9 Great Nonprofits to Support School Leaders

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As shared in my previous posts 7 Great NonProfits Changing the Face of Professional Learning and 16 Great NonProfits Working to Support EdTech in Schools, prior to my role as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, I spent 14 years in a public school in Pennsylvania as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle school and elementary principal, and district level technology director. During my time as a public school employee, I’d occasionally hear about educational organizations that were working to support schools in some capacity. When I got connected on social media, my lens was expanded and I became aware additional organizations, as well as their supporting tools and resources. Upon moving to my role in Washington, DC, and working at the national level, I was quickly in awe at the sheer number of organizations that were working to support schools, as well as the many dynamic resources that they offered free for schools, many of which I had no idea were available when I needed them most.This is the third post in a short series meant to highlight the great work of many nonprofit organizations that are working diligently to support students’ learning on a daily basis. Many of the organizations, which are listed alphabetically, have free tools, research, case studies, and resources that can seamlessly be utilized and implemented at the district and school levels. All of these organizations are shifting the needle and working diligently to support school leaders nationwide.


1. The School Superintendents Association (AASA)    Connect: www.aasa.org, @AASAHQFounded in 1865, AASA is the professional organization, comprised of over 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA members range from chief executive officers, superintendents and senior level school administrators to cabinet members, professors and aspiring school system leaders. AASA members advance the goals of public education and champion children’s causes in their districts and nationwide. As school leaders, AASA supports their members in setting the pace for academic achievement as they work to shape policy, oversee implementation, and represent school districts throughout the nation and worldwide.2. The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) & Future Ready Schools® (FRS)     Connect: www.all4ed.org, @all4ed |  www.futureready.org, @FutureReadyThe Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. The Alliance focuses on America’s six million most at-risk secondary school students—those in the lowest achievement quartile—who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future. Future Ready Schools®, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, supports school leadership teams in implementing high quality personalized student learning, based on the Future Ready Framework. Future Ready Schools® has expanded to included Future Ready Librarians, and will be further expanding in the near future. The Alliance also has run Digital Learning Day for the past five years. 3. ASCD    Connect: www.ascd.org, @ASCDFounded in 1943, ASCD is a global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. The association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. Comprised of over 125,000 superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from over 125 countries, ASCD also has 52 affiliate organizations.4. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)     Connect: www.ccsso.org, @CCSSOThe Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public. CCSSO also creates and shares a variety of tools and resources for school leaders.5. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University College of Education     Connect: www.fi.ncsu.edu, @FridayInstituteAlthough, not technically a non-profit, the Friday Institute is part of the NC State University College of Education. Their mission is to advance education through innovation in teaching, learning, and leadership. Bringing together educational professionals, researchers, policy-makers, and other community members, the Friday Institute is a center for fostering collaborations to improve education. FI conducts research, develops educational resources, provides high quality professional learning programs for educators including leadership massive open online courses (MOOCs), advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policy-making at a regional and national level.6. Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)    Connect: http://iel.org, @IELconnectsThe Institute for Educational Leadership, founded in 1964, works to equip leaders to rise above institutional barriers and to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship. With a vision of society using all of its resources to effectively to provide an equal opportunity for all children and youth to learn, develop, and become contributing citizens of our democracy, IEL, works to serve as a catalyst to helps policymakers, school leaders, and practitioners bridge silos and undo gridlock to improve outcomes for all young people and their families.7. National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)    Connect: www.naesp.org, @NAESPFounded in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), is a professional organization serving elementary and middle school principals and other education leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and worldwide. NAESP advocates for the support principals need to be successful 21st century leaders; so that they can achieve the highest results for children, families, and communities.8. National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)     Connect: www.nassp.org, @NASSPFounded in 1916, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), is a professional organization serving secondary school principals and other education leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and worldwide. NASSP advocates for the support principals need as well as policies and practices to support their leadership in today’s public schools.9. State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)     Connect: www.setda.org, @SETDASETDA, a nonprofit organization, was launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations. SETDA’s mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. From Connectivity and e-Rate to Open Education Resources, SETDA provides a variety of papers, tools, and resources to support state and district leaders in their digital transition.
I encourage school leaders to check out the work of these dynamic nonprofit organizations, share them with those who could benefit, and leverage the free tools and resources they provide to support high quality teaching and learning. Our kids need and deserve high octane, authentic learning opportunities and these organizations are working to support educators at all levels in making it possible.All for the kids we serve,