International School Leadership
- An internationally highly regarded school-level leadership certificate program for national and international school leaders
- Strong evidence of highly effective instructors who demonstrate deep commitment to their students, resulting in many life-long relationships
- Participants from over 50 countries have completed nearly 6000 modules
- A school-level leadership certificate that is 100% online, a mix of onsite and online modules or 100% onsite
- High yield instructional strategies, current research, student-centered curriculum that requires the application of new learning to practice
- Positive testimonials, advocates and collaborators from around the world
- Partnerships with higher education institutions for advanced standing in Master’s courses
- Our Master’s Degree offered in partnership with Western University, Canada
ISL Certificate Level 1
Exemplary Learning for all School Leaders – Principals, Heads, Deputies, Department Heads, Aspiring Leaders – National and International Schools
Module 1: Leadership for School Improvement
- examine practices of an effective school leader for 21st century teaching and learning using international leadership frameworks and research
- explore the role of personal reflection, emotional and cultural intelligence
Module 2: Characteristics of Effective Schools and Systems
- review the effective school research
- identify characteristics of effective schools that support 21st century teaching and learning
- explore the characteristics of effective schools and systems
Module 3: Building Relationships and Developing People
- explore in-depth the concepts of emotional and cultural intelligence
- understand the importance of building relational trust, a collaborative culture and collective efficacy
- probe how to improve challenging conversations
Module 4: Setting Goals and Expectations Using Data Informed Decision Making
- examine characteristics of a collaborative school culture
- understand the importance of collecting and analyzing a wide variety of student achievement data
- explore how to plan, monitor, and evaluate school improvement
Module 5: Leading Improvement in Classroom Instruction: Meeting the needs of all learners
- understand conditions for learning, universal design for learning, tiered interventions, differentiated instruction, assessment and high-yield strategies
- identify the role of professional learning, collaborative inquiry and learning walks
Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan: The application of theory to practice
- apply new knowledge to the development of a leadership plan that identifies a problem of practice, goals, context, leadership, applicable literature and a process for assessing success
Participants must have previously completed Certificate Level 1 Modules 1 to 6 and Module 13: Instructional Leadership Project Completion:
- execute the plan developed in Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan and
- prepare two academic papers reporting on the leadership project, with the advice of an Academic Advisor who holds a doctoral degree.
ISL Certificate Level 2.0
Module 7: Planning, Executing and Monitoring School Improvement
- learn to appreciate the critical role of school improvement planning
- examine key components that include SMART goals, monitoring strategies and implementation rubrics
- explore essential processes
Module 8: Resource Management for Improved Student Learning
- understand the financial responsibilities, the connection between the budget and improvement plan, key strategies and management principles
- explore the concept of the three-E’s of Value of money
- analyze current budget
Module 9: Personal Qualities, Competencies and Problem Solving
- examine how knowledge, values, beliefs and assumptions impact leadership practices
- understand the role of self-awareness, self-assessment, planning for growth and develop ethical fitness by examining dilemmas
Module 10: Mentoring and Coaching
- examine mentoring and coaching from an academic and implementation perspective
- explore the types of mentoring and components of successful coaching
- understand the required skills and competencies
Module 11: Parent and Community Engagement
- understand the importance of parent and community engagement
- review various types of parent engagement, potential barriers, strategies and resources
- explore strategies to develop intercultural competencies
Module 12: Instructional Leadership Project Completion: General reporting requirements
- learn to execute the plan developed in Module 6: Instructional Leadership Project Plan
- report on the execution of the plan with a time/activity log, a reflective journal and a summative report
We offer you the flexibility to choose between onsite or online delivery!
Aside from our customized learning, our greatest strength is the quality of our instructors. Beyond having demonstrated the highest levels of leadership, these individuals stand out as exemplary teachers. Another critical element in our unique program delivery is the contextualizing of content. Our programming is tailored to understand the nature of and priorities for your specific jurisdiction.
Onsite Program Delivery
All modules are highly interactive and use a broad range of strategies, therefore, registration is limited to a maximum of 35 participants per group. Each module also requires the online submission of a personal reflection following each learning experience.
