Academic leadership cohort

About the cohort

The purpose of academic leadership is to clarify, implement, prioritize, and protect the school’s model of education. For classical schools, in particular, this model is the most important distinctive of the school, which means that being attentive to it is crucial to the very mission of the school. The person most responsible for academic leadership, therefore, plays a necessary role that cannot be overlooked in any school that desires to be healthy. However, academic leadership can be difficult to implement, given that many schools do not have an official position named “Academic Dean” or “Director of Instruction.”  And even when a school does have such a position, the tendency in administrative work is to let priorities be dictated by the most pressing problems and not by a sustained vision for academic health.  

The good news is that there is a process by which academic leadership can function productively, being a source of strength to the admin team and a source of encouragement to the faculty and families. This cohort will walk you through that process and support you in fulfilling the purpose of academic leadership at your school.

Meeting Dates and Time:  Beginning on September 12th, the Academic Leadership Cohort will meet every fourth Monday at 7:30pm Eastern time.

Meet Your Cohort Leader​

Andrew Smith serves as Academic Dean at Veritas School, in Richmond, VA. Before joining the senior administrative team at Veritas, in 2017, Andrew was Director of Upper School at The Geneva School, in Orlando, FL from 2014-2017 and before that was Head of Upper School at Westminster Academy, in Memphis, TN. Along with his 19 years of teaching and administrative work in three different classical schools, Andrew has provided training and consulting for numerous additional schools. He has been a national fellow of the Alcuin Fellowship since 2010 and currently serves as Director of the Mid-Atlantic chapter. He and his wife, Keri, have four children.
Andrew Smith
Academic Dean, Veritas School

Cohort Syllabus

Anchor Documents for Creating and Maintaining Alignment

  • One: Portrait of a Graduate, Portrait of a Faculty Member, Portrait of a Student
  • Two: Professional Development and Curricular Alignment
  • Three: Faculty and Parent Alignment; Principles of Partnership

Understanding the Model of Education and How to Implement It

  • Four: Common Vocabulary and Goals
  • Five: Curricular Practices
  • Co-curriculars, Extra Curriculars, Electives, and Class Trips
  • Academic Support, Sequencing, Tracking, and Giftedness
  • Hard Decisions—Hiring/Firing, Admitting/Expelling
  • Parent Education
  • School Profile and Transcript


Academic Leadership Cohort

$ 2,499
  • SCL Member Schools receive 10% discount
  • Monthly Payment Options Available

Joining a cohort

In order to keep group sizes small, and maximize effectiveness, groups are limited in size (typically 10-12) and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are asked to commit to the work and engagement involved.
Due to the limited size, some individuals will be waitlisted until there are enough applicants to form a new group. Also, a minimum of six participants are needed for each group to make.


Please reach out to Sarah Spencer at