The Academy

The Academy is a dynamic 3 year learning experience for district leadership teams to deeply engage on critical human capital topics that face urban school districts including, but not limited to recruitment, selection, performance and career management, compensation and labor relations.

Program Overview

Year 1 – Year 1 is about knowing what the “right” HR work is and a process to Stop/Jettison, Start and Continue for teachers based on metrics; districts assess where they stand based on data.

Year 2 – Year 2 dives deeper into implementation and improvement, focusing on the necessary connections for the work around both teachers and principals.

Year 3 – Aligns the work with deep integration and refined metrics along with a strong feedback system.

Desired District Outcomes at End of 3 Year Program

  • Assess and improve HR’s performance on key HC strategies, such as recruitment and retention
  • Improve service differentiation and quality to key HC managers: principals and principal managers
  • Learn best practices and lessons learned from a network of districts and national organizations

Want more information about the three year Academy program? Download the Academy Overview.

Program Features

  • USHCA Convenings – District teams typically comprised of leaders from HR/HC, teacher/leader effectiveness, and principal managers attend these three day meetings twice a year for three years. These convenings will immerse the participants in ongoing high-level interaction with other urban districts and HR/HC experts.
  • HC Partner Support – Each member district is assigned a HC Partner – a HR/HC expert – to support implementation of best practices through site visits and targeted services.
  • HC Fellow Support – These experts help transform your district into a data driven organization by supporting  the collection and analysis of HC metrics through on-site and virtual support.
  • USHCA Toolkit – Updated regularly and based on the latest research these practical guides, templates and materials are designed to help districts successfully implement best practices.
  • Online Learning Community –  Share ideas with other urban school district HC leaders. Access our toolkit and the latest research.
  • USHCA ABC Tools – A set of HC best practice frameworks that combine best practice strategies, research and metrics and benchmarks for districts.
  • HC Best Practices Webinar Series – USHCA hosts 4-5 webinars annually that highlight best practices from USHCA districts

Current & Past Districts

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Aurora Public Schools
  • Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Denver Public Schools
  • Guilford County Schools
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Newburgh Enlarged City School District
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • School District of Osceola County
  • School District of Palm Beach County
  • Pinellas County Schools
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools
  • Rochester City School District
  • Seattle Public Schools
  • Seminole County Public Schools
  • Shelby County Schools
  • Spring Independent School District
  • Tulsa Public Schools

How Do I Join?

Contact us at to learn more about joining the Academy.

November 2018 Academy in Chicago, IL








“The Denver Public Schools team could not feel more fortunate to be members of the inaugural cohort of the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy…We left the first session feeling a sense of empowerment based on the reflective assessment we did as a team during our time together.  More important, we left the first session with a fierce urgency to rise to the level of Human Capital effectiveness in our district that we defined collectively with our multi-faceted cohort of USHCA teammates. More>>

Kathleen Shiverdecker

Executive Director for School Support, Denver Public Schools