Jul 02, 2020

Sixty Educators Selected to Participate in Louisiana Early Leaders Academy

BATON ROUGE, La. --The Louisiana Department of Education today announced 60 early childhood educators from 22 parishes have been selected to participate in the second cohort of the Louisiana Early Leaders Academy. The 11-month, executive-level program for directors of highly rated, publicly funded early learning centers will help expand access to quality early childhood care and education by strengthening leaders in the field.

Pilot parishes include Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Orleans, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Richland, Sabine, St. Tammany, St. Martin, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Webster and West Feliciana.

This marks the statewide expansion of LELA, which launched last year and included 28 educators from six parishes.

Each participating educator, known as a fellow, was selected through a competitive application process for directors aiming for excellence in their daily leadership of their early learning centers. They were required to lead a highly-rated early learning center, be fluent in the state's classroom observation tools and articulate their vision for growth through the program.

"One of our critical goals is to ensure students enter school kindergarten ready. To do that, we must invest in our early childhood educators," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. "I'm pleased to support this effort to build additional capacity in early childhood education."

The Academy, which will hold its first training for the new cohort virtually on July 9, will offer fellows:

  • 4 sessions of summer intensives focused on preparing fellows for success in LELA and building relationships with the other fellows across Louisiana
  • 20 leadership modules structured around core leadership and management topics
  • Monthly 1:1 coaching sessions to support areas of need; and 
  • Monthly Home Team Calls where fellows will meet in small groups with their leadership coach 

Over the course of the program, fellows will learn about managing system changes, building strong teams and improving program operations, among other content areas.

The Louisiana Early Leaders Academy was developed by the Department's early childhood education staff, who live-pitched the concept at the Harvard Zaentz Innovation Challenge in June 2018. The team placed in the national competition and won $10,000. The two-year pilot program is fully funded thanks to generous funding of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and a private family foundation.

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