Darden Curry PLE

UVA School Turnaround Curriculum

Through coursework, case studies, interactive discussions, workshops and implementation of action plans, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program is delivered at UVA's Darden School of Business and in participating school districts over the course of two years. 

The University of Virginia School Turnaround Program's constantly evolving curriculum is developed primarily by leading educators in business and school turnaround from the Darden School of Business, which consistently ranks as #1 or #2 in the world in executive education (according to Fortune and Forbes); the Curry School of Education, which consistently ranks as one of the top 20 graduate schools of education in the country; and from other leading organizations in school turnaround such as Uncommon Schools and Public Impact.


UVA School Turnaround Program Focus

Unlike typical instruction for education leaders, the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program does not prescribe a rigid set of actions. Instead, the program focuses on practices and processes that will help build the internal capacity necessary to not only initiate change, but to sustain success. Our curriculum focuses on:

  • Understanding the fundamentals of successful turnarounds and organizational change initiatives
  • Redesigning organizations to remove barriers that impede focus
  • Redefining relationships to co-create success between system and school leaders
  • Understanding root cause needs and developing focused action plans based on those needs
  • Developing and communicating a vision that includes the need for urgent change
  • Establishing a culture of high expectations 
  • Building effective coalitions and implementing results-focused collaboration
  • Using data to drive decisions and to identify the need for mid-course corrections
  • Teaching administrators to think like leaders, not simply managers 




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