Curriculum Leaders Institute

Developed for curriculum leaders for today's schools, this series of workshops focuses on the issues, resources, and skills that professionals need to keep your district ahead of the success curve of student achievement. Earn SCECH's, work toward a professional central office specialty endorsement, emphasizing curriculum and instruction, and become a leader in your field. This series is developed especially for newer and aspiring curriculum and instruction leaders.

Michigan ASCD is now accepting applications for Cohort 11 of the CLI.

To participate for the Central Office Specialty Endorsement, please submit your application with a current copy of your resume and Administrator Certificate.  Although participation for the Central Office Specialty Endorsement is encouraged for all participants, participation in the Institute strictly for professional learning is also permitted and encouraged.

Click here to register for either Cohort 10: Phase II or Cohort 11: Phase I today!

Mark Your Calendars: 

Cohort 10: Phase II                                                  Cohort 11: Phase I
Day 6: August 15, 2017                                               Orientation: August 8, 2017 (4:30 - 7pm)
Day 7: October 10, 2017                                              Day 1: August 9, 2017
Day 8: November 1, 2017                                            Day 2: October 3, 2017
Day 9: January 25, 2018                                              Day 3: November 15, 2017
Final Presentations: March 20 & 21, 2018                  Day 4: January 16, 2018
                                                                                     Day 5: March 13, 2018


Click on the images below to hear testimonials from past CLI cohort members:






Phase I (First Year)

Day 1: Leadership and Change

Description of the Session

In this session, participants will explore the role of district curriculum leadership, learn change leadership models and apply frameworks to assist in implementing personal and system’s change. 

Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • Define curriculum leadership
  • Understand system & individual change research
  • Apply frameworks and tools to assist in personal leadership development
  • Apply frameworks and tools to assist in a system change initiative
Key Topics
  • Research continues to validate the importance of quality school leadership in order to improve student achievement.  Successful district leaders know how to navigate their personal and systems challenges to have a positive impact.  In this session, participants will explore the district curriculum leadership, learn change leadership models and apply frameworks to assist in implementing personal and system’s change.
  • Moral Imperative of Change 
  • First & Second Order Change
  • Change Process Model: “Eight Stage Process”
  • Change Immunity. 
  • System Change Analysis 
  • Group Process Tools

Day 2: Systems for Continuous Improvement

Description of the Session

This session provides a blueprint for aligning data-driven district and school level improvement plans, as well as tools and processes to implement, monitor and evaluate plans that get results.  

Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • Clear understanding of five core processes that improve schools
  • Identified areas for improving the alignment between school and district processes
  • Tools and resources to support continuous improvement
  • Deepened professional relationships through dialog and idea sharing 
Key Topics
  • Environmental scan of national, state and local factors that impact school processes
  • 5 core processes that improve schools from Align the Design
  • Data collection processes
  • Balanced assessment model
  • System alignment of district and building continuous improvement actions
  • Aligning professional learning with Standards for Professional Learning
  • Monitoring and Evaluating Continuous Improvement on multiple levels 

Day 3: Ensuring a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum  

Description of the Session
Curriculum is what we want students to know and be able to do and how we want them to think and behave.  In 2014 we can hardly imagine the world our children will inhabit 25 or 50 years from now but imagining that world and attempting to prepare children to live in society, independently and in a contributing manner is our charge.
Schools must hold high expectations for all students, identify essential curricular content or ascribe to state or national standards, provide teachers with curriculum guides that are sufficiently detailed, sequence the curriculum vertically, horizontally and over the school year, gauge the amount of time needed, monitor instruction and align assessments so that the teachers can make instructional decisions and monitor student learning. 
In this session, elements of a guaranteed and viable 21st century curriculum will be shared as well as the implications they have for instruction and assessment.
This session will:
  • Provide a definition of a guaranteed and viable curriculum
  • Provide criteria to evaluate the quality of curriculum
  • Provide links and resources to state and national sites that illuminate issues related to the Common Core
  • Provide the participant with the means to understand the difference between pressure and support in an educational policy environment and some tools available to create change using both.
Specific Outcomes for the Session
Participants will:
  • Understand the elements that comprise a curriculum
  • Know what constitutes a guaranteed and viable curriculum
  • Explore/Identify the implications instruction and assessment that flow from a curriculum that emphasizes 21st Century Skills
  • Be able to apply standards for evaluating curriculum
Key Topics
  • Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum
  • Curriculum Implementation
  • Standards for Curriculum
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Defining College and Career Ready

