Effective principal leadership is essential to the success of any school. School leaders create the conditions needed for teachers, staff and students to achieve excellence, and also for families, communities and school partners to engage in meaningful ways that support the efforts of teachers and students. To this end, the MNPS superintendent, as an instructional leader, facilitates bi-annual principal leadership institutes focused on building principals’ leadership capacity. Race to the Top funds contribute to the planning, development and facilitation of the Principal Leadership Institutes. The most recent leadership institute was hosted at the Martin Center in January 2011 and focused on the district’s strategic instructional leadership practices: inclusion, differentiated instruction, instructional rounds, networked learning communities, using data for leadership decisions, and continuous improvement processes. Principals were engaged in learning experiences which enabled them to examine how other principals have supported their staff in effectively applying these instructional leadership practices, and to collaborate with colleagues to learn how to effectively lead reform efforts through a continuous improvement process.