School Turnaround Leadership Development

CEI supports the development of successful, effective, leadership in low-performing schools and school districts based on the specific needs and priorities of each system.

The CEI team includes former commissioners, superintendents, systems leaders, school leaders, and educators. This collection of expertise enables CEI to provide a unique and thorough approach to system improvement; we are able to leverage past experience and networks and build leaders’ capacity through our personalized supports.

Education leaders are encouraged to bring forward specific needs to discuss a pathway that will lead to success in reaching outcomes aligned to their vision and resonate with their communities. Two options are available for consideration.

  • A nine-month Executive coaching plan for school and district leaders is tailored to align with existing priorities and related goals.
  • A comprehensive, 18-month Turnaround Leadership program revolves around a deep dive into structures and roles, strategic planning, and implementation.
School Turnaround Leadership Development Program Overview

This program is is customized for individual districts and does not include a cohort experience.

Phase I: Foundations for School Improvement

The first phase provides comprehensive supports for building effective school improvement teams. This critical work enables shared leadership practices toward the ultimate end of collective efficacy for school improvement. This phase generally involves virtual preparation meetings (2 @ 90 minutes each), an in-person, off-site, 3-day retreat for team building, collective visioning and team agreement setting; and a final virtual debrief meeting (1 @ 90 minutes).


  • Establish team dynamics and norms
  • Develop systems and structures for teamwork
  • Define roles and responsibilities for each representative on the core school improvement team
Phase II: Planning for Unified School Improvement

Phase II is centered on strategic planning for school improvement, including the following activities. This phase can be completed in person or virtually (usually a combination of both) and requires four to six 90-minute virtual meetings plus up to 6 hours of independent work by participants.

  • Deep current state analysis
  • Empathy building and human-centered design
  • Strategic visioning
  • Organizational core beliefs identification
  • Selection of strategic priorities for improvement
  • Selection of measurement systems
  • Action planning
Phase III: Unified School Improvement Plan Implementation Support

The third phase provides comprehensive implementation and change management support for strategic improvement plans through three specific avenues. This support generally requires five half-day meetings (in person) which occur at the beginning of the year and quarterly thereafter.

  • Executive coaching for leaders
  • Implementation science through continuous improvement methodology training and support
  • External facilitation and accountability for effective school improvement team meetings