Message from the Deans

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Relay leadership program participant.

Read a message from the Deans of Relay's Leadership Programs. 

Dear Partner-

As we continue to reckon with unprecedented times in our country, we want to take a moment to acknowledge that the challenges faced by educators and school leaders are greater than they have ever been.  The virus has forced us to redesign our schools, and has surfaced and exacerbated equity gaps that have been present in our for far too long.  Events of the last six months, from the murder of George Floyd to the recent affront to democracy by white rioters who attacked the Capitol, have deepened our commitment at Relay to look at ourselves, our curriculum, our ways of teaching, and our systems to ensure that they are not only culturally responsive but also explicitly anti-racist.  

Like much of the education space, Relay is at a critical moment.  As the systemic racism and white supremacy that underpins much of our country is being laid bare, we have been turning inwards to examine how we, as an organization, have benefited from and continue to perpetuate these systems.  Relay is striving to be an anti-racist organization.  We want to emphasize that we are striving- by no means are we there yet. In acknowledging that, we want to name part of what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do to move our work forward in the pursuit of being anti-racist:

  • As a team, we prioritize diversity in race, gender, and professional experience when building our team.  In addition, we partner with external experts and internal leaders to build our knowledge and skills related to culturally responsive teaching and leadership as well as anti-racism.
  • We are currently examining our session videos, resources, and artifacts with an eye toward anti-racism and cultural responsiveness, with the goal of making changes in order to ensure our content mirrors our commitment. 
  • Our culture work has been expanded to include content that is focused on building truly inclusive cultures, where all students can thrive.  Implicit in this is a focus on the mindsets, values and beliefs that leaders and teachers will need to build inclusive culture practices, understanding behavior through an equity lens, and culture practices that support authentic engagement.
  • We have shifted our work from data driven instruction to data informed instruction.  With this shift in language comes a shift in approach, data work will focus on tools for learning rather than evaluative measures of learning.  
  • We intentionally redesigned our scope and sequence so that leaders can opt into content tracks that best meet their school’s individual needs. 

We are determined to ensure that Relay continues to live its mission to provide the best possible support, development, and coaching to our leaders, their teachers, and ultimately their PK-12 students. Kids all over the country are right now asking their parents and caregivers important and difficult questions about our current landscape. Understandably, kids are asking their teachers and leaders the same questions. Since our founding, we have prepared 10,000+ teachers and leaders to answer, support, and inspire their students tomorrow and every day. Thank you for being there for those 10,000+ tomorrow, as you are every day.  

Sincerely,

Jesse Rector and Kari Feinberg

National Deans, Relay Leadership Programs

 

Jesse Rector
National Dean of Leadership Programs
Kari Feinberg
National Dean of Regional Leadership Programs