The SCOPE class of 18 stands together outside

Statewide Communities of Practice for Excellence

  • Partner

What We Do

The University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development (EHD) in cooperation with leading Virginia school divisions through the UVA K-12 Advisory Council (K12AC) offers a two-year leadership development program comprised of rotating cohorts of high potential, early career school administrators. 

This program is limited to school divisions who are current members of the UVA K12AC. The purpose of the program is to develop and support a cadre of exemplary leaders (current principals, assistant principals, and central office instructional leaders) through the establishment of a statewide community of educational leaders.  Content information about SCOPE appears on page two of this document. 

All SCOPE participants are nominated by their school division each spring. Contact [email protected] for additional information.

SCOPE Program


The fee per person per year is $1050 (credit card payments only.) This cost includes 6 workshops, instructional materials, the welcome dinner, capstone support, and lunch for all in-person sessions.

Nominating Process

Historically, each school division has had a minimum of 2 nominees accepted to SCOPE. More are accepted as space permits. 


Facilitated sessions with invited instructors addressing five, major domains of leadership 
Capstone Projects

Small group professional learning focused on self-selected problems of practice that are supported with capstone coaches and specifically developed resource guides  

Blended model of in-person and virtual sessions based on public health guidelines with six sessions plus a welcoming dinner in Year 1 and five sessions in Year 2 

Members of the SCOPE 19 Class stand together under a tree
Members of the SCOPE 19 class gathered in Charlottesville in the fall of 2023 to kick off their two-year program.

SCOPE 19 Information


SCOPE 18 Information


SCOPE Topical Areas of Focus

The SCOPE curriculum is organized around five major domains of Leadership with guiding questions for each.

Forging Shared Purposes

What are our core beliefs and values?  What aspirations do we have for our school community?  What commitments are we willing to make? How do we align our collective commitments for actions (i.e., vision as means, not end)?  How do we consider diversity among core beliefs and values while still moving the organization forward?

Nurturing Culture

How do we define and assess a healthy culture for students, teachers, and families?  What tools are available to access culture? How do we cultivate a safe and caring environment that meets the needs of the students, their families, and our teachers and staff?  What is our role in nurturing culture?  

Cultivating People 

How do we further grow human capacity in our schools when we recognize adults’ ways of knowing and personalities differ vastly?  How do we foster ongoing adult learning? How do we establish and sustain a professional culture of engagement and commitment? How do we ensure that teachers thrive and are supported socially and emotionally in a challenging environment? How do we ensure that as leaders we also thrive intellectually and emotionally to better serve teachers and students?

Designing Organizations 

How do we structure the organization’s systems to realize our aspirations and meet the needs of people?  How do we improve our organization we align school structures, policies, and standard practices with our shared purposes?

Leading Learning 

What are we aspiring to have students learn?  How will we know if it occurs?  What strategies might we use to address any gaps?  How do we cultivate a culture of intentional and purposeful learning for students & adults. 

Man in a blue shirt and tie stands at a whiteboard, facing two women who are seated at a table

Why SCOPE is an Opportunity for Emerging Leaders in Education

The University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development (EDH), in cooperation with all Virginia school district members of the UVA K-12 Advisory Council, offers a two-year leadership development program comprised of cohorts of high potential school administrators. The purpose of the program is to develop and support a cadre of exemplary leaders (current principals, assistant principals, and central office instructional specialists) through the establishment of a statewide community of practice.

Exterior of Bavaro Hall near the Courtyard, student walking through the brick arches

Our Curriculum

The curriculum for Statewide Communities of Practice for Excellence (SCOPE) was collaboratively developed by school superintendents and senior educational leaders working closely with faculty at the University. It focuses on leadership topics developed and taught by senior educational leaders and EDH faculty around two major themes—Leading People and Leading Learning. Sessions offer new ways of thinking about selected themes, opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers from a variety of school systems across the state, and time to reflect on the implications of the ideas for individual practice and school improvement.

Two students walk down a pathway beside a large gingko tree in full yellow fall color

What Sets Us Apart

Started in 2005, SCOPE strives to provide school-based leaders with experiences designed to sustain and enhance their long-term effectiveness and to promote local school district succession planning. SCOPE provides opportunities to gain professional insight within diverse settings and to equip identified practicing leaders with a knowledge base and skill set to support their success as school leaders. Sessions are hosted in various school venues across the state giving participants opportunities to appreciate a wide-range of educational settings. The program is organized into workshops and topical group projects. The workshops are a sequenced set of eleven, one-day sessions over two academic years addressing five major domains of leadership. The topical group projects, or capstone projects, are self-selected based on problems of practice that participants would like to investigate more deeply. These capstone groups are supported with resource guides and coaches with expertise in the identified area. Program content is aligned with the State of Virginia’s Uniform Performance Standards and to the PSEL standards.

Blue Ridge mountains

Program Reach

The program has been recognized by the Wallace Foundation as meeting criteria for high quality professional development for school leaders and has been admitted to the national Wallace Foundation Programs of Promising Practice Network. Including the participants in replication projects that we have provided in Southside and Southwest Virginia, approximately over 750 school leaders have been served since 2005.

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