Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy

The Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy (RIILA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created in 2005 to serve as the professional development arm of the Rhode Island Association of School Principals.

The Academy's mission is to develop and support Rhode Island school leaders in building strong school learning communities that foster high achievement for all students. The Academy's vision is to provide collaborative professional development experiences for Rhode Island school leaders to enhance student achievement and close achievement gaps within and between schools. 

RIILA successfully began full implementation of its 2019 Principal Mentoring/Coaching plan with the following objectives, which together constitute a multi-prong approach to  supporting new/early career and veteran RI principals that provides complete fidelity to the  RIASP/RIILA Principal Mentoring/Coaching Program Underpinnings and Framework 2019 and  the RI Standards for Educational Leaders (RISELs). These objectives are:  

Develop a principal coaching support system for new/early career principals, which  includes training coaches, providing a continuous improvement network for coaches,  and providing one-on-one coaching for new/early career principals. 

Establish a new and aspiring principal network. This network will support an ongoing  community of practice for new and aspiring principals deeply committed to investigating  the role of the principal as the instructional leader. 

The Purpose of RIASP’s Principal Mentoring/Coaching Program is to provide a framework for  beginning principals and early career principals to accelerate their development as educational  leaders with a focus on student equity and positively impacting student learning, well being and  achievement. Program objectives include:  

1. Provide beginning and early career principals with mentoring/coaching support and professional development opportunities across the RI Educational Leadership Standards  2018 to help them grow as instructional leaders focused on equity, high standards and  success for all students.  

2. Provide beginning and early career principals with non-threatening, meaningful and  relevant mentoring/coaching support to help them develop their leadership skills and  dispositions in managing people, data, and process in ways that promote school  improvement and safe and caring schools.  

3. Provide beginning principals with mentoring/coaching support to help them  understand performance expectations and develop a deep understanding of the Rhode Island Standards for Educational Leaders 2018 and principal performance  competencies described in the Rhode Island Principal Evaluation System. Program  Outcomes: RIILA’s program outcomes are based on identifying priorities and goal setting for the year, creating an action plan/ strategy map to bring about the desired  instructional change and progress. 


Principal Coaching

In addition to the summer coaching training provided this summer by the CT Center for School Change and funded by the RI Foundation, RIILA will provide up  to six additional days of training with the CT Center for School Change throughout this school year for principal coaches. Ongoing training of coaches is critical to  both the continuous improvement of our coaches’ practice and the increased effectiveness of  their coachee’s leadership practice. In addition, RIILA provided six coaching scholarships to new principals leading in urban districts/schools. As well as provide additional coaching support to  coaches through the school year. We have 16 highly trained coaches and have matched 14 of them. 50% of the participants are leading in urban schools; Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Providence. 

Principal Network for New and Aspiring Principals - NEW - Begins January 2021.

We have recently expanded our coaching and networking opportunities to aspiring principals. These two programs are operating as separate communities of practice. While principal coaching provides one on one support to early career principals, the New and  Aspiring Principals Network supports an ongoing community of practice for new and aspiring  principals deeply committed to investigating and enacting high impact instructional leadership  strategies. Educators interested in growing into a future administrative role will participate in  virtual coaching and real-world practice. Participants will apply the leadership skills that matter  most, as they lead a team of teachers in a real school and grapple with the unpredictable  challenges leaders encounter every day. They will share challenges and reflect with peers in the  program, forging a support network that will last through their careers. RIILA will work with the CT Center for School Change to lead the network. There is no certification attached, but there are PLUS for participating. We will give a certificate of hours to each participant. There is no cost. The program is grant funded. The sessions are open to any educator in a principal prep program, or is considering it down the road. There are three 90 minute sessions with a 30 min Q&A after that. 

Principal Instructional Learning Network for All Administrators -  with Eric Sheninger

In order to promote excellence and support continuous professional growth, RIILA designed and supports an ongoing principal community of practice for all school administrators deeply committed to investigating high-impact instructional leadership practices. The purpose of this network is the following: Provide an opportunity for deep learning and reflection in acquiring and practicing the competencies of an effective instructional leader (shaping school culture, creating a focus on continuous improvement, supporting professional growth of self and faculty, and improving instruction). Create a network solely for principals to exchange ideas and collaboratively share and solve problems of principal practice in a confidential and safe setting.  Acquire strategies and tools to use in their schools

© 2015 Rhode Island Association of School Principals

Rhode Island Association of School Principals is a 501(c) 6 Non-Profit Organization



401-272-9811 ext. 2 

Robert E. Littlefield, Executive Director 

Sherry Arlia-Puhacz, Adm. Asst. 

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