KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship

A seven-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 formal KSLP Summer PD.

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

January 8-10, 2019(Travel Day on Monday, January 7, 2019)

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 4-6, 2019 in Dallas, TX (Travel Day on Sunday, March 3, 2019)

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

TBD July, 2019 (Confirmed dates/location shared by November 15, 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 or KIPP School Summit 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.


All content-related costs (tuition, materials, meals during Summits) will be paid for by the KIPP Foundation. The KIPP Foundation will also pay for 3 nights of hotel and round-trip flights (up to $400) per participant, per summit. Any additional travel costs must be covered by participants.

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 (November 1 – 15, 2018)

Submit a Letter of Interest to LOIs will be reviewed on a rolling basis Nov. 1 through Nov. 15 at 7pm 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: (November 25 – December 5, 2018)Jan 6–8, 2019 in DC, March 4-6, 2019 in Dallas, & July, 2019 (TBD

Step 2: Interview  (November 12 – 13, 2018)

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 (November 25 – December 5, 2018)

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. Applications are due by December 5, 2018 at 7pm EST.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance beginning December 12, 2018.

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

Over 275 leaders from 100+ organizations (districts, CMOs, and talent organizations) serving  11.7million children have participated in KLDF to-date. 96% 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

  • Ascension Parish
  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Austin Independent School District
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Camden City School District
  • Charleston County School District
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Dallas ISD
  • Deming Public Schools
  • Denver Public Schools
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Duval County Public Schools
  • El Paso Independent School District
  • Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD)
  • Fulton County Public Schools
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • Memphis City Schools
  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • New Haven Public Schools
  • New York City Department of Education, Office of Leadership
  • New Schools for Baton Rouge
  • Newark Public Schools
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Orange County Public School
  • Reynoldsburg City Schools
  • Saint Louis Public School District
  • Salem Public Schools
  • San Antonio ISD
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • 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
  • New Jersey Department of Education

Leadership Training and Education Organizations

  • Aptus Chile
  • Alliance To Reform Education Leadership (AREL)
  • Arkansas Leadership Academy
  • Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy
  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative
  • Expeditionary Learning
  • Get Smart Schools
  • Goodrich Foundation
  • Woodlawn Foundation
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • Indiana University, Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and School of Education
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Leading Educators
  • LEARN Charter School Network
  • Lighthouse Academies
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Lynch Leadership Academy, Boston College
  • Marian University: Academy for Teaching & Learning Leadership
  • New Leaders for Chicago
  • New Schools For Phoenix
  • Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation
  • REEP – Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program
  • School Leaders Network
  • Schools That Can Milwaukee
  • South Carolina Education Leadership and Policy Institute
  • Teach for America
  • Teach For America – Detroit
  • Teaching Trust
  • Tennessee Charter School Incubator
  • The Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame
  • The Ryan Fellowship, a program of The Alain Locke Initiative
  • TNTP
  • Uplift Education
  • Winthrop University

Charter Management Organizations

  • Achievement First
  • Achievement Prep
  • Achievement School District
  • Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
  • Alpha Public Schools
  • Alum Rock School District
  • Arizona Charter Schools Association
  • Arkansas Public School Resource Center
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • Breakthrough Charter Schools
  • Brilla Schools Network
  • Collegiate Academies
  • Columbus City Schools
  • Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter School
  • Future Leaders Incubator
  • Harmony Public Schools
  • Independence Mission Schools
  • Ivy Preparatory Academies
  • KIPP Philadelphia Schools
  • Leadership Public Schools
  • NACA-Inspired Schools Network
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Reframe Labs
  • Roanoke River Valley Education Consortium (RRVEC)
  • Rocketship Education
  • Scholar Academies
  • Voices College-Bound Language Academies