APEX program for school leadership

APEX is a series of short courses designed for developing leaders of classical education. Primarily built for Great Hearts faculty and administrators, the program provides targeted, in-service topics pertaining to school culture, instructional and operational excellence, and management philosophies. Rooted in centuries of classical wisdom and decades of practical experience, APEX is a program designed to give you the skills you need to lead a virtue-centered learning community.

Why APEX?

  • Philosophy
    APEX integrates management principles with a virtue-focused, Aristotelian-inspired curriculum. With a range of readings, online seminars, mentorship, and unique case-studies, aspiring leaders will get the chance to draw from ancient and modern wisdom in order to lead a flourishing school community.
  • Resources
    Throughout the program, APEX gives a leader access to downloadable artifacts that can be adapted for use in a variety of school contexts. In addition, APEX assignments are created to simulate on-the-job tasks, allowing participants to build a portfolio of references to use now or in the future.
  • Collaboration
    APEX creates a forum for leaders to interact, creating the building blocks of a network that be referenced for guidance and insight – both during and after program participation.
  • Flexibility
    Most courses are four weeks in length, and participants can take stand-alone courses or progress through a systematic scope and sequence. Courses are meant to deliver timely content while being flexible enough to accommodate the busy schedules of teachers and administrators. Each course will have asynchronous content available through an online learning management system as well as several synchronous online discussions.

Who is APEX for?

  • Teachers who aspire to become school leaders.
  • Current leaders or administrators who want to advance their careers.

Course Catalog

Below are descriptions of APEX courses available during the coming year. Each course provides 12-16 hours of activity over a four-week period (1.5 CEUs). Summer courses are compressed into two weeks each. Purchasing books may be required. 

Building Healthy Parent Communities: September 12 – October 9, 2022

Registration Deadline: September 5, 2022 | Orientation Meeting: September 9 (Zoom)

This course will take participants through an exploration of several dyads crucial to a healthy parent community on a school campus: parent to parent; teacher to parent; and leader to parent. In each case, the school leader can use both group and individual dynamics to sustain a healthy community. The course will also include material on conflict resolution and on public speaking. This course contains synchronous elements. Please be prepared to attend one group meeting a week. 

Hiring for Mission Fit: October 17 – November 13, 2022

Registration Deadline: October 10, 2022 | Orientation Meeting: October 7 (Zoom)

This course will highlight one of the critical building blocks of a virtuous faculty culture – hiring for mission fit. In a school with a focus on virtue ethics, the teachers serve as models to the students, as a type of character friend who will always carry the best interests and moral growth of the students firmly in their hearts. Beginning with a section on identifying “first who,” the course will then explore several components in the process of hiring for mission fit, including recruiting, screening, interviewing, and onboarding. This course contains synchronous elements. Please be prepared to attend one group meeting a week.

This course requires a campus mentor who is a part of the campus hiring team.

Operationalizing Vision in a School – Available Spring 2023

In the classical school, all elements of school life reflect the leader’s vision, including scheduling, recruitment, enrollment, budgeting, and facility management. This course takes current and prospective school leaders through a one-year cycle of operationalizing vision, including delegating strategically. This course contains synchronous elements. Please be prepared to attend one group meeting a week. 

Case Studies in Leadership: Opening a New School – Available Spring 2023

This course takes participants through specific “on the ground” challenges encountered by real headmasters in their own journeys to start a school. This course also provides distinct opportunities to reflect on the meaning of education in varying communities. This course contains synchronous elements. Please be prepared to attend one group meeting a week. 

Building a Strong Faculty Culture – Summer 2023

A recommended entry point into the APEX program, this course uses the classical virtues as a paradigm for developing a healthy faculty. The objective of this course is to develop your understanding of the components of a healthy faculty culture so that you can bring that understanding to bear on the practical, day-to-day decision-making processes of a school teacher. This course contains synchronous elements.

Building a Strong Student Culture – Summer 2023

Another recommended entry point into the APEX program, this course uses the classical virtues as a paradigm for cultivating a healthy student body in partnership with teachers. The objective of this course is to develop your ability to integrate a consideration of virtue, and an orientation toward virtue, into the practical, day-to-day decision-making processes of a school teacher. This course contains synchronous elements. 

Guiding Instructional Excellence – Available Fall 2023

This course uses the Great Hearts Teacher Excellence Playbook as well as other tools to reflect on defining quality teaching in a classical school. In addition, participants will review frameworks for classroom observation and feedback, professional development workshops, and supporting a system of academic interventions.

Personal Leadership – Available Fall 2023

This course focuses on leading from the heart and flourishing amidst the slings and arrows of life as a school leader by aligning classical virtues with modern management practices.

For more information, please contact Great Hearts Professional Development at pd@greatheartsamerica.org.