Leading Learning Communities: A Principals Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade) encourages elementary principals to deepen their own knowledge and skills related to Pre-K–3rd grade, and to provide specific guidance for principals to become more effective leaders on behalf of young children. NAESP first published Leading Early Childhood Learning Communities in 2005. In the 15 years since then, a national Pre-K–3rd grade movement has emerged and continues to grow. This updated guide, written in 2020, extends NAESP’s long-standing commitment to supporting early learning and the early grades, and puts new stakes in the ground as both research and practice have become more sophisticated in their recognition of the importance of the Pre-K–3rd grade span.
The guide supports practicing elementary school principals who have direct connections to, and opportunity to influence, the learning opportunities provided to children, Pre-K–3rd grade and is organized around six competencies:
Effective leadership of Pre-K–3rd grade requires substantive expertise about child development and instructional practices that support young learners. This guide highlights explicit ways in which being an effective Pre-K–3rd grade principal goes beyond traditional roles for elementary principals.