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Case Study: Developing Professional Capacity

Case Study: Developing Professional Capacity

Case Study: Developing Professional Capacity

Part I: Case Analysis


Currently I am the principal of a K – 8 school and am entering my third year. Our student population is extremely diverse and consists of over 1,400 students and over 100 certified and classified staff members. In my second year, we received a grant to make some adjustments to the current teacher observation and evaluation system. Together with my staff we developed an evaluation tool that provided teachers feedback on their instruction and professionalism. In the follow school year, it was taken notice that the scores of the teachers were dropping. This was identified though data collection indicating decreased academic achievement due to lack of instructional methods, monitoring, and adjusting lessons and decreased student engagement.

Now, as principal, I am faced with the grave task of supporting and implementation positive instructional change, increase teacher training and support, and connecting that to student achievement.

Issue in Need of Resolution

The current issue that needs to be addressed is how to increase teacher evaluation scores most effectively by providing and implementing purposeful and useful professional development. As a leader, I need to be able to know what my staff requires and how to provide them with the tools necessary to improve academic achievement. The whole overall goal is to promote success for students through the practices and effectiveness of the teachers.


 Stakeholders involved in this case study include the leadership team, teachers, and students as they will be the ones most directly impacted by any changes that will be made. The methods implemented will overall improve instruction and engagement to help increase academic achievement through maximizing teacher and staff capacity.

Existing Laws/Rulings

 After looking for some time for cases concerning legal rulings that are directly related to developing professional capacity, I turned up with nothing. I was able to find information on different grants and funding to assist with improving the evaluation system and promoting teacher success that is available to schools. I also found several articles detailing effective evaluation practices and professional development that leaders can implement in their academic programs.

District Policies

 In our district, we pride ourselves on providing effective and purposeful professional development for our staff to provide the most effective experience for our students. “The Syracuse City School District believes that educators have an immense power to positively impact the life outcomes of their students. We also believe that educators will be most successful if they are supported in their work. We look forward to continuing to support all educators in their professional learning” (SCSD Handbook, 2020). This district uses an online platform to organize and complete its training as well as allows for teachers to provide feedback for effectiveness and next steps

Possible Solutions 

Solutions to this issue would include a review our School Improvement Plan, Vision, and Mission to ensure that our measurement tool is in line. First for this case, may include taking a deeper look at our current observation/evaluation protocols and tools and determine what is working, what is not working. This will allow us to identify areas in which we need to improve. Additionally, this will ensure whether our current process is appropriate for our population of both teachers and students. Upon diagnosing the areas that aren’t working, I would develop a plan for improvement through professional development. Another possible solution is to make this an exclusive process. This would involve sharing results individually with teachers to allow for them to use them for areas they feel they need support to enable professional growth. Upon reviewing results with my staff, I would develop a schedule to check and make sure that they were in fact using the proposed strategies to gain improvement.

Chosen Solution/Action Steps

The priority of a chosen solution for developing professional capacity would be to determine the areas of need are shown from the teacher measure and research staff development. I would choose the solution that involved evaluating our current system and assess how that is working and how it is not. Upon completion, we would then develop a plan to address those needs through professional development. I then would take the necessary steps to organize the professional development and get that up and running right away. Teachers would be required to implement what was provided in the workshop. Data would be collected on the outcomes. This process would begin immediately. During this process, I would begin with an evaluation tool examination and how we could make improvements. I would continue providing observations and feedback. I would then need to research, put into place staff development to address the week areas shown from our observation measure. This process would occur over time but done in a timely fashion that will produce results. The good part of professional development is that it can be implemented immediately, it is the evaluation process that needs to occur overtime and consistently.

Moral/Legal Consequences

 This is not necessarily a case that involves any legal consequences unless a teacher is removed from a position based upon their evaluation. The teacher could in fact pursue legal action and fight that the current system in place is inadequate. This would be a worst-case scenario. If as leaders we provide sufficient and effective training with an evaluation system that is accurate and fair, the threat of legal action is minimal. Morally, as a leader, it is our duty to provide our staff with sufficient training and preparation to be most effective. Under ELCC 2.3, it states that “candidates understand and can develop and supervise the instructional and leadership capacity of school staff” (NPBEA, Standard 2). As leaders, we are morally bound under this code to uphold and follow the guidelines set forth.

Part II: Rationale

 As an effective educational leader, I will develop the professional capacity and practice of my staff to promote each student’s academic success and well-being (Baldanza, 2016). With the solution I have chosen, I feel that I can most effectively do this. The most important part of being a leader is being able to take what you currently have in place and assess whether it is working or not. We must be able to identify areas of need and set forth goals to make improvements and promote academic achievement.

While it is difficult to come to a perfect solution without knowing all of the details, I believe that situations like this call for self-evaluation and reflection before looking at the outside factors that need to be changed and/or developed. I also believe that the leadership team is just as much responsible for the drop in scores as the teachers are as the administrators are the leaders of the school that oversee overall performance so it is up to them to have a firsthand role in helping to lead the staff to improvement for the benefit of their students’ performance. This is an ongoing and comprehensive process that takes time and consideration. This process effects not only the well-being of the teachers but the academic achievement of the students as well. As a leader, we must be able to orchestrate a process that provides maximal opportunity for growth and development for all.


Baldanza, Marcia. (2016). Developing the Professional Capacity of School Personnel. Journal of Professional Practices for the 21st Century Leader. Volume I Issue VII. Retrieved from

newsletters/professionalpractices/developing-the-professional-capacity-of-school- personnel/

National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA). Educational Leadership Program Recognition Standards: Building Level. November 2011. Retrieved from

Syracuse City School District. District Policy Handbook. 2020. Retrieved from


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Teachers are often very comfortable with giving specific and measurable feedback to their students. However, when the audience shifts to adults, some new school leaders are often nervous about providing specific and measurable feedback.

Case Study: Developing Professional Capacity

Case Study: Developing Professional Capacity

Read the “Developing Professional Capacity” case study to inform the assignment.

Developing professional capacity is a complex process. It requires data collection and analysis, while keeping in mind student achievement as the desired end result. Using your classroom teacher perspective and knowledge of administration leadership, consider the conversations you will have through the evaluation cycle.

Part 1: Case Analysis

In 250-500 words, respond to the case study by addressing the following:

  1. Brief summary of the case
  2. Issues to be resolved
  3. Stakeholders involved in the issues
  4. One or two existing laws or court rulings that relate to the issues
  5. District policies that relate to the issues
  6. Possible solutions to the issues
  7. Solutions chosen to resolve the issues
  8. Action steps (2-5) for implementing each solution, including a timeline for each step
  9. Potential moral and legal consequences of each solution

Part 2: Rationale

Support the case analysis with a 250-500 word rationale explaining the solutions you chose and how each solution:

  • Uses data to design plans for developing the instructional capacity of faculty.
  • Makes decisions that promote a culture of collaboration, trust, learning, and high expectations.
  • Evaluates potential moral and legal consequences to make difficult decisions with integrity and fairness.
  • Strives to build and sustain positive relationships between school representatives, students, families, and community partners, when their needs conflict.

Cite the case as well as 2-3 scholarly resources.

If possible, share your case analysis with your principal mentor and make revisions based on his or her feedback before submitting with Part 1.

While APA style format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and any source documents should be referenced using APA documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric . Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite Technical Support Articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

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