Essential Element 5 – Leadership


Strong educational leadership and a building administration that encourage, facilitate, and sustain involvement, participation, and partnerships.


Every young adolescent should be educated in schools that have knowledgeable, effective, and caring leaders.


Standards-focused middle-level schools and programs need purposeful leadership if they are to develop and prosper.


Those in positions of leadership must:


5.1       Know and understand the needs and developmental characteristics of young adolescents.

5.2       Know and understand the essential elements of a standards-focused, high performing middle-level school or middle-level program.

5.3       Know and understand each of the 28 learning standards and how they interrelate.

5.4       Know and understand the State’s assessment system.

5.5       Have an understanding of the subject matter in the middle grades and its interconnections, of different approaches to student learning, and of diverse teaching strategies.

5.6       Create, promote, and sustain a school culture of mutual support and collective responsibility for the educational and personal development of each and every young adolescent.

5.7       Articulate and maintain high standards for classroom instruction and student performance.

5.8       Have high expectations for students and staff.

5.9       Know a range of successful, research-based teaching techniques that are developmentally and cognitively appropriate, matching instruction to the students’ varied learning styles and different intelligences.

5.10    Involve staff and others in the operation of the school or program, empowering and encouraging them to contribute and to make decisions that benefit students.

5.11    Provide students with opportunities to assume significant and meaningful leadership roles in the school.

5.12    Support and encourage teachers, individually and collectively, to take risks, to explore, to question, to try new instructional approaches, to continue as learners, and to grow.

5.13    Promote and facilitate inter-school cooperation, collaboration, and communication with feeder elementary schools and receiving high schools.

5.14    Inform and involve parents of middle-level students in their children’s education by helping them understand the needs and developmental characteristics of young adolescents, the learning standards their children must meet, the instructional program, their children’ progress, and how to help their children at home with schoolwork, school decisions, and successful development through adolescence.

5.15    Promote school/community partnerships and involve members of the community in school activities and initiatives, empowering and encouraging them to contribute and make decisions that benefit students

Resources and Best Practices for Essential Element 5



Staff Development Faculty Meetings