The Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute (ISLI) program is designed for instructional leaders who aim to improve their systems in service of exceptional learners (Students with Disabilities and Multilingual Learners). Participants must have decision-making authority over implementing systems for exceptional learners, and may work in a variety of K-12 settings, including traditional school districts, independent schools, and charter management organizations. Participants are encouraged to attend with other leaders (e.g.: another school leader, SpEd Director, MLL Director, or principal supervisor).
We seek leaders who already have strong foundational systems in place for data-informed instruction and observation and feedback, and who are eager to implement these systems in service of exceptional learners. Leaders who have previously completed a Relay program or work in schools/districts with established Weekly Data Meeting and Observation/Feedback structures are most likely to demonstrate readiness for ISLI.
ISLI prepares leaders to build authentically inclusive schools designed to improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for exceptional learners. When leaders do this, they strengthen schools for all learners.
Leaders will engage in a three-pronged approach to building inclusive schools:
- Mindset examination
- Knowledge and skill building
- Systems redesign
Leaders will begin their work examining a core set of values that are essential to driving an inclusive culture, and what it means to build systems designed to support students socially and emotionally. Leaders will then apply those values as they build upon the protocols mastered in Observation and Feedback and Weekly Data Meetings, with a focus on coaching general educators to make grade-level instruction accessible to diverse learners, coaching special educators to deliver high-quality specialized instruction, designing and implementing high-quality instructional and behavioral interventions, and analyzing data with the exceptional learner in mind.
ISLI is a one-year fellowship program consisting of a 4-day in person Summer Intensive, bi-weekly virtual classes/sessions, and a virtual end-of-year convening. Participants will benefit from:
- Expert faculty: Learn from experienced practitioners who have notable achievements in service of Exceptional Learners.
- Regular feedback: Receive regular feedback on assessments.
- A network of peers: Solve problems alongside high-performing peers facing similar challenges.
What makes a great partnership? Learn more about what kind of organizations we work with and how we support them in Conditions for Effective Partnership.
Or, look for answers to any general questions you may have on our FAQs page.
The Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute (ISLI) begins with an in-person Summer Intensive, and continues through the year with virtual programming.
July 10, 2024
Virtual I Half-day Orientation
July 15-18, 2024
In-Person (Chicago, IL) I Summer Intensive Sessions
School Year Sessions
Sept. 2024 - April 2025
Virtual I Biweekly sessions (twice per month). Sessions will be held on Tuesdays during the school day. Time TBD by cohort feedback.
Note: Asynchronous make-up sessions will be offered
Virtual I 2-day End of Year Convening
$12,000 per participant
The program fee covers:
- High-quality instructional professional development from experienced leaders
- All course materials, licensing fees, and online access to electronic versions of resources
- Hotel room during in-person session dates
- Breakfast, lunch, and snacks during in-person sessions
Partner organizations should request seats for their leaders by the following deadlines. Seats are filled on a first-come-first-served basis and may fill up quickly.
Seat Request Form Opens: January 8, 2024
Seat Request Submission Deadline: June 5, 2024
For more information about how to request seats, see The Partnership Process page.
For general questions about Relay Leadership Programs, see our FAQs.
As a student in the Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute, I gained both the skills and confidence to build the leadership skills to create an inclusive school and academic support for all learners.
- Mary Beth Ingram
“As a student in the Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute, I gained both the skills and confidence to build the leadership skills to create an inclusive school and academic support for all learners. This program has allowed me to set a vision for an inclusive school and design an inclusive culture among staff and scholars. The program was intentionally organized with respect to readiness in data-driven instruction, specializing instruction and effective coaching. The final project allowed me to make changes within our school that had a direct positive impact on our student and adult culture. I would highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to expand their leadership and make their school a more inclusive environment.”
—Mary Beth Ingram
Dean of Special Services, Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School
Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute, 2019
We are so excited to see the measurable progress not only in our students' achievement levels but in the continuous prioritization of Exceptional Learners by our faculty!
- Vanessa Cartwright
“Participating in ISLI has had such a tremendous impact on how Exceptional Learners are supported on our campus! We have been able to establish our ‘why’ around implementing Universal Design for Learning, adjust our collaboration structures to allow for general education and special education teachers to proactively lesson plan and analyze data, and we have adjusted our data analysis and observation protocols to prioritize progress for our Exceptional Learners. We are so excited to see the measurable progress not only in our students' achievement levels but in the continuous prioritization of Exceptional Learners by our faculty!”
San Antonio Independent School District
Student data soared at the campuses where I rolled out Relay projects and performance tasks and eventually I was able to implement the projects and performance tasks at most campuses in my portfolio.
- Ashley Wheeler
“Being a part of Relay’s SELA [ISLI] allowed me to systemize processes that drove forward equity for all learners. I was able to transform my practices to focus on utilizing a collaborative approach and ensuring that exceptional learners are the responsibility of our whole school system. Relay courses were organized in a manner that allowed me to put my learning into practice through projects and performance tasks to operationalize my organization’s Special Education practices to enhance the efficacy of instructional coaches, campus leaders and teachers’ knowledge, learning, and coaching skills. Student data soared at the campuses where I rolled out Relay projects and performance tasks and eventually I was able to implement the projects and performance tasks at most campuses in my portfolio.”
IDEA Public Schools
ISLI alum 2019
Ready to Request Seats?
Complete the form below to begin the process of registering your leadership teams for Relay’s School Year 2024-2025 Instructional Leadership Academies.
We would love to discuss your team's needs and identify which programs would be a good fit. To get in touch, use the interest form linked below and add any questions you have in the “Optional” box.