Principals in elementary, middle, and high schools will gather in Philadelphia in July 

Reston, VA – For the first time, the nation’s principals of schools across the Pre-K-12 continuum are planning to embark on professional learning together, as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) combine efforts to conduct the inaugural National Principals Conference (NPC) in summer 2017 in Philadelphia. The NPC represents the two groups’ latest effort to advocate for a cohesive school leadership agenda in the era of college and career ready standards.

NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly and NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti are working together in making the National Principals Conference a reality. They believe NAESP and NASSP are ideal partners in bringing principals together to build camaraderie and cohesiveness across all grade levels.  

“School leaders share a great deal in common across the Pre-K-12 spectrum,” said Bartoletti. “Organizational management, instructional leadership, and community engagement are among the many top-of-mind topics that transcend the school level, and we look forward to providing the opportunity in which leaders at all levels can learn from one another.”

“The diversity of perspectives among principals of all grade levels will make for richer conversations leading to greater understanding about how to enhance teaching and learning for students from Pre-K-12, particularly during times of transition from one school level to the next,” added Connelly.

Slated for July 9–11, the NPC will serve as the 2017 national conference for both organizations. An advisory committee of elementary, middle level, and high school principals and assistant principals gathered in Reston, VA, in late 2015 to begin planning the NPC program. Presenters will include a mix of well-known thought leaders and accomplished principals who will present on topics pertinent to all attendees. A smaller set of sessions will address level-specific issues.

NASSP and NAESP have joined forces on a series of initiatives during the past several years. Most notably, they have been articulating a federal policy agenda with a combined voice and they currently co-lead a professional learning community in the Wallace Foundation Principal Pipeline program. The collaborative efforts coincide with the advent of college and career ready standards, which express achievement as a cumulative process as students progress through each grade and which prompt school leaders to connect across grade levels.

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The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit


Principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning. Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession by developing policy, advancing advocacy and providing professional development and resources for instructional leadership, including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and effective educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit NAESP administers the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President’s Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs.