Conference audience with notebooks

Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement (CEII)

UMD School Improvement Leadership Academy


SILA logo

The University of Maryland College Park School Improvement Leadership Academy (SILA) is a new three-year project funded by the US Department of Education Support for Effective Education Development (SEED) grant program.  SILA will support principal development by providing comprehensive, evidence-based professional learning to 140 principals and assistant principals in Title I schools, Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools, and/or high need schools in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.  The project is designed to support effective principals, increase educator diversity, promote equity in student access to educational resources and opportunities, and meet students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.

Project Goals

  • Increase principal and assistant principal knowledge and capacity in three areas:  Instructional Leadership, Equity Leadership, and Improvement Leadership.
  • Improve principal and assistant principal competence with School Improvement Planning 
  • Prepare assistant principals to be effective principals
  • Improve student achievement results and narrow achievement gaps, in literacy and mathematics

Expected Outcomes

  • Measurable progress toward goals of School Improvement Plans related to student achievement in literacy and numeracy, social and emotional learning, and school safety and climate 
  • Improved leadership practices 
  • Increased principal retention 
  • Assistant principals promotion
  • Improved student achievement outcomes in mathematics and literacy

SILA participants will engage  in a rigorous 2-year academy model designed to increase school leadership capacity, to elevate the quality of school improvement planning and implementation and to advance student achievement outcomes. Through project participation, principals and assistant principals will have an opportunity to achieve micro credentials and UMD graduate credits as outlined in the curriculum summary below.

SILA curriculum snapshot

Year One:

  • Participate in in-person 3-day Institutes at the University of Maryland (transportation costs covered)
  • Engage in 3- day long virtual seminars
  • Participate in monthly 1 hour virtual  webinars

Year Two:

  • Participate in in-person 3-day Institutes at the University of Maryland (transportation costs covered)
  • Principals will institute improvement and equity change ideas and participate in monthly executive coaching sessions
  • Assistant Principals will lead school improvement projects and participate in monthly AP fellowship seminars

SILA is offered at absolutely no cost to participants and offered substantial benefits, including:

  • Six EdD level graduate college credits (applicable to the UMD EdD program or transferable to other programs)
  • A $1000 stipend for program participation and completion
  • Executive coaching from proven school leaders
  • Networking opportunities with other school leaders across the region
  • Learning from and with highly accomplished leaders and professors
  • Content focused on evidence-based practices directly related to their everyday work as school leaders

Project Partners
To achieve the goals of SILA, the University of Maryland College Park’s Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement has teamed up with the following strategic partners.

Mira Education Logo

MIRA Education: Mira Education is a design and implementation partner to P20 education organizations seeking sustainable innovation and improvement.

Learning Forward Logo

Learning Forward:  The preeminent organization for promoting and developing high-quality educator professional learning policy, practice, research, and standards.

Policy Studies Associates logo

Policy Studies Associates:  Accomplished partners in conducting research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and program planning.

Participating in SILA:
SILA is open only to principals and assistant principals from districts that have signed on as SILA partners.  If you are a district interested in participating in SILA or a Principal/Assistant Principal interested in the program, please contact any of our Academy Team listed below or leave a message at (301) 405-5601.

Academy Team

Segun Eubanks
Picture of Jean Snell
Doug Anthony
Photo of Cherise Hunter
Damaries Blondonville-Ford Headshot

Dr. Segun Eubanks, Project Director

Dr. Jean Snell, Director of Learning  

Dr. Doug Anthony, Training & Curriculum Director

Dr. Cherise Hunter, Project Manager

Damaries Blondonville-Ford, SILA Director