Onsite delivery is supported by an Online Learning Forum
- Using a state-of-the-art learning management system, an Online Learning Forum is established for the entire program or module
- All resources are available online
- Module reflections are submitted using the Forum
- Module evaluation is completed online
- Communication is facilitated before and after the module
Typical onsite delivery timing
- 3-day session for Modules 1 and 2
- 3-day session for Modules 4 and 5
- 2-day session for Modules 3 and 6
- or a customized delivery with 2 days for each module
“Your institution has led to a huge academic growth to my staff within this one academic year.”
Head of School in Lesotho
“Three wonderful, inspiring days of professional input, cooperation and reflection, fantastic”
Principal in Belgium
Online Program Delivery
Modules are delivered over a 5-week period and require 2-3 hours per week of active online participation. The required technical skills are minimal, given the intuitive learning management system.
Online delivery allows participants to progress through the module as a cohort
- interacting with fellow participants and the instructor online
- committing to regular online contributions
- participating in one web-conference arranged by the instructor
Online delivery timing allows participants the flexibility to determine the time and days of active participation.
International School Leadership issues individual Certificates of Completion for each module and the International School System Leadership Certificate after meeting program requirements.
- Online modules 1-5 are $452 CAD per module per person; $113 CAD for Module 6
- Onsite modules 1-5 are $400 CAD per module per person plus site costs. A minimum of 15 participants are required
Contracted delivery prices are available and determined by participant enrolment and specific site costs.
Are you interested in partnering?
Contracted Delivery involves jurisdictions, organizations and schools entering into a specific contract for program delivery.
Co-sponsoring Delivery is a joint effort between ISL and a jurisdiction, organization or school. Each assumes certain responsibilities, with the local co-sponsor assisting in local promotions and facilitation of the program, without assuming financial risk.
Licensing Fee is a contractual arrangement whereby ISL provides the rights of usage regarding specific program materials for unaccompanied program delivery.
Partnership is a contractual arrangement for program delivery that involves the co-appointment and training of identified instructors, the provision of an online platform, the review and modification of the program and the issuance of jointly-branded certificates.
Excerpts from Module Reflections
“... your institution has led to a huge academic growth to my staff within this one academic year. “
“It is impacting what I do and how I do it. Your Module professors are excellent....Please thank your hard-working Module professors, they have great advice and specific feedback.”
“Thank-you for such practical, useful and bite-sized information, that, in our busy day and workload, we can manage and learn from.”
“After the knowledge and newly found direction obtained in the course, myself, together with my leadership team will redirect focus of teaching to students’ needs. Teachers and leadership should be aware of the need of students within the classrooms and also the gaps that are present ... the effects of this topic was so great that I even day dream about it because of its impact on me this time around.”
“In the same ongoing process of learning from ISL, we will put in practice an introductory and small (meaning in short meetings as lack of time it is a terrible problem in my current school) Professional Learning Cycle in which identify few crucial and general student's needs, so we can Plan, Act, Observe and Reflect in a process not shorter than a fortnight and no longer than a month.”
“It has become increasingly clear to me that I need to educate myself more and become more of a lead learner and collaborate with the teachers to implement change.”
“My focus will shift to what the students are learning and the impact the teacher have on the students. In daily life we often focus on the teachers.”
“While prior to this course I promoted the use of a data analyst to look into MAP data and present findings to the academics, I now believe that subject coordinators should collaboratively look at the raw data with their teachers in order to facilitate understanding and practice of use of data, to make data analysis and interpretation a collaborative practice and to foster development of necessary skills of data usage among all teachers.”
Ratings and Comments About the Quality of the Experience with ISL
3-day session in Norway: 25 current school leaders rated the experience as 4.9 out of 5 - Excellent
3-day session in the Cayman Islands: 25 aspiring school leaders rated the experience as 4.6 out of 5 – Very Good to Excellent
3-day session in Norway: 90 current school leaders rated the experience as 4.4 out of 5 – Very Good to Excellent
3–day session in Peru: 14 aspiring school leaders rated the experience as 4.9 out of 5 - Excellent
4-day session in Aruba: 32 aspiring school leaders rated the experience as 4.4 out of 5 – Very Good to Excellent
Recent online module: 14 participants rated the experience as 4.7 out of 5 - Excellent
“It is so inspiring to learn about leadership and teaching from someone who really practices what they teach.”
“Three wonderful, inspiring days of professional input, cooperation and reflection, fantastic”
‘I was surprised by the extent of opportunity to participate and engage. We really had the option to go as deep as we wanted with our learning. Excellent format. Very new to me. Canvas [online platform] was also something new, but it was relatively easy to pick up.”
