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PIL Blended Course Offering Descriptions

What are PDE/PA Inspired Leadership (PIL) Program Blended Learning Courses?

To expand the opportunities for professional development within the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Program, a series of blended courses aligned to the Pennsylvania Framework for Leadership is being offered. Each blended course is 8 weeks in length, comprised of a combination of online discussions, study hours, job‐embedded actives, a one‐day face‐to‐face meeting, and one or two online synchronous meetings*.

Facilitators for these courses are practitioners with extensive school administration experience and have completed training in effectively utilizing technology tools to maximize instruction in an online environment. Successful completion of all online and face‐to‐face requirements for a blended course will provide participants 30 Act 45 PIL hours.


All face to face/synchronous sessions will be held in a virtual format.

The PDE PIL Blended Courses Available in 2020-21 are:

Effective Communication

30 PIL HoursEffective communication is the foundational underpinning of successful relationships. This course focuses on communication among all stakeholders where the principal/school leader models the process with open, timely, responsible sharing of information. Equipped with communication plans, ways to provide information in various formats, and appropriate media to ensure effective, timely communication, principals/school leaders will reflect on current practices and enhance existing communication plans. Strategic design and implementation of formal and informal communication create an awareness of school goals for instruction and achievement, identify activities that can be used to meet these goals, and how progress toward these goals can be measured. Templates for typical correspondence such as meeting minutes, agendas, handbooks, and media types are explored or created throughout this module.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session).

Setting High Expectations for High Performing Schools

30 PIL HoursThis course focuses on establishing and implementing high expectations for students and staff as they relate to and connect with performance goals and student achievement. School leaders will explore how to maximize instructional and preparation time as well as ways to establish, support, and manage processes and systems designed to ensure a high quality, high performing staff. School leaders will explore the importance of supervising staff using results that will improve performance and focus on selecting and retaining high quality staff committed to improving student achievement.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Team Building and Collaboration

30 PIL HoursIn this course, school leaders will consider how to support educational excellence by creating a culture of teaching and learning that emphasizes collaboration, communication, engagement, and the empowerment of school board members, teachers, students, families, and community members. Within the context of a shared mission, vision, and goals, school leaders will explore and evaluate the social, economic, political, and educational factors that influence the range of possible improvement scenarios for their schools. School leaders will also discuss the development and implementation of a comprehensive safe schools plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response, and recovery. In addition, school leaders will explore how to review, analyze, and adjust school safety and discipline plans based on school data, crisis feedback, and current regulations and mandates.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session):

Transforming Organizations

30 PIL HoursWhen transforming organizations, school leaders must develop a clear vision and collaborative culture. In order to successfully transform organizations, a change in mindset must occur. Transformative change is persistent, purposeful, and intentional. Communication of the intent for transformation, as seen in revised visions, norms, values, expectations and goals, is essential to enable transformative change. Successful transformative leaders recognize individual and collective contributions and utilize failure as an opportunity to improve school culture and student performance. When navigating systemic transformation, school leaders need to seamlessly integrate digital technologies that support all aspects of the process.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session):

Professional Leadership

30 PIL HoursThis coursework focuses on the importance of leading in a fair and equitable manner with personal and professional integrity, including resolution of school based problems/conflicts in a fair and democratic way. Participants will explore the importance of professional development for school leaders and their staff (instructional and non-instructional).

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Leading Strategically

30 PIL HoursThis course focuses on systematically guiding staff through the change process while positively impacting the culture and performance of the school. School leaders will learn how to apply data to promote continuous school improvement and staff development. Participants will focus on developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating school improvement plans and initiatives that provide the structure for the vision, goals, and changes necessary for improved student achievement. Coursework includes evaluating improvement plans, implementing initiatives, monitoring progress toward achieving school improvement goals, and revising those goals and outcomes based on data.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Instructional Leadership

30 PIL HoursThis course focuses on strategies for implementing high quality instruction within a Standards Aligned System. The course highlights the importance of aligning curricula, instruction, and assessments with respect to curriculum planning and instruction. School leaders will explore opportunities for collaborative use of assessments and data to measure effectiveness and to drive future decisions and practices. School leaders will explore using the four Framework for Teaching domains to implement and maintain high quality instruction.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Comprehensive Mental Health for School Leaders

30 PIL HoursComprehensive Mental Health for School Leaders is designed to help school leaders understand the core components of comprehensive school mental health as they engage in a planning process around implementation of services. The course focuses on a comprehensive school mental health curriculum and several core features of effective school mental health initiative.

