Broward County Public Schools Success Story

The School District of Broward County Attains its Leadership Development Goals Using SchoolSims Simulations. Principal pipelines matter. Professional development for sitting school leaders matters. The Kern Foundation and other researchers have proven that without programs dedicated to those tenets, student achievement suffers. SchoolSims library of leadership simulations provides a single solution to those challenges and more. Dr. Reginald Pierre-Jerome, Leadership Coordinator from The School District of Broward County first experienced a SchoolSims simulation as part of a facilitated session conducted by company founder, Ken Spero, at the National Assistant Principal Conference.  Click here to read more about Broward’s journey. Read more success stories below.
Dr. Reginald Pierre -Jerome Leadership Coordinator, The School District of Broward County.

“Newly appointed assistant principals are exposed to simulations at our monthly cohort sessions to get ‘real-life’ experience in situations that are taking place in schools across the country. The simulations provide a safe space to practice decision-making and apply what is being taught in instructional sessions to develop the skills to be an effective leader.” 

Read more about Broward’s journey here.

Dr. David De Jong - Chair of Ed Leadership, University of South Dakota and ICPEL President

“I have included SchoolSims educational simulations to support graduate instruction in several different principal and superintendent preparation programs. School leaders were surveyed after participating in four or more educational simulations. We found an unanimously positive perception from participants regarding their preparedness for leadership. Overall, the school leaders reported increased confidence to handle real-life situations after engaging in the simulations and a deeper perspective to think critically about issues they will be presented with in the field.”  

Listen to The Group Project Podcast with Dr. Jared Smith to hear Dr. De Jong speak more about the power that simulations bring to ed leadership programs. 

Erin Murray - Former Superintendent, Simsbury Public Schools and Adjunct Professor, University of Connecticut

“I had the great opportunity of teaching in the principal preparation program at the University of Connecticut and I had my class last night and had the great opportunity to use a simulation in a group of six. I’m telling you they were standing up, they were leaning over, they were you know – the pure collaboration and the opportunity to engage in this manner and I love the proactive, as Dr. Mason put out there, they said they’ll do more. I don’t want to do it alone. I love the fact that there were six of us arguing about how we should answer and giving good rationale. For novice teachers, I can’t begin to tell you how powerful something like this would be.”

See Erin’s thoughts here or watch the Building Inclusive Classrooms Webinar.

Tom Evans - Lecturer, Towson University

“Having used simulations for a few years in my college teaching, my students consistently praise the opportunity to have done so. They view the simulations experiences as valuable additions to the course content, providing them with actual opportunities to apply their content understanding to real-world situations. When done synchronously, they have especially appreciated the opportunity to work with others in small groups, indicating how much their thinking on difficult decisions was positively influenced by hearing the points of view of others prior to making that decision. As they say, ‘it is much better to have had this opportunity in our classroom environment than facing that problem on the job for the first time.'”

 

James J. Sarto, Ed.S. - Coordinator of NJ Leaders to Leaders Program (NJL2L), NJPSA/FEA

“As Coordinator of the NJ Leaders to Leaders Program (NJL2L), the sole state-approved mentoring program for new school leaders in New Jersey, I have found the Educational Leadership Simulations to be a valuable resource in the professional learning of thousands of new and veteran educational leaders. The current and real-life simulations provide opportunities for rich discussion around relevant educational scenarios in which teams of leaders explore a variety of decision pathways that target essentials such as team building, legal, moral, and ethical standards, and individual and group decision making. Through these collaborative conversations, the knowledge, expertise, and leadership skills of practitioners are strengthened. Alignment to the Professional Standards for Education Leaders (PSEL) ensures the needs of all learning leaders are met.”

Dr. Paul M. Healey - Executive Director, PA Principals Association

“The PA Principals Association has been utilizing the SchoolSims simulations for the past three years. In an effort to provide relevant and engaging professional development opportunities for our members, we have used the library of simulations to conduct workshops for school leaders across the state. By using the simulations we can engage individuals in the thought processes behind the decisions they make while unpacking differing points of view. The rich discussions that occur during these small and large group sessions are very powerful and enlightening. Our workshop evaluations on the use of these simulations have consistently received outstanding ratings.”  

Dr. Gretchen McAllister - Associate Professor Department of Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University

“Simulations, as many of you probably know, can be powerful for – and I’ll use the term teacher candidates, and for those of you working with novice teachers. We wanted a space that we could provide teacher candidates with situated learning. These situated learning opportunities foster reflective practice and connect theory to practice, but most importantly, my work is centered around this, providing an intentional space to have difficult conversations. We have found that in over 20 years, especially in teacher education, there’s no time to talk about racism, other forms of oppression, and how they play out in school spaces. We talk about it in theory but often in the classroom; finding space to have those difficult conversations just often isn’t there, and teachers, the same in the classroom. So simulations provide us an opportunity for a purposeful space where we can have these difficult conversations, and most importantly, we are committed to creating an opportunity to make mistakes and do it in a way where we don’t actually hurt children.”

See Dr. McAllister’s thoughts here or watch the Building Inclusive Classrooms Webinar.