School leadership is isolating, especially now when districts are searching for answers to close achievement gaps and address individual student and community needs. Cognia Leadership Circle, an exclusive peer community, harnesses the shared wisdom of leaders to help superintendents and their executive team members develop solutions to tough problems.

Cognia, the global nonprofit dedicated to helping education institutions grow learners, educators, and leaders—announced today that Leading Ed Solutions, an innovative model of professional support for superintendents and top district leaders has joined Cognia. Cognia has established Cognia Leadership Circle, a new leadership community that enables superintendents and other district leaders to collaborate, network, and solve problems with job-alike peers.

Cognia Leadership Circle is a professional community of peers across superintendencies and key leadership posts who provide just-in-time support matched to specific challenges they face every day. Superintendents and other leaders participate in “Solution Circles” where they post challenges and surround each other with honest, expert feedback, collectively developing pragmatic solutions. As part of the approach, leaders meet in regularly scheduled Leader Chats with new guests every week, view relevant video content, and participate in think tanks in which leaders across the country meet as a larger group to address common problems.

Cognia Leadership Circle will host in-person events enabling district leaders to convene at Cognia’s headquarters in a facility designed for just this purpose—to provide classrooms and safe spaces for leaders to discuss relevant topics, participate in small group gatherings, and network.

‘Typical support systems put leaders in rows where they have to listen to someone talk at them,” according to Dr. Jeff Rose, the former Fulton County (GA) superintendent and founder of Leading ED Solutions. “Our work focuses on strategically circling up leaders with expert colleagues, so they don’t have to lead alone,” said Rose, who is now the vice president of leadership development for Cognia.

“This is a time when superintendents and other district leaders across key functions recognize that the old strategies won’t work,” said Cognia President and CEO Dr. Mark A. Elgart. “Nobody has all the right answers, but with the right structures, leaders can share the wisdom of the field and find powerful solutions. Cognia Leadership Circle fosters a new approach to leadership development in which leaders develop other leaders,” Elgart said.

To encourage growth and to serve the field, Cognia officials say that they will make this service available to Cognia member- and non-member districts at a cost that districts can afford.

Cognia Leadership Circle currently serves approximately 150 leaders from a number of states. Most participants are superintendents and their academic and operational executive team members, those who lack district peers with similar responsibilities. Most of the Leadership Circle is comprised of leaders in the same leadership roles who are matched with leaders from similarly sized districts across the country and, in some cases, from within states that operate in similar policy contexts but do not regularly work together.

Cognia plans to create some crossover groups involving leaders from charter schools and independent schools who are isolated and want to connect with counterparts, both locally and beyond their backyards.

Cognia expects to launch new Leadership Circles in the first few months of the school year. District leaders seeking more information should contact Cognia Vice President of Leadership Development, Dr. Jeff Rose at (888) 413-3669 x9366 or via email, at LeadershipCircle@Cognia.org.

About Cognia

Cognia is a global, nonprofit improvement organization dedicated to helping institutions and other education providers grow learners, educators, and leaders. Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, and professional services within a framework of continuous improvement. Serving 36,000 public and private institutions from early learning through high school in more than 85 countries, Cognia brings a global perspective to advancing teaching and learning. Find out more at cognia.org.