Internal Pathways & Development > School Leadership
Welcome to School Leadership
The Leadership Pathways & Development (LPD) team is dedicated to developing, empowering and connecting current and aspiring school leaders to lead for racial and educational equity so that every student thrives and is prepared for career, college, and life.
Opportunities for New School Leaders
New Principal and Assistant Principal Onboarding and Induction
DPS' Onboarding program is for new principals and assistant principals who are either new to their role and/or new to DPS. The Onboarding Certification course is required and includes coursework and a one year mentorship. Successful completion of the course results in an induction certificate.
New & Returning Deans (Culture / Students / Instruction / Operations)
In Denver Public Schools, Deans play a vital role in ensuring that teachers and school systems are able to break historical patterns of inequity so that each and every student thrives, not by accident, but by design. This Onboarding program is designed for Deans to provide guidance and support aligned with our DPS mission and vision, including our commitment to racial and educational equity. It will provide you with tools and information necessary to fulfill your job responsibilities.
Principal Licensure Programs
Ritchie - Traditional Licensure Programs
The Ritchie Program for School Leaders is offered in partnership with the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education - Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Grounded in equity pedagogy, systems thinking, adaptive leadership and improvement science, Ritchie engages participants in the real work of school leaderships. The program immerses students in graduate-level coursework and project-based learning that prepares them to meet the challenges within complex systems. Each student’s experience is customized to their individual needs and the school where they work. The graduate-level coursework is aligned with the DPS LEAD Framework, emphasizing culturally and linguistically responsive leadership and distributive leadership. Throughout the program, students are mentored by DU faculty and experienced DPS leaders. Graduates are eligible for a Colorado principal license, and students may choose to continue with 15 additional credit hours to complete a Master’s degree or continue for an EdD or PhD.
Denver Lead Today - Alternative Principal Licensure Program
DPS recognizes that not all qualified principals and assistant principals complete a traditional licensure program. To open this gateway, DPS offers Denver Lead Today (DLT) which is a tuition-free, alternative principal preparation program that leads to licensure as outlined by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). This program is only open to school-based employees who have been hired into a position that requires a principal license in a school. DLT is a rigorous, standards-based leadership development course that offers participants the opportunity to be in a principal or assistant principal position while working toward an initial principal license.
Pathway to Principal
Learn to Lead - Denver Principal Residency
Learn to Lead’s purpose is to grow future DPS principals who can lead for positive change in our schools and communities. Learn to Lead provides opportunities for aspiring principals to develop tools to be effective school leaders and change agents for the rest of their careers. This program is designed for experienced educators who possess leadership qualities and who want to build their leadership skills and dispositions.
Beyond Year One of Leadership
LEAD Development Guide
Grow in your leadership role by planning learning for yourself or the leaders you support.
The purpose of this LEAD Development Guide is to make accessible to school leaders a suite of learning opportunities, job-embedded experiences, and resources that support the development of competencies outlined in the LEAD Framework. As a leader looking to build your own skills or as a leader of leaders looking to support the development of others, you may use this guide to determine possible learning opportunities that meet individual development needs.
DPS Values-Based Leadership Programs by the The Culture, Equity & Leadership Team (CELT)
Visit CELT for information on DPS Creating Connections, DPS Skills, Equity Boot Camp, Belong Groups, DPS Aspire and DPS Management.
Foundational Leadership Development Onboarding Courses (Optional)
- Coaching For Equity (3 hours, asynchronous)
- Leading for Equity (3 hours, asynchronous)
- Facilitating Adult Learning (2 hours, asynchronous)
We know that new leaders have strong starts when supported by mentors through a blended approach, with both expert advice on the work of leadership and facilitative coaching to support and sustain the leader's voice and vision. That is why DPS has adopted a Blended Coaching Model to support new leaders. If you are interested in being a mentor for a new school leader, please reach out to LPD@dpsk12.net.
ALAS and NABSE Conference Scholarships for Principals and Assistant Principals of Color
Principals and assistant principals of color are invited to attend the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Summit or the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) Summit. ALAS will be held Oct. 4-6 in San Antonio, Texas, and NABSE will be held Nov. 29-Dec. 3 in New Orleans, Louisiana. More details and the summit application will be coming soon.