SchoolSims provides a risk-free environment through software simulations where participants have an opportunity to fail as they face difficult situations. Our simulations, which allow you to choose your own “adventure,” essentially accelerate time, allowing participants to decide on a course of action, implement it, and experience its consequences, all within the same exercise.



SchoolSims began as a concept back in 2008 when Ken Spero became an outside faculty member for the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) doctoral program offered by the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University of Pennsylvania in association with Wharton. Ken was later introduced to Michael Johanek, the Director of the Mid-Career Program within GSE. Mike worked with principals and superintendents who were increasingly forced to make difficult decisions with little time and resources. Ken’s background in simulations led him to believe that we could capture some of the best practices from the alumni to provide field leaders with purposeful practice on actually making decisions, regardless of the issues. (Read More)

Our simulations all start with an idea, from the scripting through the filming to the final cuts. We use real-life experiences from people who have gone through them firsthand to teach others. All of our team members put in time and effort during the writing process. Filming must be done flawlessly, which might take up to a day. The editing procedure is carried out to guarantee that what we captured is exactly as we intended. Finally, the construction of a sim is critical. Here is where we bring the story to life. Learn More about the Experience Design Process.

Aspiring Leaders need experience as leaders, and SchoolSims provides aspiring leaders relevant experiences that help them grasp the complexity of these leadership roles. Novice Leaders need experience in the intricacies of school leadership, and SchoolSims can provide these experiences in a safe environment. Many district-level leaders find it challenging to provide relevant and engaging professional learning for their Experienced Leaders. Many Teachers have a natural curiosity for what happens when the principal’s door is closed. Teachers who experience SchoolSims tend to come away with a broader perspective of what happens at the building-level, promoting a more positive culture and climate. (Learn More)