Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute

Empowering leaders to build truly inclusive schools where exceptional learners thrive.

Three teachers collaborating in workshop.

Program Participants

This program is designed for principals, principal managers and all leaders responsible for setting expectations, designing systems, and coaching teachers around inclusive practices. Participants work at a variety of PK-12 settings, including traditional school districts, independent schools, and charter management organizations across the U.S. We seek leaders who have foundational systems for data-informed instruction, observation and feedback, and who are eager to implement these systems in service of exceptional learners.

Leaders who have previously completed a Relay program are most likely to demonstrate readiness for ISLI. Participants can attend individually or with others from their school teams (e.g. A principal with their special education leaders, ESL leaders, assistant principals). We recommend that special education leaders join alongside their school leader, but it is not required.

Program Focus

The Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute prepares school 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.

Program Experience

The Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute (ISLI) is a hybrid model, one-year fellowship program consisting of a 5-day in person summer intensive, bi-weekly virtual coursework, and an in-person end-of-year convening. Participants will benefit from:

  • Expert faculty:  Learn from experienced practitioners who have notable achievements.
  • Regular feedback: Receive regular feedback on video assessments 
  • A network of peers: Solve problems alongside other high-performing peers facing the same challenges you are.

What makes a great partnership? Learn about more about what kind of organizations we work with and how we support them in Supporting Conditions and Infrastructure.

Program Schedule

The ISLI includes both in-person and virtual programming. In-person participants will need to be fully vaccinated and follow other COVID-19 protocols. See the FAQ page for more details.

For specific program dates and other details, please see this document.

Summer Intensive

June 2022

  • 4 day session
  • In-person (with virtual options for those who cannot attend in-person)

School Year Sessions

September 2022 - April 2023

  • 1 evening session every 2 weeks
  • Delivered virtually

April/May 2023

  • 2 days
  • In-person and virtual options

Program Cost

$12,000 per participant

*An early bird discount of $1,000 per participant will be applied for seats requested before March 14th, for $11,000 total program costs

The program cost reflects staffing and overhead for this program. As we don’t want price point to be a barrier, in 2022-23 Relay will subsidize in-person costs to ensure that participants can choose their preferred modality. Overall program costs are still lower than in the pre-pandemic model. 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
  • (In-person cohort) Hotel rooms (Granted on a first come, first served basis via the registration process).
  • (In-person cohort) Breakfast, lunch, and snacks


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.

Priority deadline: Monday, February 14, 2022

Final deadline: April 22nd, 2022

For more information about how to request seats, see The Partnership Process.

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The program was intentional with organization of readiness in data-driven instruction, specializing instruction and effective coaching.

- Mary Beth Ingram

“As a student in the Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute, I gained both the skills and confidence to build a variety of leadership skills that have supported 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.  Toni and Megan were patient, thought, highly skilled and knowledgeable on topics and always willing to be thought partners in this work. The program was intentional with organization of 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


Charting a Path to Equitable Education for Students with Disabilities report cover page

ISLI named one of three leadership development programs spotlighted in a new report on leadership pipelines living their commitments to equity through an intentional focus on exceptional learners.

Ready to Partner?

Are you ready to become a Relay partner? To learn more about our programs, complete our interest form.

Request Seats

If you are already a Relay partner, complete the seat request form to reserve spots in our leadership programs.