Professional Development at RBT

How to Build Strong Adult Professional Culture: The Missing Ingredient in School Improvement (APC 20-109)


Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019
Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019
Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
Thursday, Dec 19, 2019
Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020


8:33 AM to 3:33 PM


RBT Conference Center
526 Main Street
Acton, MA 01720

Current Status: 



This is a course about the everyday behaviors of school leaders who build strong adult professional cultures (APC). It is a course for principals, assistant principals, team leaders, and instructional coaches, and very much for central office personnel who interact with school leaders.  Our learning at RBT, supported solidly by research, is that there will be no sustainable improvement in student results and no elimination of the achievement gap until leaders and teachers succeed in making strong the norms of behavior between adults. Many other elements of school practice count, and count heavily (good curriculum; community support; resources; school structures like induction and teacher leadership and common planning time; and others.) But no matter how well these important areas are structured, they will not accomplish on their own what we need for students unless the adults act as profiled on the other side. 

Trust is the foundation of everything we will do to strengthen culture and without it nothing much will happen. But once it is established, that trust translates over time into trust of one’s colleagues. How do successful leaders build that? Trust that what? What do they do in everyday behavior that results in it? We delve into these questions in considerable detail and give participants tools to self-assess and take action.

Program Flyer


  • School leaders
  • Coaches
  • Team leaders 
  • Central office leaders, especially those who supervise principals, and designers of leader certification programs. 


As a result of taking this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the principal elements of strong Adult Professional Culture (APC) and why they are essential for elevating student achievement and closing the achievement gap.
  • Use a repertoire of skills to build relationship trust. 
  • Effectively implement procedures and structures for growing the 12 norms of strong APC

37.5 Hour Program, 6 Days

For questions, please contact us at or (978) 893-0109.




Founder and President

Jon Saphier is the Founder and President of Research for Better Teaching, Inc., a professional development organization dedicated since 1979 to improving classroom teaching and school leadership throughout the United States and internationally.  ...Full Bio