Participants will examine a range of supports and services that promote positive school climate, social emotional learning, mental health, and well-being, while reducing the prevalence and severity of mental illness. This course examines ways to build or improve a foundation of district and school professionals, including administrators and educators, specialized instructional support personnel in strategic partnership with students, families, and community health and mental health partners. Participants will focus on ways to assess and address the social and environmental factors that impact health and mental health.

This course is 10 weeks in length with one virtual face-to-face session.

Data Courses

Foundations: Data to Action

30 PIL HoursFoundations: Data to Action is the first in a rigorous three-course series designed to equip school leaders with the knowledge, skills, and practices they need to create and sustain an effective data culture in their schools. This course will explore the various types of data, the benefits of using data, and the basic structures and processes that must be in place for administrators to be successful in promoting and sustaining a data-driven school culture.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

School Level: Data to Action

30 PIL HoursThis course is the second in a rigorous three-course series on data, available to school leaders who have successfully completed the first course: "Foundations: Data to Action."

"School Level: Data to Action" extends the knowledge and skills school leaders developed in the first course, with a focus on how to apply data practices specifically to school level work and decisions. Course activities are designed to prepare educators to implement effective and efficient practices in the use of data, including: the implementation of a school-wide assessment calendar; scheduling and aligning data meetings for a variety of purposes; analyzing data to determine root cause; and developing and monitoring action plans. This course will prepare participants to use data to address a variety of decisions, including, but not limited to, student learning/academics.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Classroom Level: Data to Action

30 PIL HoursThis course is the third in a three-part series on data, available to school leaders who have successfully completed both "Foundations: Data to Action" and "School Level: Data to Action."

School leaders will explore two prongs of data use at the classroom level: how classroom teachers can use data effectively to enhance outcomes for all students; and how school leaders can support, guide, and monitor teachers' use of data in their daily planning and decision-making. This course examines the use of demographic, perceptual, process, and student learning data at the classroom level to address classroom learning, climate, and culture. This course includes a practical guide for implementing data meetings that address individual students, going deeper to establish a personalized learning focus.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Early Childhood (EC) Courses

Prenatal through Grade 3 (P3) Systems Leadership

30 PIL HoursThis course is focused on effective P–3 (prenatal–grade 3) planning and implementation, which is designed to help all children succeed. This coursework focuses on communication and effective strategies among all stakeholders in a P–3 system where the 0–5 and K–3 administrators lead in modeling the process. School leaders will delve deeply into issues relevant to leading P–3 initiative in collaboration with other programs and school leaders.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session):

Effective Learning Environments in P-3 Settings

30 PIL HoursEffective Learning Environments in P–3 Settings focuses on preparing administrators to support early childhood educators create the best outcomes for all learners. Administrators will learn to recognize appropriate and effective instruction, how to navigate accountability requirements, how to support staff in using developmentally appropriate practices, and how to use P-3 alignment to improve student outcomes.

Young children learn best when educators take their developmental needs into account. Children who are offered appropriate support at this critical stage in their development continue to benefit into adulthood and throughout their lives.

This course will explore the needs of young children, the kinds of support teachers need to offer to maximize their growth and development, and the ways in which administrators should be prepared to offer support.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Student Career Readiness: Foundations for School Leaders

30 PIL HoursThis course is designed to help school and district leaders understand and implement strategies in their school systems related to career development and career preparation for their students. Specifically, this course will help leaders K-12 school and district leaders better understand the implications of workforce trends for education, learn how to implement the Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards and meet the Future Ready PA Index Career Readiness Indicators, strengthen employer and community partnerships to support career education, increase communication and collaboration with career and technical education administrators, and examine strategies and best practices in career connected learning.

Offerings (each offering is 8 weeks long with one face-to-face session)

Equitable Education for All Students: Why Leadership Matters

45 PIL HoursThis course is designed to enhance educator effectiveness in improving academic achievement and promoting equitable schools and districts. Using a framework with an emphasis on prevention, response, and recovery, course activities will prepare school leaders to plan, implement, and sustain a culture of equity in their school environments. Modeling effective practices, conducting needs assessments, composing plans for stakeholder buy-in and support, creating a shared identity, communicating effectively, exploring the roles of academic and disciplinary equity, and applying data to improve and sustain equitable practices are among the topics that school leaders will examine during the course experience. Important: In this course, participants will use existing or new School Climate survey data.

Course length: 12 weeks w/2 face to face meeting days & provides 45 Act 45 PIL hours


  • In this course, participants will use existing or new School Climate survey data.
  • The timeframe for this course is 12 weeks with two days of required face-to-face meeting.