Principal's Development Course

Overview

Our Principal's Development Course (PDC) will engage candidates in critical inquiry. Through the co-construction of knowledge and learning, candidates will further explore

  • complex issues related to creating and sustaining vibrant school and system cultures 
  • enhancing student learning and well–being and
  • the ethical dimensions of leadership through the experiences of other candidates.

It employs a critical, pedagogical lens to explore various module topics and strengthen professional efficacy by

  • gaining in-depth knowledge
  • generating new knowledge for practice and
  • refining professional judgement.

This program consists of a selection of 25-hour modules on a variety of topics. All modules are offered in online delivery unless otherwise noted.

To receive the Additional Quallification (AQ) certification, candidates will need to complete a total of five modules of their choice, inclusive of one compulsory module. The intent is to ensure a flexible offering with new modules being added on a regular basis. The modules do not need to be completed in any specific order.

Module Information

Module 1 - Principal Legal Duties and Responsibilities

(compulsory module)

  • What are the principal's duties and liabilities in relation to the Child and Family Services Act?
  • What are the principal's legal duties and responsibilities?
  • What does it mean to be an “agent of the board?”
  • What does a principal need to know when investigating the misuse of social media?
  • What does a principal need to know when using social media?

Module 2 - Instructional Leadership for School Improvement

  • Co-leading the instructional program
  • Instructional leadership and school management
  • School culture and its impact on learning and teaching
  • Student-centred learning

Module 3 - Leading an Equitable and Inclusive School

  • Equity, inclusivity, social justice and schools
  • Mindsets and equitable schools
  • Positive school culture and leadership
  • Privilege, bias and culturally responsive and relevant leadership

Module 4 - Mentoring  and School Leadership

  • How can leaders create a culture of Mentoring?
  • To what extent can Mentoring skills enable leaders to successfully navigate hard conversations?
  • To what extent can Mentoring skills improve relationships and organizational culture?
  • What Mentoring attributes and/or skills do great leaders exhibit?

Module 5 - Building a Digital Leadership Portfolio

  • Creating a digital leadership portfolio
  • Creating a school and personal blog
  • Creating a school and personal website
  • Leading a collaborative inquiry

Module 7 - Courageous Conversations

  • Lead schools as diverse workplaces
  • Plan for and participate in courageous conversations

  • Use strategies such as an Outcome Map to engage in courageous conversations that build trusting relationships and include impressive empathy, listening for meaning and asking powerful questions

  • Continue to engage in courageous conversations which challenge traditional leadership practices and foster a school climate of inclusion, equity, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and anti-colonialism to support all staff and students

Module 8 - Leading the Kindergarten Program

  • Dealing with uncertainties in pedagogical documentation
  • Four frames of the kindergarten program
  • Play-based learning in a culture of inquiry
  • Principal as co-learner in creating the conditions for learning

Module 9 - Leading the Innovative School ** (updated with an emphasis on supporting distance learning) 

  • A shared vision of learning in a digital age
  • Creating a culture of learning
  • Innovative learning spaces
  • Monitoring virtual spaces
  • Rethinking digital citizenship
  • Supporting virtual instruction and assessment
  • Supporting virtual students and their families

Module 10 - Supporting Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex or Asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) in Your School

  • Exploring bias and student agency
  • Fostering allies
  • Fostering personal leadership resources
  • Intersectionality

Module 11 - Leading the Special Education Program

  • Building collaborative partnerships with parents
  • Building the staff capacity to meet the needs of all students
  • The complexities of Special Education student aggression
  • The law, Special Education and the Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Module 12 - Supporting Leadership in Mathematics

  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Effective instructional approaches in effective math classrooms
  • Foundational knowledge in mathematics
  • Implications for professional learning and school improvement planning

Module 13 - The Principal's Role in Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Schools

  • A tiered support model for school mental health and well-being
  • Creating mentally healthy schools
  • Establishing a common language and understanding
  • Everyday mental health practices

Module 14 - Leading the French Immersion School

  • Effective practices in French Immersion classrooms
  • French Immersion teacher retention and developing the French Immersion program
  • Inclusion in the French Immersion program
  • The evolution of French Immersion in Ontario

Module 15 - I Stand in Treaty

  • Pre-contact to the Indian Act
  • The Indian Act to Indian Residential Schools
  • The White Paper to the Apology
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Decolonization

Module 18 – Anti-Oppressive School Improvement

  • Critical Pedagogy, Anti-Oppression and Indigenous Education
  • Equity, Anti-Oppression and School Improvement – Application
  • Interrogating SIP Goals & School Learning Plan from an Anti-Oppressive Space
  • Positive School Culture and Leadership - Moving Forward

Qualified candidates can apply to Charles Sturt University (CSU) for inclusion of this AQ as a prior learning credit towards the Master of International Education (School Leadership) or Master of Education degree.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements follow Ontario Regulation 176/10 - Teachers' Qualifications, 34.

  • Ontario College of Teacher's (OCT) Certificate of Qualification and Registration
  • Principal's Qualifications (Part 1 and 2 or equivalent) and
  • Two years of successful experience as a principal or vice-principal, certified by your Supervisory officer (SO).

Course Fee

$250 per module. Includes a $50 non-refundable registration fee.

Micro-credential Badges

What is a micro-credential badge? 

  • official recognition for completing a defined set of competency-based learning opportunities 

  • specialized learning experiences designed to recognize learning obtained from a particular module and allows for the flexibility of taking one module or taking multiple modules towards the PDC AQ micro-credential certificate while promoting lifelong learning and skill development.

