Behind Every  Excellent School is an Excellent Leader

An excellent school leader:

  1. Believes that all students can achieve at high levels and ensures equitable and robust supports for learners of all backgrounds, needs, and abilities.
  2. Ensures that all school systems, resources, and people align around a clear vision for an anti-racist learning environment.
  3. Builds, equips, and inspires a mission-driven team.
  4. Identifies and takes full advantage of coaching and support for themself and intentionally develops a leadership bench.
  5. Holds themself and their team accountable for the academic results and social-emotional health and development of all students.
  6. Builds authentic partnerships with the community, families, and students and actively seeks out and incorporates input and feedback into the school’s design and operation.
  7. Advocates on behalf of the school in the community at large.

An excellent school:

  1. Prepares all students for self-determination and success in college, careers, and life.
  2. Fosters an inclusive, joyful culture that nurtures students’ whole selves and celebrates academic and personal achievement and growth.
  3. Is organized around core values that affirm students’ identities, support student leadership and agency, build character, and teach students the skills and mindsets needed to deconstruct systems of oppression.
  4. Employs a diverse teaching staff that is knowledgeable and engaging, develops and cultivates teacher skills and leadership, and supports teachers’ personal well-being.
  5. Uses rigorous, culturally relevant curriculum, and leverages assessment data to inform instruction, leading students to master critical habits, skills, and content.
  6. Ensures that time and learning opportunities are intentionally and flexibly designed and organized to prioritize student experience and learning goals.
  7. Has an engaged, mission-driven board focused on academic and fiscal accountability.

Our History

The history of BES is rooted in the beginnings of the national charter school movement. In 1993, in response to the poor academic outcomes of Massachusetts’ first charter schools, the Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center set out to ensure that a dominant share of new charters would be truly excellent, founded by talented leaders and grounded from the start in proven strategies and design elements. The BES Fellowship was born in 2001, providing intensive, full-time training to individuals to create new charter schools of the highest quality under the re-formed nonprofit, Building Excellent Schools.

From serving three states at its inception to working in more than seven times that many states currently, BES is consistently increasing its footprint on the national stage by producing and supporting excellent leaders and schools. Over time, BES has diversified how, when, and what leaders it trains, recognizing that leaders, like students, need to be supported in the right way at the right time. BES currently offers the following programs and services focused on school leadership: the Fellowship, Leaders for Emerging Networks of Schools (LENS), Leadership Intensives, Executive Searches, Follow On Support, audits and school reviews, and coaching packages.

Our Team

The BES team is a diverse group of nearly 30 collaborative, talented individuals who are deeply
motivated by our mission to support leaders to transform education in their communities.

We stand together in our organization’s core values:

continuous growth and learning intentional results valuing all voices and identities integrity and respect clear and candid communication