Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Highly Effective School Leadership Certification Program

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Educator Effectiveness & Licensure
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Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals

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The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators announces the application for the Highly Effective School Leadership (HESL) Certification Program.  We are excited to continue offering the First Year Principal support program in partnership with AAEA.  Adjustments to the 2020 Pilot Program have been made to provide a two-year program to support principals in their early years in the role.

HESL is designed to equip and prepare building level principals to lead their school through a school improvement process.  It provides support for principals during their first years.  Upon completion of the two-year program, participants will receive Highly Effective School Leadership certification and will the option of obtaining building level Highly Effective School Accreditation (HESA).

Applicants must be serving as building principals in 2021-2022 and have completed the Beginning Administrator Induction Program (Yr 1).  Applicants who meet these criteria and are beginning their first year as a building principal will have first priority.

For additional information, requirements and timeline, review the attachment "HESLCP Overview 2021-2023."

Applications (attached) may be emailed to or faxed to 501-372-2807.  For an applicant to be considered for participation, the superintendent must complete the recommendation section of the application and sign the statement of support.  Deadline to apply is May 28, 2021.


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