Professional Development at RBT

A Framework for Central Office Leaders:How to Change Leadership Practice and Improve the Work of Struggling Principals and Colleagues (22-168)


Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021
Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021
Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021
Sessions 1, 3, 5 will be two-hours in length, 10am-12pm. Facilitative Sessions 2 and 4 will be one hour in length, 10-11am. Registration closes when seat capacity is reached or on September 29, 2021 at midnight, whichever comes first.


10:00 AM to 12:00 PM



Current Status: 


A framework for central office leaders to effectively support struggling principals and colleagues to better serve those they lead.

  • How can we recognize, analyze, and fill leadership gaps?
  • How can we give high-impact feedback that makes a difference in practice?
  • How can we ensure excellence and equity in decision-making and supervision?
  • How do we build results-focused teams, spot concerns, and fix them to maximize progress?
  • How can we manage conflict and toxicity to increase our own productivity and that of others?

This five-session, eight-hour program led by RBT consultant Pia Durkin will review and analyze complex leadership issues from the lens of both central office and school leaders. Strategies, tools, and frameworks will be shared to help transform the leadership work of others as well as strengthen one's individual practice to have a deeper and wider impact with those they lead.

Session 1: The "How, Where, and Why" of Leadership Struggles (2 hrs.)

We readily cite effective leadership when we "see" it, but often come up short when we need to identify the specific areas where leaders are struggling. Using the Will and Skill Leadership Framework to balance the set of dynamic tensions that leaders face on an ongoing basis, participants will diagnose and design strategies to address the reasons for mediocre leadership performance. Such actions will deepen and expand the leader's tool kit in supporting those they supervise to become more effective with those they lead.

Session 3: Framing, Delivering, and Receiving the Right Feedback (2 hrs.)

Unpacking the elements of feedback makes hearing, understanding, and responding to feedback challenging. Participants will distinguish between different types of feedback, set criteria for constructive feedback, explore how to optimize the use of feedback to change practice, and learn ways to avoid minefields. Guidelines for delivering and receiving difficult feedback to individuals and teams will be discussed within the context of nurturing a positive work environment.

Session 5: Managing Conflict as Leaders (2 hrs.)

Dealing with conflict and toxicity is embedded within every leader's job and is generally part of the change needed to accelerate district and school results. Using a four-stage model to dissect the underlying reasons for conflict, when and how to take it on, resolve issues, and practice effective repair strategies to sustain relationships, leaders will use these tools to balance leadership tensions and help others become more productive. Particular focus areas will include recognizing the higher standards set for leaders when dealing with conflict, approaches that work to keep emotions in check, and the consequences when leaders avoid taking on conflict.

Sessions 2 & 4: Facilitative Sessions (1hr.)


Cost of the program includes a copy of The Superintendent's Work with Principals




Pia Durkin, PhD

For the past 40 years, Pia Durkin has served as an educator in urban school districts in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts making a significant impact on the lives of children and families, and on those she has coached and supervised toward stronger performance. As the superintendent in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a chronically underperforming school district on the verge of state takeover, she implemented an ambitious reform agenda focused on turning around New Bedford's schools for its 13,000 students.  Linking a strong teaching and learning agenda with intensive support for...Full bio.