K12 School Services’ Lead360 Team held its annual ‘Launch Boot Camp’ at the Westin Washington Dulles Hotel July 24-27 as part of the yearlong new leader onboarding and induction program. The four-day event prepared new school leaders for the rigors of leading a K12 managed school.
K12’s Lead360 team leads the design, development, execution, and evaluation of national programs that build exceptional school leadership across K12’s network of managed schools. The team coordinates school, regional and national efforts to improve leadership practices and school outcomes.
Lead360’s Launch induction experience is comprised of four components aimed to build and sustain leadership effectiveness for K12’s primary school leaders: onboarding, coaching and mentoring support, peer collaboration, and targeted in-year professional development. Boot Camp is the rigorous face-to-face onboarding experience that kicks off the year. The weeklong experience is designed as an orientation for new heads of schools and principals/academic administrators, instilling essential leadership skills needed for their new role as a school leader.
Several engaging sessions were held throughout the week, ranging from “Calm Under Pressure: Strategies for Handling the Media” with the K12 Public Affairs team, to “Entry Planning: Entering with Impact” with K12 Regional Vice President Darren Reed.
“I think Launch is important because new leaders are truly prepared for their roles with the support of K12,” said Reed, the former Vice President of School Leadership Development and School Support. “This program gives them an opportunity to connect with other leaders and to understand their role at a deep level.”
Fourteen school administrators attended the boot camp, comprising mostly of new heads of schools and academic administrators. Four attendees served as peer mentors to provide support and guidance to new leaders throughout the program and upcoming school year.
Joel Medley, Head of School for North Carolina Virtual Academy, attended boot camp in 2015 and came back this year to serve as a peer mentor. “I would not have survived, much less thrived, without boot camp and my yearlong mentor,” he said. “It is an honor that I was selected to give back as an alumnus of the program. Building connections with other leaders remains the central facet of this experience. We share and grow together.”
Brandi Maynard, Senior Manager for Lead360, added, “We provide practical experiences coupled with immediate feedback to enhance the learning and help our newest leaders improve their leadership practice!”
“This whole experience is really great,” said Jen Havens, Head of School at Tennessee Virtual Academy and Tennessee Virtual High School. “K12 is investing in future leaders. My eyes were opened to the support we have. Bringing both the heads of schools and academic administrators together is truly a wrap-around 360 approach to leadership.”
Check out these pictures from Launch Boot Camp!