Train to be a School Site Administrator with Green Dot's AIR program.

Great schools require great leaders.

Nowhere is this more true than in the traditionally underserved, low-income, urban communities in which Green Dot operates. The Administrators-in-Residence (AIR) Initiative seeks to increase the number of highly effective school leaders who are successfully turning around the country’s most persistently low-performing schools.

AIR Program Overview

Administrators-in-Residence (AIR) is a fully-accredited leadership development program that amplifies rigorous learning in the classroom through collaborative school-based residencies and comprehensive professional mentoring. The AIR program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to award a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential to successful program graduates.

Highly effective administrators add the equivalence of up to
months of additional learning for students

Program Areas of Focus

Instructional Leadership

AIR cohort members focus on instructional leadership to ensure school leaders can effectively coach teachers and improve instruction.

Distributive Leadership

In service of Green Dot's commitment to effective teaching and comprehensive supports, AIRs learn to develop the instructional leadership of team members.

School Culture

AIRs create college-for-certain school culture by maintaining safe learning environments and fostering confidence in students that earning a college degree is for them.

"Of all my years in education, my most fruitful year was in the AIR program. The school site residency rotations are the heart of the AIR program and my growth. By rotating through four different sites both middle and high school, independent and transformational, I was able to participate on various school leadership teams and be coached by willing, experienced mentors through perfect practice. It is through these rotations that I felt fully prepared to begin my year as a first-year assistant principal."

- Michelle Ahn, Principal, Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School

Program Structure

Relevant Curriculum

Residents participate in weekly seminars—facilitated by the Area Superintendent over AIR—following a rigorous, year-long curriculum aligned to national and state leadership standards. Residents learn essential skills in the areas of instructional leadership, people and resource management, and the creation of positive school cultures. The concepts learned in the classroom are then immediately applied in a series of school-based residencies under the supervision of experienced principal mentors.

school rotations
weekly coaching sessions
hours of direct mentorship
of Residents will achieve a highly-effective rating in Green Dot's rigorous administrator evaluation system.

Supported Immersion

Residents immediately begin applying leadership theory in a practical setting. Under the mentorship of Green Dot’s experienced principal mentors, Residents rotate through four school-based placements, working as an integral part of each school’s leadership team to put classroom training into practice. Residencies provide ongoing opportunities to translate sometimes abstract concepts into actions while learning from experienced administrators, teachers, counselors, curriculum specialists, and support staff. Over the course of the training year, Residents receive more than 2,000 hours of direct mentorship.


Collaborative Problem-Solving

Green Dot’s principals and assistant principals are expected to lead schools to excellence and, in many instances, turn around historically low-performing schools after years of institutional neglect. To do so requires empowering leaders to make the key decisions that impact their school community, from the recruitment and training of teachers to prioritizing budget expenditure. Success requires a shared vision grounded on equity, consensus among shareholders, open and honest communication, and keen task management and project planning skills.

Being in education for so long, I’ve taught at smaller and larger districts, but it wasn’t until I came to Green Dot that I saw so many opportunities for teachers to grow and demonstrate leadership potential. The skills I developed and the projects I undertook as an AIR have truly helped me be effective in my role as a school leader.

-Edward Rodriguez, Assistant Principal at Ánimo Phillis Wheatley Charter Middle School.

Through the AIR Program, I was able to participate on various school leadership teams and be coached by willing, experienced mentors through practice. Seeing the way leadership plays out at different schools and communities has been an invaluable experience, because I don't feel that many aspiring school leaders get that type of mentorship and exposure from their programs.

-Ashlyn Ramos, AIR cohort, '18