Pathways to Excellence Leadership Training

Providing Pathways to Excellence for School Leaders & Teachers

In 2016, we launched our most ambitious professional development initiative to date: The Pathways to Excellence program, in partnership with Concordia University Chicago and Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy. Pathways to Excellence is a three-year leadership training and skills-building program for school principals and teachers to drive academic excellence enhanced by Christian values.


For School Leaders

Leading a high-quality educational institution that promotes academic excellence requires extensive administrative, managerial, and academic skills. In today’s educational environment, school leaders must anticipate the challenges of tomorrow as entrepreneurs, combining a strategic mindset with highly developed relationship skills. While many of CLEF’s school leaders have an extensive background in education, the Pathways program builds their skills and provides support to leverage the resources needed to run schools at their highest level.

Through the Pathways to Excellence Principal Program, school leaders receive intensive training in leadership development, business management, and social-emotional intelligence. Participants create actionable business plans to drive school improvement and increase enrollment, classroom training is brought to bear on real-world issues almost immediately.

  • Year One focused on the development of school strategic improvement plan and leadership development goals.
  • Year Two introduced school leaders coupled with in-depth work on marketing and enrollment and implementation of strategic plans.
  • Year Three continued to focus on the implementation of strategic improvement plans as well as introduced more intensive and customized content and support for individual schools.

Throughout the program, participating school leaders receive one-to-one coaching to support the implementation of their school’s strategic improvement plans, and achievement of personal leadership goals.


For Teachers

CLEF is partnering with Concordia University Chicago to deliver the Pathways to Excellence Teacher Development program exclusively to pre-K-8 teachers employed in CLEF schools. The partnership is designed to distinguish our Christian schools as hubs of innovative literacy curriculum and faith-based practices. The goal of the program is to equip teachers to provide their students with academically challenging, individualized, caring, and faith-based learning experiences. Through communities of practice, teachers work with other educators in the CLEF community to realize the potential of each student and promote academic excellence. The program includes the following key components:

Innovative Teacher Institute:

  • > Weekly in-class coaching sessions
  • > Bimonthly professional development sessions
  • > Objectives to meet the academic, emotional and spiritual needs of all children
  • > Focuses on modeling, feedback, and co-planning
  • > Offers collaboration with all CLEF schools
  • > Provides funding for teacher stipends and substitute coverage

Collaboratively Articulated Plan of Study (CAPS)

  • > Outlines grade level goals and expectations
  • > Establishes continuity between grade levels
  • > Systematizes the spiraling of important content and skills
  • > Provides common language and reference points for teachers and administrators
  • > Promotes innovative literacy and faith-based practices

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