Day 4: Balanced Assessment

Description of the Session
This session provides an overview of a balanced assessment system, characteristics of effective assessments and a process for participants to inventory and determine the quality of assessments used in their district. Such assessment systems are comprised of three major components:
  1. Summative Assessments – These assessments are defined as annual assessments of a large number of skills that provides an overall score in a content area or sub-area. The purpose for using such measures is to provide an overall view of the performance of each child in the area assessed. Such assessments are typically used for accountability and school improvement purposes
  2. Interim Benchmark Assessment – These are assessments given periodically throughout the school year. These may be given periodically, such as at the end of each marking period or quarter of a semester, or they might be administered at the end of each unit of instruction. These assessments might be used for grading or to determine who is likely to do well on the annual summative assessments.
  3. Formative Assessment Strategies for Classroom Teacher Use – These are strategies that teachers plan to use as they teach to determine if students have learned what they are teaching. If not, teachers also have a plan for how to re-teach the material immediately. If students have learned the material, the teacher has planned to move on.
Participants will prepare an inventory of the assessments used in their school or district, including those that are state-mandated and ones that have been selected at the local level. Then, in order to better understand the quality of each of these types of assessments, participants will learn about the characteristics of good assessment and then will be given the opportunity of determining the quality of the assessments used in their district.
By the end of the session, participants will have a good idea about areas of need for improving the selection and use of student assessments in their district. This needs assessment could serve to assist the participant and his or her district to improve the use of assessment to improve instruction and student learning.
Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • Participants should have an fundamental understanding of the keys to quality assessments
  • Participants should begin to understand the importance of using assessment evidence to inform individual, classroom, building, and district decision-making
  • Participants should understand that different individuals have different information needs and that multiple types of assessments are needed to meet their needs for information
  • Participants should begin to understand the different types of assessment used should be coordinated with one another and serve to provide balance to the overall assessment program
Key Topics
  • Understand that assessment methods should be matched to assessment purposes
  • Understand that different purposes require different assessments.
  • Recognize whether the assessments being used in their school or district are high quality ones, as defined by the Keys to Quality.
  • Understand that the assessments need to be coordinated so that they provide complementary information to different users
  • Demonstrate the leadership actions needed to:
  • Implement a balanced approach to assessment.
  • Select or develop assessments required.
  • Determine the quality of assessments used and determine how to improve them as necessary.
  • Help assessment users to become assessment literate.
  • Assure users are able to understand and use the assessment results appropriately. 

Day 5: Quality Instruction 

Description of the Session
This session clarifies what constitutes quality instruction, the “look fors” that exemplify it, and how one can ensure that it occurs in every classroom. 
This session starts with a focus on continuous school improvement by discussing the alignment and targets for Quality Instruction.  The session embeds the work of Quality Instruction with the continuous school improvement process. 
This session will provide information and a depth of understandings on Quality Instruction.  We will investigate the Quality Instruction research and discuss the implications of knowing what it looks and sounds like in a building and classroom.  Once we have an understanding of Quality Instruction, the participants will then work on how we monitor quality instruction and assure it is happening in every classroom for every student.  We will discuss how a walk through and a learning walk help this monitoring effort.  We focus on what the students are doing when quality instruction is being provided.
This session also takes time to understand data points.  What data is collected?   Why collect it?  What do we do once it’s collected?  We also discuss the need to have the data driven culture as a regular part of the daily routine and system for the classroom, building and district. 
Monitoring the plans and progress on the work is a focus point for the session also.  We take time to talk about how and what a process for monitoring the SI plan and Quality Instruction would work within the district, building and classroom.  The monitoring will help build the need for educational policies and practices that will mandate the details for ongoing improvement.  This educational policy portion of the session is critical to the success of a system wide process.
Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • Development of a professional definition of QI and how to ensure it in every classroom
  • Ability to collect and analyze meaningful classroom Data
  • Increased skill in conducting school audits
  • Clarified understanding and application of the importance of effective communication in supporting QI
  • Modeling process and procedural tools that can be shared with stakeholders
Key Topics
  • Research on QI
  • Role of data collection in QI
  • Planning for QI
  • Conducting audits
  • Tools and resources to support QI
  • Role of CL and QI

Phase II (Second Year - separate registration process)

Day 6: Cultures for Learning

Description of the Session

This session focuses on the importance of school culture, its impact on student achievement, and processes to strengthen and sustain healthy cultures, as well as ways to address behaviors with negative impacts. 

