Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy®

Calling all districts and states! Get ready to provide your school and district leaders with job-embedded, sustained, and on-going professional learning focused on building the capacity of principals and directors to lead Pre-K-3 communities.

Academy Overview

The NAESP academy consists of a multifaceted and highly engaging blended learning experience specifically for principals and district leaders charged with leading early learning. This cohort-based professional learning opportunity is provided in state or district settings and is based on the publication Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K–3rd Grade). NAESP is proud to have received an ASAE Power of A Silver Award for the Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy®.

Program Description

The NAESP Pre-K−3 Leadership Academy is a 11-month, cohort-based, virtual program that is offered at the state or district level designed for principals, assistant principals, and district leaders of early learning to expand their knowledge and skills in best early learning childhood practices within an online setting that includes monthly group meetups, three on-site meetings, and one-on-one support. This professional learning opportunity is provided to states or districts that want to educate specific groups of school/district leaders on NAESP’s six early learning competencies outlined in the publication: Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K−3rd Grade).

A trained Pre-K-3 Leadership Advisor will guide learners through two levels of online coursework grounded in current early learning research and designed to build the capacity of each learner to lead early learning in their state and/or district. Each lesson is structured to provide resources and engage learners in professional learning communities through online discussions culminating in a capstone experience that is individualized, relevant to the participants’ professional growth, and promotes the success of the participant within their current school community. The program is easily adopted by states and districts in order to offer a micro-credential in Pre-K-3 leadership.

Program graduates earn a five-year certificate as an NAESP Early Learning Leader.

The NAESP Pre-K–3 Leadership Academy® has graduated cohorts in Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C. Please contact Honor Fede at for more information.

This training is recommended for previous participants of the NAESP Pre-K-3 Leadership Academy who have an expiring certificate. Your certification will be good for three years.

  • Three- hour training
  • Six competencies for Effective Principal Practice review
  • A Principals Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K-3rd Grade) provided

Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities

This groundbreaking work provides a structure and a set of competencies that can guide principals in creating and supporting connections between birth to age five and K-12 systems in order to build a successful Pre-K−3rd grade continuum in their schools. This guide will help school leaders identify important areas of focus, fine-tune developmentally appropriate leadership practices, and align Pre-K experiences with early elementary grades, thereby providing a coherent, related set of learning experiences for children during the first critical years of schooling.