Principal Prep

The Principal Prep Program is designed exclusively for leaders who aspire to enhance and expand their knowledge and skills in preparation to lead an existing KIPP school.


The Principal Prep Program provides rigorous and relevant learning experiences, including:

  • Orientation: A three-day orientation in May to provide an overview of the program along with opportunities for team-building and training
  • Summer Institute: Intensive five weeks of coursework, taught by dynamic faculty and educational leaders, in a university setting. New concepts uncovered in classroom discussions link to practical application through collaborative peer groups known as Learning Teams and through individualized coaching with a Leadership Guide.
  • Intersessions: Three weekend retreats in fall and winter for further leadership development
  • Individualized coaching and development: Creation of Individualized Leadership Plan that determines individualized support, including one-on-one coaching with a Leadership Coach throughout the year, to maximize strengths and develop weaknesses
  • Residencies: Residencies in high-performing KIPP schools across the country designed as two-week apprenticeships tailored to meet the needs of the Principal Prep’s Individualized Leadership Plan
  • Internal School Review: The opportunity to participate, along with a peer and an independent evaluator, in a review of the school in which the participant will be assuming the principalship in order to inform first-year leadership priorities
  • Graduate Degree and Administrative Credential (Optional): Opportunity to pursue a MA in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential through National-Louis University


The Principal Prep program is specifically designed to prepare participants to manage change and transition, and ultimately be successful as a successor school leader in an existing KIPP school. Using the KIPP Leadership Competency Model as its aligning framework, the Principal Prep program aims to empower participants to:

  • Shift their perspective from teacher to leader as they critically think about and solve school-based problems and decisions that involve multiple stakeholders
  • Assess the current state of their school in a variety of domains and develop a strategic plan
  • Learn how to align their organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals
  •  Practice methods to impact and influence a wide variety of stakeholders to support the school’s goals
  • Strengthen their ability to communicate effectively and adjust their communication style across broad audiences
  • Acquire new skills for managing others, including enhancing the school’s performance management system and setting performance goals with staff
  • Gain an understanding of operational management including school law, financial management, and related compliance matters
  • Develop strategies to effectively coach and mentor teachers
  • Increase their instructional leadership repertoire to drive student achievement gains


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KIPP is committed to equal treatment for all individuals. KIPP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.
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