On August 13th and 14th, the principals gathered for the Annual Kickstart meeting at St. Thomas Church in Tukwila. This meeting, three years in tradition, serves as a launch point for the new academic year.
Kristin Dixon, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, set the vision for the work of our Catholic schools. It included:
• Strengthening Catholic Identity
• Advancing Academic Excellence
• Expanding Access
• Enhancing Stewardship and Sustainability
Following the superintendent’s remarks, Julie Coleman, Interim Executive Director of the Fulcrum Foundation, highlighted the many ways in which Fulcrum is partnering with the Office for Catholic Schools to collaboratively develop programs that will support Catholic school students, teachers, principals and communities. Key partnerships include: Christ in the Classroom (a retreat to strengthen Catholic identity), GRACE (Guiding Regionally, Advancing Catholic Education), tuition assistance grants, school partnership grants, and educational leadership grants.
The first day of Kickstart focused on spiritual, academic, managerial and strategic leadership, with sessions led by the Office for Catholic Schools and Chancery staff, concluding with a dinner and social sponsored by Fulcrum. The second day of Kickstart was a deep dive into instructional leadership and was facilitated by the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership. Within the same week of Kickstart, new principals and the aspiring principals of the Leadership Academy convened at the Chancery for a full day of instructional leadership training focused on classroom observation and feedback. This training was a complementary training to the one the principals received on the second day of Kickstart.
These types of trainings for principals and teacher leaders are examples of how, together, the Office for Catholic Schools and the Fulcrum Foundation are intentionally building leadership capacity in the Catholic schools of the archdiocese. Investing in transformational leaders is critical to the future of our schools.