Principals are chosen for their management ability rather than leadership skills.

As current research data clearly indicate, budgetary constraints within the Israeli school system often lead to situations whereby school principals are chosen primarily on the basis of their management ability rather than for their leadership expertise. Principals who act as administrators, rather than as educational leaders, are busy putting out fires and, as a result, often cannot focus on realizing the educational mission of their schools nor on the individual needs of their students. These principals lack the tools to create an educational vision and they lose their power as role models for students and staff. As a consequence, their schools become poor educational environments.

Shlavim’s Professional Development Program was created to inspire school principals and provide them with the tools they need to become better leaders. Our program helps principals develop and implement a vision for their schools and fosters better communication and cooperation among principals, school counselors, teachers, parents and pupils. As a result of their participation, principals gain the competence to enhance the professionalism of the school’s entire educational staff.

Currently in its pilot stage, the program invites principals from ten schools to participate in monthly, high-level, full-day workshops that focus on building a common organizational language, teaching and reinforcing theoretical and practical management skills and developing leadership capabilities and interpersonal communication abilities. Principals also participate in peer learning workshops and visit schools around the country to gather ideas and observe the implementation of solutions in similar environments. An educational consultant visits each of the principals several times a year and provides them with personal guidance while monitoring their progress within the framework of the program.

Our work with principals is in line with our mission to raise the educational level of schools in the Haredi community, improve the educational environment within them, enable students to master basic skills and create the maximum number of opportunities for students studying in the Haredi sector.