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 4-day hybrid (in person/virtual) summer intensive, bi-weekly virtual coursework, and a hybrid (in-person/virtual) 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.

About Partnership

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.

Or, look for answers to any general questions you may have on our FAQs page.

Program Schedule

The ISLI program includes both in-person/hybrid and virtual programming.

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


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 rooms
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks

Deadlines

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: Jan. 2nd, 2023

Seat Request Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2023

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

For general questions about Leadership Programs, see our FAQs.

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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

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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!”

—Vanessa Cartwright

San Antonio Independent School District

ISLI, 2021

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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

“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!”

—Ashley Wheeler

IDEA Public Schools

ISLI alum 2019

News

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

ISLI was spotlighted as a standout leadership program in a report on leadership pipeline programs that demonstrate a commitment to equity through an intentional focus on exceptional learners.

Partnering with Relay

Learn more about how to partner, including important application dates and how we support you.

Ready to request seats?

Seat request forms for 2023-24 will be available on Jan. 2nd, 2023. If you’re new to Relay, sign up below to learn more about our programs and receive notification when seat requests open!