Leadership Education and Development (LEAD)

Please Note: LEAD is a graduation requirement that all sophomore students must attend. The classes will be taught weekly on Wednesday nights from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  Attendance is required for all sophomore students and will be taken within the first five minutes of class. Individual questions can be directed to the LEAD program coordinator, Emma Wilson, Student Leadership and Service Coordinator.

IMSA’s Leadership Education & Development program (LEAD) is a student-facilitated course for sophomore students. At IMSA, we believe leadership can be learned through discussion and application. Thus, this course examines various definitions, theories, models, and conceptualizations of leadership. Students are challenged to think critically about leadership during peer-to-peer facilitated class discussions, hands-on exercises, and group work. Students are provided leadership foundations early in the year through LEAD’s Evolution of Leadership Modules. These modules examine the nature of leadership as it is understood through organizational and psychological models. After the Evolution of Leadership Theory modules, LEAD students attend meetings of CORE modules and an elective series of their choice.

The mission of LEAD is to foster social awareness and equip students with the resources to enhance their understanding of the inner workings of leadership. During the first semester, students explore what leadership means to them. Students go on to apply leadership through their elective courses in the spring semester. The three electives students may choose from are SocEnt, EnACT, and IMPACT, which center on social entrepreneurship, public policy, and data journalism. Students will work on group projects addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) as a framework to choose a targeted issue and structure their research.

IMSA graduates will be proficient in essential leadership skills and concepts such as communication, service learning, and advocacy. The program also provides opportunities to explore belief systems, values, and ethical decision-making.

2023-2024 Attendance Policy

It is a student’s responsibility to arrive on time for all LEAD modules and events. Lateness and absences will be recorded in a point-based system, where points contribute to a student’s failure to complete LEAD. The attendance policy differs slightly from that of IMSA’s Student Handbook. Students will fail to complete LEAD if they accumulate 12 attendance points over the school year. The point-based system is labeled below:

1-5 Minutes Late: 1 Point

5-14 Minutes Late: 2 Points

15+ Minutes Late: 3 Points  

Unexcused Absences: 3 Points

A student will fail to complete LEAD if a student reaches five (5) total absences, excused or unexcused absences during the school year. Exceptions may be made to this rule in the case of extenuating circumstances; however, communication is required, and documentation may be requested.

When a student accumulates 9 points, a conference will be scheduled between them and the LEAD Staff Program Coordinator. If a student is going to miss for any reason, a parent or guardian must email Miss Emma Wilson at ewilson1@imsa.edu (CC their student) for approval by Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The parent must also contact the Attendance Office by phone or email at least 24 hours before the planned absence. Additionally, they should contact their facilitators if possible.

Examples of excusable absences or tardies include sports competitions, illness, death in the family, religious holidays, school-sponsored activities, medical appointments*, and family Emergencies.

*Parents are encouraged not to make appointments (i.e., doctor, dentist) for students during LEAD unless necessary

Examples of inexcusable absences include sports practice, co-curricular practice, club events, and Residential Life programming. These events are typically scheduled so as not to interfere with LEAD, so please reach out if there is a conflict!

Residence Life

At IMSA, we believe leadership must be developed in all areas of life. This is why the Residence Life staff has a curriculum focusing on leadership, among other topics. For more information regarding this, please go to the Residence Life page for a description of the Residential Life program with a Residential Life staff listing.