Content coming soon.
A number of universities have certified our program by assessing and verifying the quality of the program in accordance with institutional standards and, thereafter, extending Master degree credits for our program. These universities include:
- Western University (Canada),
- Charles Sturt University (Australia),
- Education University of Hong Kong,
- Edith Cowan University (Australia)
- and University of Waikato (New Zealand).
Beyond credit recognition, Western University offers a Master’s degree, with 50% of the courses being based on our program.
Our program has been recognized by a number of organizations and institutions around the globe:
Joni Heard is a passionate, committed educator driven by the highest standards. For over three decades, Joni has served in many different leadership roles: teacher, instructor, associate professor, consultant, elementary school principal and Education Officer with the Ministry of Education.
Joni’s experiences with International School Leadership include facilitating online and onsite courses for current and aspiring educational school leaders and providing workshop presentations to international education study tours. Her most recent appointments have been in Brazil, Denmark, Norway and Peru to deliver the International School Leadership Certificate program.
Joni worked as an Education Officer with the Leadership Development Branch of the Ministry of Education in Ontario and during that time was the provincial lead for Mentoring for Newly Appointed School Leaders, chaired the Ontario Leadership Congress and supported school districts across the province in implementing the Board Leadership Development Strategy.
Other professional experiences include her role as sessional instructor and faculty advisor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Faculty of Education and as instructor for Principal’s Qualifications Course at York University for many years. She continues to consult with the Ontario Ministry of Education on various education related initiatives.
“Joni inspires and engages participants with her knowledge and interaction skills … perfect modeling of methods to use within schools, both in classrooms and during teacher collaboration time.” Elisabeth Rudi Lund – Principal in Norway
Focus: Study Tours, Facilitation, Government & Ministry, Mentoring Programs for Leaders, Special Education Program Assessment, Aspiring School Leaders, Classroom Instruction, Leadership
With over 20 years of expertise in school leadership, Bob has been an elementary school principal in various school settings. During his leadership career, he was honoured to be recipient of the Award of Distinction for Outstanding Contributions to Education and recipient of the prestigious John W. Laughlin Award for Educational Leadership.
He was a valued instructor for the Principal’s Qualification Program at the University of Western Ontario and has authored a number of articles for the OPC Register magazine, an award winning professional publication for Ontario’s school leaders. He was a Lead Reviewer with the Ontario Curriculum Centre for Intermediate Science and Literacy Texts.
Bob continues to consult for the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and is a founding member and district facilitator for the Leading Student Achievement Initiative in Ontario.
“Bob is a great instructor. While presenting, Bob’s approachable attitude coupled with his use of personal examples of both successes and failures generate a trusting environment in which participants feel that they can be open and speak freely about their doubts.” Principal from Peru
Focus: Facilitation, Strategies to Improve Student Achievement Innovative Leadership, Inquiry-Based Learning for Teachers
Phil Baker enjoys the reputation of a school leader who is able to move a school forward. During his many years as a school principal, Phil successfully engaged all stakeholders in efforts to improve the learning environment. He remains current in his reading and focused on student achievement.
As a colleague, Phil mentored many new principals and vice-principals, as well as serving as an advisor to district leaders. He also led the local Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) group and was a Provincial Councillor for many years. Consequently, Phil developed a broad network across the province.
In recent years, Phil worked within the Student Achievement Division, the Literacy Numeracy Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. As a Student Achievement Officer, he was engaged with a number of districts in co-planning, co-facilitating sessions on system improvement, implementation and monitoring. Phil continues to be called upon to replace principals on extended leave.
Phil is an exceptional teacher with a deep understanding of what it takes to lead a school and imparts that knowledge with the greatest of skills. Those participating in his International School Leadership Modules in Denmark, the Cayman Islands, and online, consistently rank the experience as exceptional.
Focus: Facilitation, Mentoring, School Improvement, Classroom Instruction, Collaboration
“Creating empowered leadership teams is the driving force in building school cultures where student centred leadership is pivotal to student success and well-being.” This is the foundational belief upon which Laura Somerville has guided her own career. She brings a varied and extensive background with school, system, provincial and international experience in the areas of establishing networks for learning with leaders as “lead learners” and with a particular interest in social justice issues, equity, inclusion and learning for all students.
