Iowa’s Standards for School Leaders


In November 2020, the Iowa State Board of Education adopted the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders as Iowa’s new standards for school leaders (ISSL). These new Standards took effect July 1, 2021.

Iowa Standards for School Leaders

A representative team of administrators from different levels and areas of the state along with colleagues from the Iowa Association of School Boards and two of the State’s administrator preparation schools met regularly for several years to move this work forward. This video, prepared for SAI Annual Conference 2020, provides the historical context and rationale for change, offers interviews with Iowa leaders who were involved in the process and connects to additional resources from SAI.

School Administrators of Iowa ISSL Site

The ISSL and criteria represent a set of knowledge and skills that reflects the best evidence available regarding effective leadership for Iowa schools. The standards and criteria are linked to the evaluation of administrators and the professional development plans for administrators.

Professional Learning

Iowa’s Area Education Agencies are ready to help district administrators in learning about and implementing the ISSL.  Three different options for professional learning have been created so administrators can choose the learning that best fits their needs. By partnering as a system, Iowa’s AEAs can establish common outcomes, resources and learning opportunities for school leaders around the new school leader standards.

  • Asynchronous Modules
  • Micro-Learning Opportunities
  • Face-to-Face Sessions

Iowa Standards for School Leaders Learning Modules

Important Contacts

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Amy Wichman

Amy Wichman

  • Director of Media, Technology & Digital Learning