What began as a two-day “New to LEAD” training session for 70 staff members continued over the last two weeks for all staff at the fourth “LEAD University,” a comprehensive professional development workshop for all LEAD Public Schools' staff, hosted this year at Cameron College Prep.

The professional development training centered on climate, culture and aligning curriculum, instructional practice and assessments across grade-levels with an emphasis on literacy.

“ ‘LEAD U’ is an essential opportunity for our staff members to come together over the summer, revisit why we are educators in the first place, and reinvest in one another, our network and, most of all, our students,” CEO Chris Reynolds said. “The excitement, engagement and positivity at LEAD University are all contagious. Collectively, we have built some powerful momentum and team spirit that will carry over for not only the rest of LEAD U but also to the first day of school and throughout the year.”

Sessions began with energetic, daily roll calls that set the tone for each day. Teachers spent Week 1 in sessions related to climate and culture across the network and refocusing educational efforts on the LEAD mission: to support, educate, and train the next generation of responsible citizens. Classes and workshops gave staff members opportunities to model the LEAD Ethos:

  • LEAD because I am Disciplined
  • LEAD because I am Self-Reliant
  • LEAD because I am Courageous
  • LEAD because I am Committed
  • LEAD because I Serve Others

During LEAD U's first week, Neely's Bend Middle School leaders and staff members joined LEAD Public Schools for two days as an ongoing example of the continued partnership between the middle school and Neely's Bend College Prep.

Additionally, teachers collaborated over last week working with the network’s Academic Team and school leadership to enhance instructional delivery with a focus on making lessons relevant and relatable for all students, said Jay Brown, LEAD’s Chief Academic Officer.

“It’s important for our teachers to be prepared not just on day one, but also the first week and the first month,” Brown said. “We support our teachers, not just in practice and pedagogy, but as they work daily and consistently to bring the best out of our students. Excellence doesn’t just happen. It is a habit built on repetition, reflection and practice. This has been a great two weeks at LEAD U and there is still much more work to do.”

LEAD U occurs annually each summer for all staff members during two weeks in July. By design, it takes place just prior to each new school year. To view previous live updates and photos from LEAD U, please visit and like our Facebook page (LEAD Public Schools) or follow us on Twitter here.

LEAD Public Schools open for the 2015-2016 school year on Aug. 5. 



LEAD Public Schools, the state’s first charter management organization, opened its doors as LEAD Academy seven years ago as a 5th and 6th grade program. LEAD Public Schools now operates five schools: LEAD Academy, LEAD Prep Southeast, Brick Church College Prep, Cameron College Prep and Neely’s Bend College Prep. LEAD Public Schools exist to support, train and educate the next generation of responsible citizens. To learn more about LEAD or to obtain an application for students in grades 5-12, visit www.leadpublicschools.org. Please follow us on Twitter via @LEADPubSchools or on Facebook via this link.