FEA and Nicholson Foundation Focusing on PreK-3 Leadership

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The Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA) is proud to announce the next step in its 15-month project, funded by a grant from The Nicholson Foundation, to develop the Transforming Early Childhood Leadership Institute. The Institute will provide professional learning and support to leadership teams from 51 schools representing 31 districts in New Jersey that offer PreK-3 instruction to children from vulnerable populations. A steering committee, comprised of national and state experts, has guided the process for developing the content of the Institute’s sessions.

The program consists of three full days of training beginning March 18 at the FEA Conference Center in Monroe, NJ (days 2 and 3 will be held in May and October), as well as ongoing coaching at the participating schools/districts. Each participating school will send leadership teams of principals, teacher leaders, and central office staff to collaboratively work with trainers and coaches who will support them in implementing best practices across their organizations. National experts will provide a review of the most current research on best practices for strengthening early childhood education. An independent evaluator will then review all aspects of the program and make recommendations to guide program implementation in future years.

According to a 2014 survey conducted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the majority of principals whose schools included Pre-K stated that little had been developed in PreK-3 leadership specifically for principals.This Institute will address that unique need.

“Educational leadership that profoundly impacts a child’s early learning years is unique from elementary and secondary practice.  District and school leaders committed to enhancing their knowledge, skills and practices can transform early learning and build a stronger foundation for the entire education system,” said Tonya Coston, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education at the NJ Department of Education. “The Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Education is pleased to partner with FEA and The Nicholson Foundation to cultivate opportunities that extend the growth of strong educational leadership into the early learning years.”

Dr. Mary Reece, Director of Special Projects for FEA, was instrumental in creating the Institute and is eager to begin working with these schools and their leadership teams. “While the educational community has accurately identified PreK-3 learning as paramount to a successful academic future, we need to focus our efforts on strengthening our leadership capacity in this area,” Reece said. “I am so grateful to The Nicholson Foundation for partnering with us to address this most critical need, and I look forward to seeing the dividends of this great work in the years to come.”


“The Nicholson Foundation is proud to support the Transforming Early Childhood Leadership Institute,” said Arturo Brito, Executive Director of The Nicholson Foundation. “By helping school leaders improve their abilities to address the unique needs of children in the early years of formal education, we’ll create a stronger early childhood system of support for vulnerable children throughout New Jersey.”