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The Leaders to Watch Academy

Nine months of positive transformation for K-8 school leaders

Get coach, mentor, and peer support as you level up your career

These days, school leaders have an unbelievably complex job. It’s not just balancing instruction and management anymore. Now there are curriculum wars, staff shortages, students with Covid-related trauma...and of course, testing.

You don’t have to shoulder these burdens alone, with no guidance or camaraderie. Join the Academy that is grounded in the research-based Schools to Watch program and backed by a 153-school network in California. 

You’ll finish the program next summer with a strong support system, a completed capstone project, certification as a Leader to Watch, CEUs, and the confidence to take your school or department exactly where you want it to go

New cohort beginning November 2022!



Facts at a glance 


K-8 principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders

LTW will give you the evidence-based structure, tools, and mentoring you need to successfully engage your entire faculty in school improvement. High school leaders who appreciate a whole-child, developmentally-responsive focus are also welcome.


November 2022 - July 2023

Join a close-knit group of peers, coaches, mentors, and instructors for a 9-month learning journey that will transform your skillset and perspective as a school leader.


Flexible mix of online and in-person learning

Hybrid (80% online, 20% in-person)

Mostly asynchronous to accommodate busy schedules

Average of 4 hours per month (instruction, mentoring, school visits, and action plan)


Certification from California League of Schools

Earn certification from the 40-year nonprofit, California League of Schools


Cost-effective pricing

$2,995 per person

Sign up by April 30, 2022 to receive $1,000 off!

COVID-19 funding-aligned


Learn from experts in education

Instruction by school leaders and experts

Small-group coaching and 1:1 mentoring

Action plan development for participant’s school

Personal leadership goal development for participant


You will be matched with a successful Schools to Watch principal as a personal mentor for monthly check-ins.


Coaches will lead instructional sessions with guest experts and facilitate small coaching groups that will help you design, implement, measure, and refine your action plan.


About the Conferences

As part of the LTW cohort you will attend the kickoff event in Lake Tahoe, November 4-5, 2022, and present your capstone project in Palm Springs, July 2023. Registration for both events is included with the LTW certification.

Leaders to Watch Summit

November 4-5, 2022
Hyatt Regency
North Lake Tahoe

2023 Summer Institute

Palm Springs (area)

More Soon

Upon successful mastery of the course,
you will be able to:

  • Feel confident in your ability to rally your people to a shared vision grounded in equity, the whole child, and student-centered learning.

  • Prioritize the well-being of staff, students, and families in order to establish the conditions for learning recovery and a trajectory toward excellence.


Course Topics

  • Leading schools successfully during and after the pandemic

  • Reflecting on school practices using qualitative and quantitative evidence

  • Leadership and systems research

  • The Schools to Watch framework,  rubric, and network of model schools

  • Building a culture of belonging and compassionate continuous improvement

  • Centering equity and culturally responsive practices

  • SMART-goal based action plans

  • Supporting students with disabilities, English learners, foster and unhoused youth, and other vulnerable populations                                                                                         

  • Taking care of staff, families, and the community 

  • Academic excellence and learning recovery

  • SEL, social equity, and developmental responsiveness                            

  • Leader self-care/leadership style/personal goals    


About California League of Schools

California League of Schools (CLS) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that offers practitioner-led professional development for educators, by educators. In the past 41 years, CLS has provided professional learning to over 80,000 educators. CLS oversees a network of 152 California Schools to Watch model middle schools, and has provided services to districts and schools through multiple federal and foundation grants.

Information is subject to change.