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About the Program | Partners | Initiatives | History | Reports & Research

The Distributed Leadership Program at the Penn Center for Educational Leadership was conceived and developed by Dr. John DeFlaminis with the support of Dr. James Spillane and Dr. James O’Toole and initially funded by a $4.9 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Without the generous support of the Foundation and the vision of its Executive Director, Dr. Gail Levin, this program would not have been possible.

The Program is designed to operationalize distributed leadership through team building, leadership training, and school capacity building. School administrators work with teams of teachers and leadership coaches to design and implement instructional improvements that target specific student learning needs.

The DL Program consists of multiple components tailored to the needs of each educational context and including:

  • Training and professional development (view our Curriculum Modules)
  • Action plans (guided instructional improvement plans)
  • Professional leadership coaching (ongoing multi-year support in the form of highly qualified leadership coaches)
  • Team building (leadership teams work together to improve school leadership and school culture)
  • Site based interventions and professional development (leadership experts work with each school to help them achieve their individual goals)
  • Coalition membership (member schools become part of a growing network of distributed leadership schools)

Our Partners

our partners



Annenberg Distributed Leadership Initiative: Building Distributed Leadership in the Philadelphia School District
District: Philadelphia Public Schools
Funding: Grant
Program: 2006-2011
Cohort 1 (2006-2007, 4 schools)
Cohort 2 (2007-2008, 4 schools)
Cohort 3 (2008-2009, 8 schools)

Distributed Leadership Program: Archdiocese of Philadelphia
District: Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office of Catholic Education
Funding: Contract
Program: 2010-2014
Cohort 1 (2010-2011, 10 schools)
Cohort 2 (2011-2012, 9 schools)

Other Participating Schools/Districts
Districts: TBD
Funding: Multiple Contracts

The Coalition of Distributed Leadership Schools
The Coalition is designed to bring together Distributed Leadership teams from across schools and school districts, representative of the multiple project implementations of the Distributed Leadership Program. The Distributed Leadership Program provides services that help these schools and school-based teams to continue to grow and thrive and benefit from partnerships with each other, including continued professional learning.

Our History

In 2006 the Penn Center for Educational Leadership received a $4.9 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation to launch the Distributed Leadership Initiative, a four-year collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia to promote shared leadership through teams of teacher leaders and the principal to improve instructional practice in their school.

Reports & Research

view our Resources page