A national journal article explains how the Long Beach Unified School District's principal coaching is part of a culture that "for years has been nationally recognized for its relentless focus on supporting high-quality teaching districtwide."
An article in the December issue of School Administrator magazine details LBUSD's principal supervision and support approach, which creates a culture of coaching and learning.
"During site visits, I noticed the distinct way in which the district engaged in active questioning and storytelling and framed its challenges as learning opportunities toward improved instructional leadership," wrote Rochelle L. Herring in the piece titled "Coaching and Learning Embedded in District Culture." Herring is a senior program officer for the Wallace Foundation in New York City.
The article notes research showing that when principal supervisors help principals grow as instructional leaders, they focus on coaching, not compliance.
"Long Beach Unified has been a national leader in this effort," Herring states.
LBUSD was one of six school districts in the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative, which ran from 2014 to 2018. Then Deputy Superintendent Jill A. Baker led the implementation of the initiative in Long Beach before accepting her current post here as superintendent.
"We are very fortunate that over the last five years, we’ve built a strong coaching model for our principal supervision practices," Baker says in the article. "Why is that important now? Because learning relationships are at the center of what we do. These relationships have been developed through coaching. This coaching foundation makes it easier for leaders to move into unknown territory, especially when faced with a crisis."
The article also includes insights from several other LBUSD administrators, including Kelly An, who serves as director of Equity Leadership and Talent Development. Stanford Middle School Principal Suzanne Caverly and Nader Twal, a program administrator in the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development, also are featured in the piece.
School Administrator magazine is a flagship publication of AASA, the national school superintendent’s association.