National Principal Academy Fellowship

A fellowship program that cultivates school leaders to become exceptional instructional leaders and transform their schools.

Man grinning, surrounded by his students.

Program Participants

The National Principal Academy Fellowship (NPAF) is for school leaders, including principals, assistant principals, academic deans and teacher-coaches, who support the growth and development of teachers. Participants work at a variety of PK-12 settings, including traditional school districts, independent schools, and charter management organizations across the U.S.

Program Focus

Research has shown that school leadership matters, influencing student outcomes in significant ways. The National Principal Academy Fellowship program develops school leaders’ skills in culture and instruction, helping leaders to align their decisions to the needs of their students, teachers, and communities. We delve deeply into areas such as:

  • Centering Equity:  Strengthening awareness and strategies to systematically increase opportunity and remove barriers for historically underserved students
  • Instructional Rigor: Building deep knowledge of the instructional shifts and evidence of teaching and learning required by new standards
  • Coaching: Building skills in observation and coaching, to better support all teachers
  • Data-Informed Instruction: Leading teams in effective lesson internalization and response to student learning needs
  • Strategic Planning: Planning for implementation, monitoring progress, and practicing strategies for responding to close gaps. 

Program Experience

The National Principal Academy Fellowship is a one-year program consisting of a 9-day hybrid (in-person and virtual) summer intensive, followed by three hybrid multi-day intersessions throughout the year. Based on a cohort model, leaders learn alongside their colleagues from across the country, including participation in Learning Teams and submission of job-embedded assessments.

Participants will benefit from:

  • Expert faculty: Learn from experienced practitioners who have demonstrated effectiveness in the field.
  • Feedback: Practice new skills and receive regular feedback via video assessments and learning teams
  • A network of peers: Join a national network of instructional leaders who can help support implementation and problem solve critical challenges

About Partnership

What makes a great partnership? Learn about more about what kind of organizations we work with and how we support them in Supporting Conditions and Infrastructure.

Or, look for answers to any general questions you may have on our FAQs page.

The National Principal Academy Fellowship launches alongside the National Principal Supervisors Academy for the summer intensive, enabling cross-over and alignment within district teams. NPAF participants will have the option of attending the summer intensive in either June or July. The time commitment and the content are the same for each cohort.

Summer Intensive

Option 1: June Cohort | Denver, CO

June 7-9, 2023

Orientation and one 4-hour (half-day) session | Virtual

June 12-16, 2023

5 days | In-person

June 21 or 22, 2023

3 hours live practice & feedback | Virtual

Option 2: July Cohort | Atlanta, GA

July 12-14, 2023

Orientation and one 4-hour (half-day) session | Virtual

July 17-21, 2023

5 days | In-person

July 25 or 26, 2023

3 hours live practice & feedback | Virtual


Oct. 12-13, 2023

2 days | In-person (Denver, CO)
Additional optional virtual sessions

Jan. 22 - Feb. 1, 2024

Between 4-6 sessions | Virtual

May 9 - 10, 2024

2 days | In-person (Atlanta, GA) 

Additional optional virtual sessions

Program Cost

$16,500 per participant

The program fee covers:

  • High-quality instructional professional development from experienced leaders
  • All course materials, licensing fees, and online access to electronic versions of resources
  • Hotel rooms
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks


Partner organizations should request seats for their leaders by the following deadlines. Seats are filled on a first-come-first-served basis and may fill up quickly.

Seat Request Form Opens: January 2nd, 2023

Seat Request Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2023

For more deadlines and details on requesting seats, see The Partnership Process.

For general questions about Leadership Programs, see our FAQs.

Eddie Rangel
Quotation mark icon

Participating in Relay's Leadership Programs turned pedagogy into meaningful outcomes for our kids, which, in my opinion, ranks it among the best professional development opportunities for educators across the globe.

- Eddie Rangel

Eddie's Story

“[When] I was accepted into Relay's NPAF Leadership Program and [I] found myself in an inspiring community of practitioners who believe in the extraordinary capabilities of every child and school. Over the course of a year, our school not only succeeded but grew into one of the top-performing schools in our county and state. Participating in Relay's Leadership Programs turned pedagogy into meaningful outcomes for our kids, which, in my opinion, ranks it among the best professional development opportunities for educators across the globe.”

- Eddie Rangel

Executive Director, Adelante Schools

National Principal Academy Fellowship, 2019

Leverage Leadership Institute, 2020

Partnering with Relay

Learn more about how to partner, including important application dates and how we support you. This page is relevant to past partners, but especially those who are new to Relay.

Interested in Signing Up?

If you’re already a partner of Relay, sign up your staff for programs: