Rainy River District School Board

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Leadership FAQs

Questions about leadership:

“Why Would I Want to Become an Administrator?”  Leadership as a school leader allows one . . .

  • A chance to have a greater impact on student achievement and well-being;
  • To interact with students in a different way from the classroom;
  • Opportunities to work with a supportive team of educators to create a diverse school community, playing a significant role by positively influencing parents and community partners;           
  • The opportunity to increase knowledge of educational system, learning how education works from a different perspective, outside the classroom, at a whole school and a system level;
  • An opportunity to work with staff as an instructional leader to determine best practices for the classroom as the lead learner;
  • To enhance one’s knowledge and skills through many professional development opportunities afforded to school leaders.  

“What are the important steps/skills for aspiring leaders?”

    Some important steps or experiences to develop leadership skills include the following:

  • Show leadership in your classroom (e.g., assessment and instructional practices) and through involvement in system initiatives;
  • Develop student, parent, and community relationships through extra-curricular and committee opportunities;
  • Seek opportunities for different leadership roles within your school (e.g., department head, lead teacher, system and school committee involvement, principal designate/teacher-in-charge) and/or in the system (Board positions such as Curriculum Coordinators or Coaches).

Some important skills for leadership include:

  • Emotional intelligence, the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups
  • Communication skills
  • Key attributes such as authenticity and integrity
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Instructional leadership

If you are aspiring to become a leader and to take on more responsibilities, start with answering the following questions:

  • How self-confident are you?
  • How skillful are you in building lasting relationships?
  • How effective are you leading teams?
  • How persuasive are you influencing others?
  • What motivates you to be a leader?  What is your purpose of leadership?

"What qualities make a good leader?"

Rainy River District School Board Leaders:

  • Are future-focused individuals who model, encourage, and support the learning of others;
  • Are innovative instructors and their work reflects “best practices”;
  • Act with integrity and focus decisions on the diverse educational needs of the students;
  • Make collaborative decisions that are consistent with the mission, vision, and goals of the Rainy River District School Board;
  • Recognize the critical role of School Councils;
  • Recognize that there are many leaders in our communities and involve them in key decisions;
  • Foster ongoing partnerships which support the Board mission and school direction.

 

Questions about the application process:

“What is the application process?”

Please visit the Rainy River District School Board webpage, under Employment, for leadership opportunities.

"Do I need a portfolio?  What should it contain?" 

A professional portfolio is a valuable resource for aspiring leaders.  A well-organized portfolio can help aspiring leaders effectively express their beliefs and experiences during the interview process as well as document their ongoing professional growth.  Suggested contents of a leadership portfolio include the following:

  • Letter of introduction
  • The most recent copy of your Ontario College of Teachers certificate
  • Any certificates that you have been awarded
  • Examples of leadership experience both in and outside of the classroom
    Letters of commendation
  • Results from any relevant assessments or inventories (Emotional Intelligence, etc.)
  • Personal philosophy of leadership
  • 5 year goal plan

“What opportunities exist for informal leadership?”

  • Teacher-in-Charge/Principal Designate
  • Department Head or Coordinator, System Coordinators or Coaches
  • extra-curricular activities
  • school and Board committees
  • school council representative
  • Board initiatives and Professional Learning Communities

“What qualifications do I need to enroll in Principal Qualifications Program?”

One must:

  • Be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers
  • Possess a teaching certificate with an acceptable postsecondary degree
  • Have qualifications in three divisions (one of which must be Intermediate)
  • Have five years of successful classroom teaching experience in elementary or secondary education

And one of:

  • two specialists, or one specialist and a half master’s degree, or
  • a master’s degree that required completion of at least 30 graduate postsecondary credits or their equivalent, or a doctorate, or
  • at least 30 graduate postsecondary credits or their equivalent

"If successful in applying to the principal/vice principal pool, what is the placement process (e.g., close to home, elementary vs. secondary)?"

Selections of candidates will be based on organization need, diversity and equity initiatives, degree of leadership readiness, demonstrated successes in management, educational and professional accomplishments, performance, adaptability, values, experience, knowledge/competency, relocation willingness, interpersonal skills, business acumen and other professional attributes with emphasis on the competencies, both instructional and personal, identified in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Leadership Framework.  The Senior Administrative Team works to ensure that school leaders are well-matched with the school and the leadership assignment, the school community, and with the other leader(s) within the school to ensure that the work to improve student achievement and well-being is continued.

"Is there a trial period for an administrative position?  Do I have to leave the union?"

In the ETFO collective agreement, there are provisions for teachers assuming the role of a principal/vice principal for up to two years.  These provisions do not exist within the OSSTF collective agreement.

How does one be placed in the pool?  
All applicants submit a complete package by the timeline indicated, and all applications are reviewed as per the 3.06Principal and Vice Principal appointment procedure.

Is there a time limit someone is in the pool?   
Yes, there is a limit of three years, but there is an option to extend the time frame by mutual agreement with the pool candidate and the Director of Education.
 

Questions about the role of principal or vice principal:

“What additional responsibilities come with the position?”

  • instructional leadership on a larger scale - working with all teachers in your school for student achievement through the School Improvement Plan;
  • supporting and supervising staff to improve student achievement, within the context of collective agreements;
  • working to ensure a safe teaching and learning environment;
  • building relationships with students, staff, parents/guardians, community partners and the broader community;
  • creating the environment to support student success, through timetabling, hiring, budget allocation, etc.

“What is an acting VP?”

“Acting Position” means a temporary, interim or probationary assignment to the position of principal or vice-principal of an individual.

"How do school leaders work with Community leaders?  First Nation Education Counselors? "

School leaders work with various community partners, to help support school improvement efforts, develop programs and processes to support students, to celebrate school events, etc.  Principals and vice principals work with First Nation Education Counselors to

  • Provide information regarding First Nations students attending the school in regards to academics, attendance and Special Educational needs;
  • Request staffing for students with Special Needs;
  • Work with First Nation Education Counselors to support the improvement of student achievement and well-being through the School Improvement Plan.

"When do you join OPC?"

Membership is available to practicing principals and vice-principals of Ontario’s publicly funded education system.  Others may join the OPC as Associate Members if they do not qualify for membership. Associate status is available to aspiring, retired former Members, non-practicing or out-of-province principals and vice-principals, academic and business supervisory officers, or other education stakeholders.

"What is the transfer process?"

When effecting the transfer of a principal or vice principal, the factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Breadth of experience in administering regular and special education programs;
  • Range of grades supervised;
  • Experience with specific administrative supervisory tasks;
  • School-community relations;
  • Years of experience as a principal and/or vice principal;
  • Number of years as principal and/or vice principal at present school;
  • Academic and professional qualifications.

"What kind of job security will I have in this role?"

The Principal/Vice Principal Terms and Conditions outline the process when there is surplus/redundancy within school administration. 

"What is the pay scale?" 

Benefits for vice-principals and principals are those contained in the ETFO collective agreement.

Salaries are based on school enrolment and experience.  Current salary ranges are:

Qualified Vice-principal                 $103,391 to $109,792

Qualified Principal                            $110,052 to $125,484