LEARNING EXPERIENCES

The Fellowship learning experiences are based on the latest research on adult learning and the best practices of successful student support. The Special Education Leader Fellowship provides learning experiences that are interconnected, engaging, and sustained over time, creating the coherent infrastructure required for deep learning.

Professional Development Training Sessions

Summer Experience
Summer Experience is an annual, week-long training that includes workshops with national experts and high-performing practitioners. Over the course of the week, Fellows develop a shared vision for outstanding programming in schools, perform a personal leadership assessment, and engage in strategic planning for the coming school year.

Fellow Training Sessions
These four formal training sessions occur during the school year and target the development of technical and leadership skills. During these sessions, Fellows are introduced to new key competences, practice emerging skills, and deepen their learning of previously introduced concepts.

Fellow & Principal Training Sessions
During the school year, principals join Fellows for two training sessions. Sessions are designed to create in-school partnerships that support Fellows’ work and lead to highly effective special education programming in their schools.

In-School, Individualized Development

Leadership Coaching
Leadership coaches help fellows learn from their journey. Each Fellow receives a minimum of 16 school-embedded coaching sessions. Leadership coaches provide responsive support to Fellows aimed at:

  1. improving Fellows’ skills to more effectively lead their teams;
  2. providing feedback on the quality of special education programming in the schools; and
  3. supporting fellows to advocate for change through partnership and service to students.

Peer Program Reviews
Fellows join the SELF staff for peer reviews of each others' special education programming. Based on SELF's Vision of Excellence Matrix, Fellows give and receive feedback regarding the strengths and priorities for program improvement. These reviews provide valuable learning experiences and provide an avenue for collaboration and sharing of best practices. Fellows use the feedback from Peer Program Reviews to set goals, plan action steps, implement change, and evaluate progress. Principals are invited to fully participate.

Collaboration with Excellence

National School Visits
On this trip, Fellows see examples of what is possible! The National School Visits take Fellows to other city to experience high quality special education programming rooted in best practices research. Fellows learn from exemplary special education programming and gather artifacts and resources to integrate into their practice. School principals and other senior leaders are encouraged to join the trip.

Critical Friends Meetings
Critical Friends Meetings occur four times per year and provide a structured space for Fellows to collaborate and find solutions to solve common challenges. Fellows will improve their ability to facilitate meetings and to tackle common leadership challenges.