engage - collaborate - reflect - strengthen

Urban School Leaders Fellowship (USLF)


In collaboration with the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and the Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford public school districts, the Center developed the USLF in 2008 as a response to identified needs to develop the next generation of urban principals.


The curriculum framework drew on the state’s common core of leading, with special attention to two domains: system thinking, and teaching and learning. The sessions were structured around essential questions such as:

  • What does high-quality teaching and learning look like?
  • What are high-leverage strategies for reducing the achievement gap?
  • What core beliefs inform my personal leadership?
  • What is my leadership style?


The three goals of the USLF program were that graduates

  1. Develop a better understanding of how schools and districts function, the principal’s role and their own leadership potential, as well as improve their ability as effective school leaders
    1. improve understanding
    2. improve practice
  2. Complete a leadership project that develops their leadership capacity, addresses a student achievement issue in their school, positivity influences instruction and reduces the school’s achievement gap
  3. Within three to five years, at least 60 percent will become principals