Formerly a principal with the Toronto District School board, Laura has served as a Senior Specialist of Education in the Leadership Development and School Governance Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Education. She is a facilitator for the Leading Student Achievement initiative in Ontario. She is currently the lead for the Safe and Caring Schools: Healthy Relationships, Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) initiative which supports school leaders in addressing cyber and social media concerns in a modern learning context.
Laura is committed to providing authentic professional development education that is relevant to the local context of the participants. She has been an instructor for the Principal's Qualification Program at the OPC and has created and facilitated numerous workshops focusing on Courageous Conversations, Mathematics Leadership, the Ontario Leadership Framework and Learning for All through the use of differentiated instruction and assessment. Through coordinating International School Leadership (ISL) Education Study Tours, she has developed a keen understanding and interest of the adult learning needs of international visitors.
Moving from theory to practice, Laura is able to create meaningful and practical connections that support students, teachers, parents and communities.
Focus: Study Tours, Mentoring, School Improvement, Leadership Development, Data Analysis, Classroom Instruction
Lisa has been involved in international educational leadership for the past ten years. Through her work as the Ontario Principals' Council President in 2006-07, Lisa became involved in the International Confederation of Principals (ICP), and served as President of ICP from 2012-14. She has visited schools, attended conferences and chaired ICP World Council meetings in China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Scotland, Finland, Netherlands, France, Brazil, USA and Canada. Among many memorable experiences, Lisa convened the 2013 ICP World Convention in Cairns, Australia; and contributed as part of a small organizing committee to host the 2011 Gender Equity Conference at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Upon retiring from her 34-year career in Ontario education, 14 years as a principal in both the secondary and elementary panels, Lisa began a new role at a private international school in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Having completed her Master of International Education, School Leadership degree through Charles Sturt University and with her previous international experience, Lisa was motivated to field test her skills. As a member of the administrative team and the college counselor for the Pan American School of Porto Alegre, Lisa had the opportunity to immerse herself within the Brazilian culture and to continue her learning and leading within an international school team in a very different school environment.
As an instructional leader in Ontario, Lisa was placed in numerous schools with a specific emphasis on school improvement, to increase student achievement. Her most recent secondary school received the Bette M Stevenson Recognition of Achievement for notable improvements in student achievement. Lisa co-authored an article in Dr. Ken Leithwood’s “Leading Student Achievement: Networks for Learning (LSA).” She also authored Nelson’s Careers 10 Teacher Resource Book and has published work in a number of professional journals. She has served as a guest lecturer at McArthur College, Queen’s University.
Lisa has participated in numerous Ontario Ministry of Education initiatives including Student Success/Learning to 18, K-12 School Effectiveness Framework, Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, Safe Schools, Ontario Leadership Strategy and the Minister’s Partnership Table, among others. Through her work on the Institution for Education Leadership Committee, she contributed to the development of the Ontario Leadership Framework and the Leadership Self Assessment Tool. She was a founding member of her district’s mentoring/coaching program, and of their leadership development team. Lisa has mentored aspiring and experienced leaders for many years, and has found this to be a truly rewarding contribution.
“Lisa Vincent and I worked together while at the Panamerican School of Porto Alegre, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with her as a professional…. It was clear that while Lisa had many years of experience as a teacher and a campus leader, she was humble, reflective, honest, and genuine to her own educational values.”
Peter Iverson, Science Teacher, The Pan American School of Porto Alegre, Brazil
Focus: School Leadership, International Schools, Mentoring, Coaching, and School Improvement
Stephen was a principal for 16 years in Ontario, Canada. He has 32 years of expertise in education as a teacher, learning support teacher and administrator.
He has lead several different schools through very difficult transitions, while maintaining a focus on student achievement. His exemplary work at the school-level, coupled with his board-level commitment to professional learning, resulted in provincial-level involvement as an educational consultant in professional learning with the Ontario Principals’ Council and International School Leadership for over the last decade.
With an academic and practical interest, Stephen values staff collaboration to improve capacity in the context of a Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Consequently, he was a major contributor to The Principal as Professional Learning Community Leader, in 2015 published an article in a Danish publication, Canadisk Paedagogik i Skolen and has lead a variety of workshops to educational leaders from around the world.
Stephen has found his interaction with international educational leaders to be rewarding, and although he has had an opportunity to share a variety of topics, he has learned from his international colleagues as well.