Upon successful completion of a PDC module, you will receive your micro-credential badge in a digital format. A blockchain digital micro-credential is a tamper-proof and verifiable credential which stores information such as the issuing institution, the date the module was completed and the learning objectives. Upon receiving your micro-credential badge, it can be added to your resume, social media, LinkedIn profile and easily shared with current or prospective employers. 

Earn a Micro-credential Module Badge.

 

Starting December 1, 2023, the OPC will be issuing micro-credential badges to all candidates who successfully complete a PDC module.

Subsidy

Full subsidies are available for all PDC modules. Please view our Special Education for School Leaders Project for more detailed information or to apply.

Pre-module Work

There is pre-work that will need to be completed in advance of the program start date. You will receive an email with access to our Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) within one week prior to the official course start date to complete 2 hours of pre-module work. It is important that you follow the instructions and access the LMS to review the pre-module learning expectations. Module 1 includes an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) section for completion and all other modules include program-specific tasks designed to help candidates reflect and prepare for productive conversations and participation.

Upcoming Sessions

All modules are offered online. Modules are asynchronous but each module can have up to 3 hours of synchronous sessions. Synchronous time will be determined at the start of each module. The dates listed below are the start and end dates of each module. 

Deadlines are firm.

2023-24 Schedule

Dates

Module

Deadline

February 26 - March 28, 2024 Module 15 - I Stand in Treaty  February 12, 2024
February 26 - March 28, 2024

Module 8 – Leading the Kindergarten Program

February 12, 2024
April 1 - May 3, 2024

Module 9 - Leading the Innovative School 

March 18, 2024
April 1 - May 3, 2024 Module 4 - Mentoring and School Leadership March 18, 2024
May 6 - June 7, 2024 Module 13 - The Principal's Role in Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Schools April 22, 2024
May 6 - June 7, 2024 Module 18 – Anti-Oppressive School Improvement April 22, 2024
June 10 - July 12, 2024 Module 1 - Principal Legal Duties and Responsibilities* May 27, 2024
June 10 - July 12, 2024

Module 2 - Instructional Leadership for School Improvement

May 27, 2024
July 2 - August 2, 2024 Module 14 - Leading the French Immersion School June 18, 2024
July 2 - August 2, 2024 Module 5 - Building a Digital Leadership Portfolio  June 18, 2024
2024-25 Schedule

Dates

Module

Deadline

September 30 - November 1, 2024 Module 1 - Principal Legal Duties and Responsibilities September 16, 2024
September 30 - November 1, 2024

Module 7 - Courageous Conversations

September 16, 2024
November 4 - December 6, 2024

Module 11 - Leading the Special Education Program

October 21, 2024
November 4 - December 6, 2024 Module 12 - Supporting Leadership in Mathematics October 21, 2024
January 27 - February 28, 2025 Module 13 - The Principal's Role in Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Schools January 13, 2025
January 27 - February 28, 2025 Module 3 - Leading an Equitable and Inclusive School January 13, 2025
March 3 - April 4, 2025 Module 15 - I Stand in Treaty  February 17, 2025
March 3 - April 4, 2025

Module 10 - Supporting Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex or Asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) in Your School

February 17, 2025
April 7 - May 9, 2025 Module 18 – Anti-Oppressive School Improvement March 24, 2025
April 7 - May 9, 2025 Module 9 - Leading the Innovative School  March 24, 2025
May 12 - June 13, 2025 Module 2 - Instructional Leadership for School Improvement April 28, 2025
May 12 - June 13, 2025 Module 5 - Building a Digital Leadership Portfolio  April 28, 2025
June 16 - July 18, 2025 Module 1 - Principal Legal Duties and Responsibilities* June 2, 2025
June 16 - July 18, 2025 Module 4 - Mentoring and School Leadership June 2, 2025

** Completion of module 1 is mandatory to receive the AQ certification.

Register

Current Board Partnerships

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) - 2023-24

It is a priority for us to develop, provide and support a variety of relevant, accessible and locally customized professional learning opportunities, based on diverse Member needs, feedback and job demands. For those looking to offer this program in your board, we can customize most of our programs and learning sessions to the unique characteristics of each district upon request. Email us to offer the PDC within your Board.

Conditional Acceptance

Under certain circumstances, you may conditionally be accepted to take any of our PDC modules. Please email PDC@principals.ca for additional information. 

Terms and Conditions

Academic Integrity and Engagement
All candidates participating in our Additional Qualification Programs must review and comply with our academic integrity and engagement guidelines.
Refund Policy

A full refund is available if you cancel up to two weeks before the start date, less a $50.00 non-refundable registration fee.

 

A $100.00 refund is available if you cancel one week before the start date.

 

There is no refund for cancellations after the start date.

 

A full refund applies when a session is cancelled due to low enrollment. 

Program Resource Access
All program content and LMS access will be available to candidates one week in advance of the program and will remain active until two weeks after the end of the program. Following this period, candidates will no longer have access to assignments, conversations, resources or other content related to the program. Please save any information that you would like to retain during the timeframe that you have access to the LMS. Limited extensions to program access will only be granted under special circumstances, as approved by the Registrar or Director of Professional Learning.
Information on the Ontario College of Teachers AQ Guidelines, Available AQs, Prerequisites and FAQs
For more information on the Ontario College of Teachers AQ Guidelines, Available AQs, Prerequisites and FAQs