A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K – 3rd Grade)

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) co-authored a new guidebook, Leading Learning Communities: A Principal’s Guide to Early Learning and the Early Grades (Pre-K – 3rd Grade), with the National P – 3 Center at the University of Colorado Denver. The guidebook offers strategies that elementary school principals can use to deepen their knowledge, improve developmentally appropriate leadership practices, and build successful Pre-K – 3rd grade continuums to foster equitable learning environments. It also features stories of effective practices implemented in elementary schools across the country, reflective self-assessments for principals, and additional resources for further learning.

The transformational strategies support six interdependent competencies defined in the guidebook to help leaders navigate aligning Pre-K – 3rd grade education and provide high-quality learning opportunities so all young children can thrive.

  • Competency 1: Understand Child Development and Its Implications for High-Quality Instruction and Interactions, Pre-K – 3rd Grade
  • Competency 2: Develop and Foster Partnerships with Families and Communities
  • Competency 3: Embrace and Enact a Pre-K – 3rd Grade Vision
  • Competency 4: Ensure Equitable Opportunities
  • Competency 5: Share Leadership and Build Professional Capacity
  • Competency 6: Promote a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Stakeholders in the early care and education field — researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates — may use the guidebook to identify ways to engage and work in partnership with principals.