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CPS Launches Mentoring and Professional Development Program to Support Leadership Diversity

07 February 2018

Great Expectations Mentoring and Professional Development Program for African American Male and Hispanic CPS Administrators Will Develop the Skills of Emerging Leaders and Bolster Diversity at the Highest Levels of Leadership

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools today announced the launch of Great Expectations – a new mentoring and professional development program for CPS administrators who are African American males or Hispanic males or females. Great Expectations is designed to empower leaders with additional professional development and mentorship opportunities with the goal of increasing diversity at the highest levels of leadership. CPS assistant principals, principals, deputy network chiefs and network chiefs are eligible to participate, and programming will begin in May.

“The strength of our district lies in its diversity, and if we are going to achieve our goals, we must strive to ensure our leadership reflects the diversity of the students we serve,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “I have been able realize my professional goals thanks to mentors who have helped me learn and grow, and I look forward to all this program will accomplish by empowering and supporting leaders throughout the district.”

The goal of Great Expectations is to empower school and district leaders from underrepresented groups to take on greater responsibility at their schools and within the district. While African American females make up the largest demographic group among district leadership (29.1 percent), African American male administrators and Hispanic administrators remain underrepresented in leadership positions (African American males, Hispanic females and Hispanic males hold 9.1, 11.6 and 7.6 percent of administrator positions, respectively).

When the program launches in May, Great Expectations will connect participants with a small group of recognized education leaders who will act as the program’s facilitators. Program leaders will have extensive experience facilitating professional development opportunities and transforming school systems, and they will reflect the diversity of the program’s participants.

The program will be divided into two cohorts – one specifically serving African American males and one serving Hispanic staff so that programming can be uniquely tailored to each group. Each cohort will accept up to 15 participants a year. Participants will attend monthly classroom programming and one-on-one mentoring sessions, and they will receive ongoing support from program facilitators. Participants will also take part in a peer-to-peer professional learning community that will increase communication and collaboration among staff.

Through this program, participants will bolster their leadership skills, deepen their knowledge of Chicago Public Schools leadership structure, learn how to formulate creative responses to complex issues, and develop a deeper understanding of the unique needs of various populations within school communities, including different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender groups.

Great Expectations supports CEO Jackson’s strategic three-year Vision, which calls for expanded mentoring and professional development opportunities so that we can attract, develop, support and retain strong leaders for every CPS school and community.

Applications for the program’s African American leaders cohort will launch today, and applications for the Hispanic leaders cohort will open on February 28; Programming for both cohorts will begin in May.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.