Professional Development

Transformational learning on strategic topics for school district leaders

Our Perspective

School district leaders must be great educators and great managers

The most effective school and district leaders break out of departmentally constrained thinking and work effectively together to address system-wide issues and deliver progress.

DMGroup professional development empowers school and district leaders to manage effectively and innovatively with research-based best practices, lessons learned from real-district experiences, actionable strategies for implementation, and new approaches for communicating change with diverse stakeholders. We draw from our research and experience partnering with hundreds of districts to deliver unique professional development that strengthens your school district team’s leadership and management capacity and educational best practices knowledge.

Key Features

Professional development that delivers collaborative, transformational learning

  • On-site, in-district workshops designed to meet your district’s needs and goals.
  • Instructors with deep topic expertise and a systems-thinking perspective.
  • Programs designed specifically for cross-functional, collaborative team learning.
  • Interactive, hands-on simulation activities and group exercises to enhance learning.
  • Deep-dive guided discussions using the Harvard Business School case learning method.

Professional Development Programs

Uniquely designed to build leadership capacity and accelerate growth

Improving Supports for Students Who Struggle


1 Day

up to 20

Strengthening Special Education Supports and Services

Improving special education is challenging, but a best practices approach can yield dramatic gains in achievement and inclusion while expanding services for students with and without IEPs – and can do so within tight budgets. Learn a best practices approach that can help achieve scalable, sustainable, lasting change for students, families, and staff.


1 Day

up to 20

Improving and Expanding Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Supports

Over the past ten years, the number of students needing social, emotional, and behavioral support has exploded. Learn what school and district leaders need to know to provide a comprehensive, best practice response to meet the growing need for social, emotional, and behavioral supports for students.


1 Day

up to 20

RTI and MTSS: Best Practices for Successful Implementation

Drawing on lessons learned from gap-closing districts, we’ll share best practice strategies for successfully implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) approaches to support struggling students and the systems districts should have in place to ensure equity of academic opportunity for all students.

Building Better School Schedules


1 Day

up to 20

Building Elementary Schedules that Support Equity and Achievement

Learn a comprehensive, best practice-based approach to building better elementary schedules that achieve teaching and learning best practices, unlock essential opportunities to raise achievement, expand services, and improve equity without lengthening the school day or hiring additional staff­.


1 Day

up to 20

Scheduling Strategically at the Secondary Level to Support Equity and Excellence

Learn a comprehensive, best practice-based approach for building secondary schedules that provide greater and more equitable access to higher rigor courses, more extra help opportunities, and cost-eff­ective off­ering of 21st-century electives while staffing based on course enrollment and managing to existing class-size targets.

Using Limited Resources Strategically


1 Day

up to 20

Building Budgets Strategically to Support District Priorities

Learn and practice a strategic, systemic approach to budgeting through an exciting simulation that brings clarity to what it means to be strategic in allocating limited resources: negotiating funding tradeoff­s; saying yes to some things and no to others.


1 Day

up to 20

Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI): An Introduction

Districts often have many programs and initiatives that have accumulated over the years, but little useful data on what is really working. This workshop introduces the Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) framework for evaluating academic programs and allocating resources accordingly and explains how employing an A-ROI approach can lead to better decisions, better budgets, and better student outcomes.

Multi-Workshop Series

3 Days

up to 8

Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI) Institute

Come together with a group of school districts for deep-dive training on the Academic Return on Investment approach and process. The A-ROI Training Institute involves three days of in-person training with a group of districts, along with ongoing virtual support, access to A-ROI tools and resources, and individualized district coaching from DMGroup. By the end of the program, you’ll have learned our ten-step A-ROI process, applied this process to a real problem in your district, and leave with your own completed A-ROI analysis.

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Empowering School and District Leaders

Leadership Retreat

2 Days

up to 30

Leadership Academy: Strengthening Leadership Capacity and Coherence

This two-day, intensive program brings together a school or district leadership team to build collective leadership capacity, cross-functional skills, and strategic insights. In this highly interactive session, participants will gain new perspectives to drive meaningful change and innovation that serves district priorities.


1 Day

up to 20

Leveraging Small-Scale Wins to Build Performance with the Breakthrough Approach

Learn how to use e­ffective rapid-cycle techniques known as the Breakthrough Approach to achieve specific performance improvements with limited resources. Participants will learn how to break down big strategic goals into achievable and targeted performance objectives and how to activate and motivate teams to pursue and achieve important improvements.

Custom Professional Development Programs

Custom Workshops

Customized Professional Development Programs

DMGroup can work with you to build a customized professional development session or program for your school or district leadership team.


Custom Coaching to Support School and District Goals

DMGroup can provide customized coaching to share advice and guidance that address your team’s specific needs and build school and district capacity and coherence.


Cabinet and/or Board Retreat Facilitation

DMGroup can partner with you to develop and facilitate your school district’s next leadership retreat or school board retreat. We’ll help foster a collaborative, open environment; guide discussion toward actionable takeaways; and support your team in achieving goals and bringing about transformational impact.

Who It’s For

Professional development exclusively for school and district leaders

DMGroup professional development is uniquely designed to accelerate growth for public school and district leaders who aspire to deliver systemic, transformational impact. Recommended participants include:

  • Superintendents
  • Assistant and Deputy Superintendents
  • Chief Academic Officers and Curriculum Leaders
  • Chief Financial Officers and Business Leaders
  • Special Education and Special Populations Leaders
  • Technology Leaders
  • Principals and Assistant Principals
  • School Board Members

In this business, you have to be a lifelong learner. Things change, and you have to change, and you have to learn. I think it's probably some of the best staff development or professional development that I'm involved with.

J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent Gwinnett County Public Schools (GA)

I can see the thinking in my leadership where they gained insights through their work with DMGroup, and it impacts the way that they allocate resources, the way they clarify roles, the way they always focus on the instructional core, and the management resources around the instructional core.

Howard J. Thiery, III, Superintendent Regional School District 17 (CT)