• Learn

    PPSD Leadership Cohort

    The Transformation Starts with You

    Every Providence student deserves to be challenged, engaged and valued at school—but that kind of learning environment doesn’t just happen. It’s created by school leaders with the vision and skill to motivate an entire school community.


  • About the PPSD Leadership Cohort!

    The PPSD Leadership Cohort is a two-year, highly-selective, principal certification program that prepares aspiring Providence principals for the demands of school leadership. Aimed at top performing educators who want to become transformational school leaders, this intensive program is designed to offer a one-of-a-kind development experience that ensures our leaders of tomorrow deliver on the promise of educating every student for college or career success. Principal Fellows who demonstrate success during their first year of the program have the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Principal in a PPSD school during their second year, and, upon graduation, earn their Rhode Island Building Level Administrator certification, if they do not already possess it.



    After an intensive three-week summer training, PPSD Leadership Cohort Principal Fellows spend two years serving in PPSD schools where they develop leadership skills through job-embedded training and receive personalized coaching and development from an expert leadership coach. Principal Fellows who successfully demonstrate an ability to cultivate an academic culture and school community that lead to transformational outcomes for students will be put on the fast track to PPSD school leadership. Successful PPSD Leadership Cohort Principal Fellows who pass the rigorous evaluation model at the end of year 1 will be endorsed for Expert Residency certification (if needed) and be recommended to interview for AP positions, so they can serve as a leader in a a PPSD school in year 2 while continuing to receive the support of the program. Upon graduation, Fellows who meet all year 2 program requirements will be recommended to receive full Rhode Island Building Level Administrator certification so they can continue their school leadership journey beyond the program.


    The PPSD Leadership Cohort is modeled after TNTP’s PLUS (Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools) program, which has recruited, selected, prepared, and supported over 200 visionary instructional and equity focused leaders in urban districts throughout the country since 2013. TNTP is a national education non-profit founded by teachers and will be partnering with PPSD on this program. While the PPSD Leadership Cohort will be grounded in TNTP’s successful principal preparation model, the unique goals and vision of PPSD will drive all aspects of the PPSD Leadership Cohort experience. Here’s how it works:


      1. Apply. Complete our rigorous, two-part selection process and get accepted into the program. We are looking for dynamic, resilient, equity-driven educators who have a passion for helping teachers do their best work, a track record of supporting students to achieve and a deep commitment to the students, families, and communities of Providence.  
      2. Secure Your School Placement. Secure a leadership position at a PPSD school, where you’ll develop your leadership skills in a real school setting. We will connect you with the PPSD school leaders who have been selected as Host Principals and are looking to hire Principal Fellows in their schools. We believe leaders do their best work at schools that match their skills and interests, so we work to ensure that any placement is a mutual match between the Fellow and the Host Principal. 
      3. Attend Summer Institute. Learn and practice foundational leadership skills with your peers in an intensive, three-week summer institute. You’ll join a diverse network of Principal Fellows who will challenge you to grow and support you along the way. 
      4. Complete a one-year Fellowship in a Local PPSD School. Spend the school year as a Principal Fellow developing a team of teachers in a Providence school, with bi-weekly, on-site support from a leadership coach. You will also be part of a larger cohort that convenes for seminars and visits to other schools once per month to build knowledge and skills and tackle problems of practice in a safe, intimate environment. With the benefit of real-time feedback, practical guidance, and active practice managing teachers and students, you will develop leadership skills that are directly applicable to success in a Providence Public School.  
      5. Earn Certification and Secure a School Leadership Position. Successfully complete the rigorous program evaluation model—demonstrating success with your teachers and students—and pass required exams to earn your Rhode Island Building Level Administrator Expert Residency certification at the end of your first year of training. Once certified, Principal Fellows will be put on the fast track to school leadership in PPSD and be recommended to apply and interview for open assistant principal positions in the district to start the following school year.  
      6. Receive Ongoing Support. Throughout your second year, work in a school leadership position in a PPSD school and receive ongoing professional development, individualized coaching, and the support of your cohort, ensuring you have the tools to accomplish your goals and overcome challenges as a transformational school leader. Once you have completed all year 2 program requirements, you will be recommended to earn your full Rhode Island Building Level Administrator Certification. 





    We’re looking for dynamic educators who are ready to raise the bar for excellence for students. 

    Our Fellows are a diverse set of experienced educators with a strong track record in the classroom, a deep commitment to Providence’s students, families, and communities, and a desire to become a principal in the next one to two years. Eligible candidates will have at least 3 years of experience working in PK-12 schools, an advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a valid teacher’s certification (in Rhode Island or in another US state with eligibility to obtain a Rhode Island teaching certification if accepted into the program). Many successful applicants for the PPSD Leadership Cohort also have prior experience leading other adults—as teacher leaders, instructional coaches, department chairs, and more—and are passionate about helping teachers do their best work so that students succeed. Candidates from within and outside of the PPSD community are welcome to apply!


    There is no such thing as a typical PPSD Leadership Cohort Principal Fellow, but our Fellows do share a few key traits that we continue to develop throughout the program so that they can reach their full potential and be ready for school leadership in just one year:


    • Commitment to Instructional Excellence: Principal Fellows demonstrate an  understanding of effective classroom practice and the importance of rigorous, standards-aligned content and hold high expectations for success for all students. 
    • Use Data to Drive Results: Principal Fellows utilize data to set meaningful instructional and cultural goals, monitor progress, drive decision-making and measure success. Once goals are established, Principal Fellows act with a sense of urgency to accomplish them.
    • Strong Leadership Instincts: Principal Fellows may not enter the program as expert managers, but they do come with strong skills and instincts for influencing others. They anticipate challenges and solve problems strategically, they have effective communication skills and can motivate others to do excellent work, and they promote an inclusive environment that values all community members and the diverse perspectives they bring.
    • Commitment to Equity: Principal Fellows consider how privilege and personal bias affect decision-making and relationships with students, colleagues, and community members, and are eager to challenge the status quo and courageously confront systemic racism in order to create more equitable conditions for all in the PPSD community as a school leader.
    • Grounded in Reality: Principal Fellows move beyond a simple vision for excellence and focus on the steps necessary to bring their visions to life. They display organization, strategic prioritization, and time-management skills in addressing highest-leverage student, classroom and school needs.
    • Growth Mindset: Principal Fellows relentlessly pursue opportunities for learning and growth. They demonstrate high self-awareness, seek out feedback, and strive for ongoing growth and development.They are resilient and persevere in the face of challenges. 
    • Invested in the Providence Community: Principal Fellows are committed to making a positive impact for the students, families, and broader communities in Providence as a school leader. 






  • Apply to the PPSD Leadership Cohort

    Ready to make a difference in a school that needs inspiring leadership? Our rigorous application process will help us—and you—determine if you’re a good fit for the program. There are two parts to the process: 

    Complete an online application: Apply for the 2023-24 PPSD Leadership Cohort today.  The application consists of questions about candidates’ educational background, résumé information, and personal information. It also includes short answer questions and a performance exercise. In total, the application should take about 90 minutes to complete. After submission, you’ll receive a response from our team in approximately two weeks. 

    Join a group interview: Candidates who successfully pass the application stage will be invited to join a half-day group interview event with other candidates, which includes role plays, group activities, and one-on-one interviews. During the group interview, we will give you more information on when you will know if you have been offered a spot in the third PPSD Leadership Cohort!