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PLAN Background and History

Peabody College's Principals' Leadership Academy of Nashville (PLAN) was launched in 2001 to respond to escalating demands on principals and others on the front line of school administration. Piloted in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, PLAN creates a learning environment that shifts the role of principal from manager to instructional leader.

PLAN had its genesis in a request Annette Eskind, a long-time Vanderbilt supporter and chair of the Nashville Public Education Foundation made to Peabody College to create a program that prepares current and aspiring principals to respond proactively and collaboratively to evolving educational challenges.

PLAN is anchored in the premise that principals profoundly impact the quality of education and culture of a school. It also acknowledges the importance of peer support and input in a principal's ongoing success. Participants are nominated by the district and typically have included 20 aspiring, 10 current and five experienced principals. The group comes together on the Peabody campus for two weeks in the summer, it then meets formally one Saturday and one Wednesday evening each month for one year. Telephone and on-line coaching are a PLAN staple and instrumental in keeping participants on track. Along the way, Peabody faculty challenge participants with new ways of addressing familiar problems. PLAN participants learn techniques for merging student and organizational data to achieve a clear picture of a school's performance. This information is used to bring about strategic change in their respective schools.