KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship

A six-month program, designed for administrators of public school districts, charter school systems, and leadership training organizations, that provides intensive, experiential, and collaborative training on KIPP’s school leader development model.

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Program Objectives

Intensive Leadership Development

Experience KIPP programs in action through in-person summits that coincide with national KIPP events including the KIPP Foundation’s annual principal selection and the KSLP Summer Institute.

Experiential Learning

Learn directly from KIPP instructors in KLDF sessions that demonstrate the high-quality, engaging, adult learning we incorporate into all KIPP principal training programs.

Collaborative Community

Be part of an expanded network of reform-minded leaders through cohort-based learning models that encourage lasting relationships among Fellows.

Program Details

Over the course of three Summit experiences, participants will get an in-depth look at KIPP’s principal selection, development, and support model and explore a variety of other innovative school leadership models around the country.

Summit I: Defining Excellence in Leadership

February 6 – 8, 2018 in Atlanta (Travel Day on Monday, February 5, 2018)

Participants will explore KIPP’s theory of leadership development, principal leadership competencies, and school leader progression. Participants will join in a school visit experience, while also digging into content such as the Switch Model for Change Leadership.

Summit II: Principal Recruitment, Selection & Developing a Leadership Pipeline

March 27 – 29, 2018 in Houston (Travel Day on Monday, March 26, 2018)

Participants will explore effective practices in creating a leadership pipeline and recruiting talented candidates. Sessions will focus on designing a selection process that reflects organizational values and aligned principal competencies. Participants will also join the KIPP Foundation staff for a portion of their annual principal selection process.

Summit III: Principal Development & Residencies

July 10 – 12, 2018 in Chicago (Travel Day on Monday, July 9, 2018)

Participants will explore effective practices in adult learning and formal programming components including residency experiences. Participants will also join in a portion of KSLP Summer Institute for principal and emerging leader development.

All Summits will involve training on Leading for Equity and will also provide time for each participant to engage in an individualized consultancy with a small group of peers.

How to Apply

Acceptance into the fellowship is a highly-competitive rolling application process. We seek two candidates from each organization to jointly apply and commit to actively engaging in the entire fellowship experience.

Step 1: Letter of Interest

Submit a Letter of Interest to by the priority deadline of Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 7 pm EST. Please include in the letter:

  • An explanation of the organization and students served
  • An explanation of the two candidates’ ability to influence the organization’s current principal hiring and development practices
  • Why the two candidates and the organization are interested in participating in this fellowship
  • The commitment of the two candidates, with support from the organization, to travel and participate in all aspects of the program, especially through attending all three Summits: Feb 6-8 in DC, March 27-29, 2018 in Houston & July 10-12, 2018 in Chicago

Step 2: Interview

Select candidates will be invited to interview with the KLDF selection team to share additional context about their fit for the fellowship.

 Step 3: Application

Based on the phone interviews, a limited number of candidates will be invited to formally apply to the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship. The formal application will include letters of support from the organization superintendent or CEO, candidate resumes, and a self-reflection on the organization’s practices and individuals’ roles in the organization.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance beginning December 11, 2017.

Ideal Candidates

KIPP is looking for reform-minded public school districts, charter management organizations (CMOs), and school leadership training organizations that want to improve the selection and development of their principals. Two representatives from the organization should have the:

  • Belief that closing the achievement gap is possible through transformative school leadership
  • Desire and capacity to impact and influence their organization’s current principal hiring practices and development programs and to share progress on key initiatives
  • Willingness and ability to share effective practices from their organization
  • Desire to learn about how to infuse racial equity into school culture and leadership development
  • Commitment and organizational support to attend and actively participate in all three summits (including pre-work, post-work and required travel days)

Reflections from Fellows

Leaders from 90+ organizations (districts, CMOs, and talent organizations) serving 9.8 million children have participated in KLDF to-date. 97% of KDLF participants said their experience was “Extremely Valuable” and 100% said they “would recommend the program to others.”

“This is an extraordinary professional development experience and systems should send leaders with decision-making authority to enhance their leadership development programs.”
– Paul Miller, Los Angeles Unified School District

“You took a very traditional retired superintendent and opened his eyes to KIPP and a new way to do things that work.”
– Mark Mitchell, Winthrop University

“Developing highly effective leaders is such an important strategy in impacting student success. This program really allowed us to explore leadership and what it means. The work done here will definitely impact my work ahead. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a fellow.”
– Kimiko Cartwright, Austin Independent School District

KIPP Leadership Design Participants

School Districts

  • Achievement School District
  • Alum Rock School District
  • Ascension Parish
  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Austin Independent School District
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Camden City School District
  • Charleston County School District
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Columbus City Schools
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • Denver Public Schools
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Duval County Public Schools
  • Fulton County Public Schools
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Hawaii DOE
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Memphis City Schools
  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • New Haven Public Schools
  • New Jersey Department of Education
  • Newark Public Schools
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Reynoldsburg City Schools
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • Saint Louis Public Schools
  • Salem Public Schools
  • School District of Philadelphia
  • Spring Branch Independent School District
  • Tulsa Public Schools
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District

State Departments of Education

  • Delaware Department of Education
  • Florida Department of Education
  • Hawaii Department of Education

Leadership Training and Education Organizations

  • Arkansas Public School Resource Center
  • Arkansas Leadership Academy
  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative
  • Get Smart Schools
  • Indiana University, Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and School of Education
  • Innovative Schools: The Center for School Innovation (Delaware)
  • Leading Educators
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Loyola University
  • Lynch Leadership Academy, Boston College
  • Marian University: Academy for Teaching & Learning Leadership
  • New Leaders for Chicago
  • New Schools for Baton Rouge
  • REEP – Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program
  • School Leaders Network
  • Schools That Can Milwaukee
  • Teach For America
  • Teaching Trust
  • Tennessee Charter School Incubator
  • The Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame
  • The New Teacher Project
  • Winthrop University

Charter Management Organizations

  • Achievement First
  • Rocketship Education
  • Uplift Education
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Breakthrough Charter Schools
  • Harmony Public Schools
  • Lighthouse Academies
  • NACA-Inspired Schools Network