Strong principal pipelines can help districts build a large corps of high-quality school leaders, professionals effective at improving classroom instruction. But once a school district has built a pipeline, how does it keep it going? This guide, compiled by a research organization with deep expertise in principal pipelines, can help with that task. 

The guide describes six elements that are key to pipeline sustainability. For each one, it poses questions for district teams to discuss as they assess how well their district is supporting the element. It also describes sources of evidence the teams can turn to as they seek to answer the questions. The elements are:

  • Financial planning,
  • Partnerships,
  • Stakeholder involvement,
  • District policies and procedures,
  • Continuous improvement and evaluation, and
  • Communications.

A template in the guide can assist districts in pinpointing elements to strengthen and planning for the work necessary. Another tool—also available online in a user-friendly format—can help districts account for funding sources to support one-time and ongoing pipeline costs and to assess their pipeline’s vulnerability to financial trouble.

The guide is the latest in a set of tools Policy Studies Associates has been developing to aid districts engaged in pipeline efforts. The Principal Pipeline Self-Study Guide for Districts maps out the key features of effective pipelines and offers guidance to districts that want to improve them. Strong Pipelines, Strong Principals identifies federal funding sources to support specific efforts to strengthen a pipeline. ​