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Personalized Professional Learning for Future Ready Leaders: Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership is characterized by a commitment to demonstrating strong leadership aptitude, developing the vision, securing the ongoing funding, building a districtwide leadership team, and garnering broad-based support to ensure a successful digital learning transition for students and teachers. It includes eight dimensions, which are described below.


  • Not Evident: This has not been addressed, or has been raised as a concern but evidence of planning and implementation is not immediately visible.
  • ​​Emerging: There is evidence of a plan of action or exploratory actions in progress to make the necessary changes to implement the dimension as described.
  • Established: There is evidence of specific actions in progress to implement the dimension, but actions are not fully implemented districtwide and/or implemented with consistency, sustainability, or to the level of fidelity described by the dimension.
  • Exemplary: This dimension is fully achieved as described, evidence of changes and processes are consistent and sustainable, and supported by district-wide implementation.

1: Strong leadership aptitude

District leadership demonstrates situational awareness, seeks input in decision making, stimulates intellectual inquiry and innovation, and serves as a change agent for districtwide reform.

Strong leadership aptitude

2: Shared vision for teaching, leading, and learning

District leadership convenes a team of diverse stakeholders (such as school board members, district staff, teachers, parents, community members, and students) to collaborate in adopting and communicating clear goals for Future Ready teaching, leading, and learning in the district. Technology facilitates-does not define-these goals.

Shared vision for teaching, leading, and learning

3: Culture of trust and innovation

District leadership encourages leaders at all levels to foster a culture of risk taking, experimenting, and sharing innovative ideas. The district develops a system for gathering and responding to input on centralized decisions that benefit from scale (e.g., purchasing devices) while also trusting schools to make localized decisions to meet the needs of their communities and the goals of the shared vision.

Culture of trust and innovation

4: Transparent communications

District leadership uses appropriate media and technology tools to reach a wide audience of stakeholders to establish an ongoing communications system and feedback loop. From the inception of the vision to its implementation, district leadership explains the vision, creates a process for gathering input, builds community support, interact with stakeholders, and communicates successes and challenges.

Transparent communications

5: Ongoing plan for improvement

A strategic plan for accomplishing the shared vision is collaboratively developed by district leadership to provide specific action steps, which are aligned with a theory of change. An articulated plan for collecting formative and summative evaluation data at multiple points throughout the school year also is created, with clear criteria for decision making.

Ongoing plan for improvement

6: Modeling of technology use

District leaders, including the superintendent, effectively model the use of technology and their commitment to personal learning and development through active participation in and support of technology-related professional learning opportunities.

Modeling of technology use

7: District policies

District leadership ensures that district policies support the shared vision for Future Ready teaching, leading, and learning (e.g., acceptable use, account creation and termination, administrative access, document retention, e-mail and mass communications, encryption, identity management, and passwords). Student safety and privacy are protected while allowing students and teachers to explore online environments and digital tools without unwarranted restrictions.

District policies

8: Sustainable funding

District leadership develops funding plans to cover startup and ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs during a five- to 10-year period. The district uses multiple strategies to commit new resources specifically for digital learning as well as leverages existing funds by pooling budgets across departments (e.g., curriculum and instruction, professional development, facilities); seeking partnerships across districts or organizations to maximize purchasing power; or securing grants or other outside funding.

Sustainable funding