Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Leader Excellence and Development System (LEADS)


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Resources for Educational Leaders

        What is the Leader Excellence and Development System?                                                                                  

The vision for the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is to lead the nation in student-focused learning.  In order to accomplish this vision, the ADE believes it must provide a quality leadership support system for all administrators. The support system provided by ADE is aligned to the Leader Excellence and Development System (LEADS), the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.

In addition to networking opportunities, administrators may experience professional learning through competency-based credentialing. The administrator may choose the area of growth he/she wants to focus on and participate in self-directed learning by completing a micro-credential. This encourages administrators to continually seek professional growth.

As defined in the Arkansas Every Student Succeeds Act, an Effective School Leader is an educational leader who through training and experience (more than 3 years as a school leader) exemplifies the state’s school leadership standards, as demonstrated by consistently high performance ratings within a state-approved evaluation and support system that includes multiple measures of student growth. For example, an effective leader promotes the success and well-being of every student by:

  • Engaging all stakeholders in shared leadership to accomplish the vision
  • Providing an example of ethical professional behavior
  • Maintaining an equitable and culturally responsible environment
  • Supporting a rigorous curricular system
  • Effectively communicating and collaborating with the community and external partners
  • Seeking continual professional growth.

To facilitate the support and professional development of Arkansas Educational Administrators, the Arkansas Leader Excellence and Development System (LEADS) is a reliable tool. Based on a foundation of vital leadership, both building-level and district-level administrators have flexibility to personalize continuous improvement for the benefit of all educators and students, as well as other contributors to the local school organization.

As initially implemented in Arkansas, LEADS for career education leaders is designed to mirror the processes of Teacher Excellence and Support System for teachers. As a state-wide system, school leaders have access to communication tools which broaden their personal learning network. In this evidence-based design, leaders have the capacity to become self-empowered and effective through documentation and reflection of leadership practices.

Building on feedback from educators, legislators and professional organizations across the state, LEADS is now more flexible in the support of educational leaders who are responsible for so many facets of school/district organization and management. The formative process in LEADS ensures a continual focus on addressing the unique needs of each school community. 

Arkansas’ online site for educator observation and performance data is BloomBoard’s observation tool, EdReflect. It has been used statewide since fall 2014.

EdReflect supports the growth of Arkansas Educators by providing a Calendar for collaboration and Observation; a schedule Tool for Meetings, Observations, Artifacts; an email notification system; chat features; a system to label evidence according to rubric components; a collection system for quick reference of evidence and ratings sustained each year; the ability to word process with text edit features; provided work status and reminders; Video observation system; and End of year Rating Calculators.

Arkansas schools make use of EdReflect Premium Features such as Insight reports to guide the work of administrators supporting classroom & specialty educators.

EdReflect is flexible and supportive of the requirements for each instructional implementation design in Arkansas schools.  Continued use of EdReflect provides a user-friendly, adjustable system for targeting and building on student-focused learning, the target the work of all Arkansas educators.

For more information, please contact:

Becky Gibson, Educator Support & Development Advisor
Arkansas Department of Education
Office of Educator Effectiveness
Four Capitol Mall, Room 401-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-683-3160
Fax: 501-682-5118

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