As an exemplary educational reform high school model, ECHS programs require transformative leadership to support a diverse and traditionally underrepresented student population headed for college. The leadership team must rethink the high school learning and experience and fully support a new learning culture in their schools, in students’ homes, in communities and in colleges.
Exceptional school leaders address five key responsibilities in their schools: (1) shaping a vision of success for all; (2) creating a welcoming and safe learning environment; (3) cultivating leadership in others; (4) supporting highly effective teachers; and (5) managing people, data, and processes. ECHS leaders must also serve as ambassadors for their school and partners with businesses across the community. One of the greatest impacts on an ECHS is the solid link between effective leadership and the ECHS reform models they shepherd.
Additionally, a comprehensive plan for professional development and a community of best practice must be in place to encourage the on-going development of faculty and staff, fully support a diverse student body, foster partnerships between educational institutions and the workplace and to sustain peer-supported professional learning communities. This commitment by ECHS leaders creates the human and professional resources needed to support the success and sustainability of ECHS programs.