• High Performance Leadership

    The Darden-Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education empowers leaders in education to operate school systems effectively and efficiently. 


    A joint venture between the Darden School of Business and Curry School of Education, the University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education (UVA-PLE) combines the most innovative thinking in business and education to better serve our nation’s children.

    Our world-class organization emboldens education leaders to cultivate systematic change – in turn, transforming school communities and yielding remarkable student achievement. The ultimate effect? A more equitable, inclusive and just school system.



    UVA-PLE's Core Partnership: A multi-year commitment empowering leaders to ignite system and school change. We leverage research-based practices to strengthen leadership capacity at every level – collaborating with the superintendents, school principals and teachers who work tirelessly to improve student outcomes.


  • How We Work

    United by purpose and a plan, the UVA-PLE and district teams pave the way for students to succeed.

    1. Engage — Two months

      Together, we identify your district's strongest needs and highest-leverage opportunities.

      • 1 core assessment to understand your system conditions
      •  Multiple engagements to craft the vision and scope of work
    2. Design — Five to ten months

      We architect long- and short-term strategies to address district-specific challenges, outline sustainable change and prepare a learning lab of partner schools.

      •  4 days of system design courses through Darden School of Business Executive Education
      •  Multiple days of embedded, research-based leadership interviews to identify change-ready principals, district leaders and additional personnel
      • At least 1 on-site support visit to help structure your strategy and optional custom support to schools to accelerate their leadership advancement
      • Continuous on- and off-site collaboration to shape a strategy contextualized to your ambitions
    3. Activate — Year one

      School and district leaders immerse in a rigorous campaign to ignite school performance, leadership commitments and collective purpose.

      •  1 week of summer executive education for your selected leadership to advance their change leadership and address root issues
      • 3 days of winter executive education for leaders to iterate and adapt change efforts
      • At least 4 on-site support visits tailored to your focus areas and leaders' needs
      • 1 Principal Supervisor Summit to accelerate coaching opportunities and support schools
      • Year-round off-site support for strategic consultation and year two planning
    4. Adapt — Year two

      Leaders integrate the success of year one and adapt their approach toward new areas of sustainable improvement.

      • 3 days of summer executive education to synthesize the prior year's outcomes
      • 3 days of winter executive education to innovate on district successes and spread organizational learning
      • At least 3 on-site support visits to drive continuous improvement
      • 1 Principal Supervisor Summit to continue generating a community of senior leaders
      • Year-round off-site support to consolidate your learning and deepen its impact
    5. Extend — Year three (and beyond)

      Continuous improvement takes many shapes. 80% of our partners choose to extend their UVA-PLE partnership with sustainability, cabinet and/or new cohort support.

    What Sets the UVA-PLE Core Partnership Apart?

    Responsive Approach

    Our adaptive methods increase district and school capacity to identify context-based priorities and customize community-based solutions. This ensures our partnership works for each individual district and school.

    Change that Stems from the Roots

    Major improvements demands committed organizational leadership and honest reflection on system-level challenges. Our guidance enables partners to create and strengthen systems that address their foundational needs..

    Lessons in Essential Capabilities

    We challenge educators to transcend, asking the tough questions necessary to better leverage the talents of other and boost students in complex environments. Instilling self-sufficiency is key.

    Embedded Support

    To help leaders stay the course, our team delivers tailored support all year round.

  • UVA-PLE Has Reignited Leadership and Transformed Education Systems In Over:

    400 schools
    80 districts
    20 states
    50 per cent gains