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Our Training

Experience is the best teacher. The PhillyPLUS Turnaround program helps experienced school leaders refine their leadership skill set as they learn what it takes to lead a successful turnaround. During your first year, you’ll serve as an assistant principal in a local turnaround school, complete a series of externships in exemplary schools across the country, and learn from leaders at high-performing, high-poverty schools.

Summer Institute

Take your skills as an experienced school leader to the next level.

The PhillyPLUS Turnaround program kicks off with an intensive, five-week summer institute designed to help leaders refine their skills and develop a deep understanding of successful school turnaround strategies. Leaders will explore the history of school turnarounds, look at case studies, and review the research on successful turnarounds across the country. During summer institute, you’ll complete a short, one to two-week externship where you’ll shadow school leaders, co-observe teachers, and participate in delivering feedback. 

Note: Summer institute is required for all residents and will take place from June 28, 2017 through July 28, 2017. 

Assistant Principalship

You’ll be placed in a local turnaround school where you will serve as assistant principal (or in a comparable role) for the school year, overseeing instruction and operations while supporting and managing teachers. You’ll work with the school principal to conduct teacher observations, provide feedback, and support formal evaluations. Your mentor principal, the leader of a high-performing, high-poverty school, will serve as a trusted advisor. 


Throughout the year, you’ll participate in a series of externships, leaving your home campus to learn from leaders in other schools. Externships last one to two weeks and expose residents to a variety of school turnaround contexts, both within Philadelphia and across the country.

"PLUS provides excellent professional development centered on effective instructional leadership. The cohort model also provides a group of peer leaders you can turn to for advice, guidance, and support."

Paula Furman, 2015-16 Cohort


In the spring, we’ll assess your readiness to lead a turnaround school. We’ll look at your abilities as a leader, including whether you can effectively establish a vision for rigorous student achievement, use data to drive your decisions, and invest students, families, and staff in a turnaround plan. 

Residents who demonstrate their ability to transform student learning in a challenging environment will have the opportunity to become a principal in a high-need school in Philadelphia. While residents are responsible for finding a placement in a turnaround school, PhillyPLUS staff will connect you with school partners that may be a good match.  

Coaching and Support

Throughout your time in the program, you will receive support from a mentor principal and an experienced leadership coach. During the school year, your mentor principal will serve as your trusted advisor. Your leadership coach will provide weekly feedback and support as you hone your skills.

Applications are currently closed and will reopen in the spring for the 2018-2019 school year. Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to know when the application goes live!

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