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The services of the Virginia Foundation for Educational Leadership (VFEL) focus on professional development for school leaders that strengthens their knowledge and abilities as instructional leaders for student achievement, driving forces for accountability, and change agents for continuous school improvement.  VFEL’s advocacy efforts strengthen partnerships with stakeholders and reinforce the importance of high-quality professional development that builds the strategic-minded and insightful school leaders who are needed to drive education improvement through innovative and productive practices.


Today’s school leaders must be ready and capable to meet the standards, expectations, and accountability of a 21st century instructional leader.  They must be equipped to address adverse consequences, apply relentless pressure to move obstacles out of the way, and champion the school’s progress through the change process.  To that end, VFEL offers a variety of programs to strengthen and motivate principals and other school leaders in a 21st century educational environment.  These programs emphasize the role of principals and school leaders as strategic thinkers, instructional leaders, and creators of a just, fair, and caring culture in which all students meet high standards. In addition, these programs reinforce the knowledge, skills, and tools that school leaders need to effectively set direction for stakeholders, support their staffs, and design efficient organizations. Click on one of the links below for more information:

School Improvement

Between federal, state, and local mandates, schools are accountable for the education and academic achievement of all children, regardless of ability, language, race, or gender.  School leaders are expected to continuously assess the progress of their schools in all areas, including curriculum, instruction, assessments, culture and climate, staff evaluation, data management, safety and security... and the list goes on.  This massive task is not achieved easily nor without extensive training support for school leaders who, in turn, provide structure for school improvement efforts involving all stakeholders.  VFEL faculty members incorporate their extensive years of experience and learning to offer training and support for school leaders as they develop and implement improvement efforts at their schools. Click on one of the links below for more information:

Professional Development


Professional development is provided in a variety of venues to match and personalize the need of each school leader.  VFEL faculty members work closely with school leaders to develop effective and practical plans of action that include both theory and practice.  Venues include NISL’s nationally-acclaimed Executive Development Program, mentoring and coaching, and individualized diagnostic reviews/consultations.  The ultimate goal of these services is to strengthen leadership skills, knowledge, and expertise of those involved in pre-K-16 efforts to promote academic success of all students. Click on one of the links below for more information:


Diagnostic Reviews/ Consultations


VFEL faculty members work with school leaders to identify, assess, develop, and implement plans that move their schools forward with continuous improvement. In support of the school’s efforts and focus on the learning and achievement of all students, these plans are individualized and focused on the school’s identified needs in such areas as organizational strengths and weaknesses, current and lacking practices in classroom instruction, effective use of data, clarity of mission and vision, processes and procedures, distributive leadership, etc. Action steps within each plan may include interviews, classroom visits, focus groups, document reviews, and surveys. VFEL faculty are also able to provide information regarding various services offered by outside vendors that support school improvement efforts. Click on one of the links below for more information:

Mentoring and Coaching


VFEL provides mentoring and coaching services that enable school leaders to have a more individualized approach to professional development.  The vast experiences and knowledge of the VFEL faculty ensure a high level of mentorship that guides school leaders through school improvement efforts and other leadership challenges.  Coaching techniques such as asking powerful questions allow school leaders to analyze before making decisions, to set goals that are measurable and attainable, to acknowledge obstacles, and to identify support systems.  School leaders benefit from having a supportive mentor/coach who holds them accountable while partnering with them to move forward with their leadership efforts. Click on one of the links below for more information:


NISL Executive Development Program

The Executive Development Program (EDP), developed by the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), is an intensive 13-month program that enables school leaders to increase and improve their knowledge and capacity to meet the expectations for 21st century instructional leaders. The program is organized to benefit leaders from central office staff, serving principals, and aspiring leaders involved at all levels of pre-K - 16 education. Elements of the EDP include inventories and surveys, on-line and in-class instruction, professional literature, high level discussions and interactions with colleagues. Participants identify and conduct individualized research projects that will further the improvement efforts of their schools Click on the links below for more information:


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