Specific Outcomes for the Session
At the conclusion participants will be able to:
  • Clear understanding of the role of school/district culture & relationships in impacting student achievement
  • Tools and processes to strengthen culture and relationships
  • Awareness of the elements of school culture that are supporting and detracting from Change Initiative Processes, and how to address them
  • Methods to build relationships with external customers
Key Topics
  • Research on school culture and relationships and impact on student achievement
  • Elements of healthy school cultures
  • Reculturing vs. Restructuring
  • Attributes of high quality relationships
  • Engaging diversified external customers in shaping culture and growing relationships

Day 7: Accountable Learning Communities 

Description of the Session
This session provides information on the Standards for Professional Learning, key ideas of professional learning communities that support continuous improvement, as well as multiple protocols and tools to support sound professional learning.
Informed by the standards provided by the Learning Forward for quality professional development, this learning experience focuses on the implementation of knowledge and strategies. During the session, participants will fine-tune their understanding of what effective professional development is, how to support it, and how to assess it in their schools and districts. A highly interactive session, learners will learn from the facilitator, each other, DVDs and professional reading and discussion.
Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • To learn the Standards for Professional Learning established by Learning Forward
  • To understand how ongoing professional learning, embedded in an accountable learning community, differs from traditional views of professional development
  • To clarify the key ideas of a professional learning community and how they support the continuous improvement of practice in schools and districts
  • To learn key points about adults as learners and their needs for a balance of accountability and support
  • To obtain a wide variety of protocols for promoting and supporting teacher collaboration around curriculum, planning, teaching and learning, and assessment
  • To use a simple planning tool for planning and facilitating sound professional learning experiences in school and district settings
  • To gather resources which will foster teachers learning WITH and FROM each other
Key Topics
  • Emphasis will be placed on ways teachers learning WITH and FROM each other through frequent collaborative work. A highly interactive session, learners will learn from the facilitator, each other, DVDs and professional reading and discussion.
  • Adults as Learners
  • Collaboration
  • Professional Learning
  • Study Groups
  • Embedded Professional Learning
  • Protocols
  • Assessment of Professional Learning

Day 8: Program Accountability

Description of the Session

This session will underscore central office responsibility for providing and supporting quality programs focused on student achievement, and will provide clarity related to expectations and requirements for teacher, principal and central office appraisal processes that address Michigan law.   

Specific Outcomes for the Session
  • Clarify the expectations + requirements of state law about teacher, principal & central office performance appraisal processes
  • Understand research driven elements that are needed for a comprehensive Educator Evaluation System
  • Learn strategies for planning & conducting meaningful conversations in educator performance appraisal processes focused on professional growth
  • Examine samples of processes & instruments used in districts to meet Michigan law
  • Assess current systems for accountability
Key Topics
  • Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness Report and the State of Michigan Legislation pertaining to Educator Evaluation
  • Six Research Characteristics of Effective Educator Evaluation
  • Importance of blending inspection and demonstration in the evaluation process
  • Models of Teacher and Administration Evaluation Tools and Processes
  • Strategies for conversations focusing in on professional growth
  • Accountability Measures

Day 9: Planning and Managing Resources 

Description of the Session
School districts must be about the business of managing their core work, which involves a focus on teaching and learning as a priority.  In a time where innovation and “re-imagining” education is critical but resources are scarce, leaders need to be thoughtful, trustworthy, equitable, and creative in their planning and allocation of resources.  Adherence to one’s core values as a leader, and the maintenance of courage and integrity in decision-making will be essential.

Participants will receive information related to decision-making, creative practices for managing resources and tools, and strategies that help support the district vision while addressing budgetary realities and priorities.  

Specific Outcomes for the Session
Participants will:
  • Examine 5 Practices of Exemplary Leaders (Kouzes & Posner)
  • Understand the importance of trust
  • Leave equipped with strategies to build trust and manage conflict
  • Share best practices regarding communication of district vision and budget priorities
Key Topics
  • Decision making protocols
  • Reeves Implementation Audits
  • Academiz Return of Investment
  • Exemplary leadership as it pertains to trust, shared vision and decision making
  • Communication strategies
  • Creative practices for managing time

Day 10: Change Initiative Process Presentations

Description of the Session

Participants seeking endorsement for their participation in the CLI will present their Change Initiative Process they have been addressing throughout the course, aligning it with course content, the Standards for Central Office Administrators and their own job-embedded work. Those participants participating only for the professional learning (not seeking the endorsement) will act as peer reviewers of the CIP presentations, allowing them to learn about the important work their peers have been focused on throughout their participation in the Institute.

Specific Outcomes for the Session
By the end of this session it is intended that each participant interested in earning the Specialty Endorsement will have presented their Change Initiative Process, and that each participant participating for the professional learning , and not the endorsement, will have had the opportunity to observe and peer review the CIP presentations of their fellow cohort members.
Key Topics
  • Administrative Standards Matrix
  • Presentation Reviews
  • Portfolio Contents
  • Final Presentations