of Johannesburg in South Africa as the principal investigator for an initiative between the faculty of HGSE and the University of Johannesburg. Recently, she has begun collaborating with the Qatar Education Foundation on leadership, communication and strategic planning. Currently, Jewell-Sherman serves as a key faculty member for HGSE’s new Doctor of Education Leadership Degree (Ed.L.D).

For additional information, contact our admissions team at or 800-545-1849.

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Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders  

Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders