Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay) today announced that it will open a new teacher training campus in Denver, Colorado. The campus, Relay’s tenth, will create new pathways into teaching and will help to address a critical teacher shortage in Denver and surrounding communities, preparing 75 teachers in its first year.
“I am thrilled that Relay will prepare greater numbers of teachers to work in and remain in Denver,” said Sara Goodall, principal at McGlone Elementary in Denver. “Our students deserve the best and brightest. I am excited that McGlone is working with Relay to build our internal talent pipeline, developing future teachers that can give back to and work in their own communities.”
In its inaugural year, Relay will offer two teacher training programs for current and aspiring teachers in Denver, as well as a pilot professional development program.
The Relay Teaching Residency offers aspiring teachers the opportunity to pursue a gradual, supportive pathway into the teaching profession through focused, deliberate practice. Through partnerships with local public schools, teaching residents apprentice with resident advisors during the first year of the program, gaining skills and increasing levels of responsibility in the classroom that enable them to transition into a full-time teaching position during the second year of the program. Relay expects to enroll 80% of the inaugural cohort of candidates in the Teaching Residency program.
The Master of Arts in Teaching program will enable current teachers with diverse educational backgrounds to earn a master’s degree. Teachers will learn practical, concrete techniques and skills that have proven effective in classrooms across the country.
In 2016, Relay Denver will also pilot a Resident Advisor Training program to complement the Teaching Residency program. This free, comprehensive professional development series will offer resident advisors high-impact training to build their leadership skills and bring out the best in the new teachers they mentor.
Through these three new programs, Relay seeks to create additional pathways for diverse teachers to enter the profession and, ultimately, to remain in teaching through opportunities to build their skills as teacher leaders.
“We have a great need for more diverse teachers in Denver. Considering the diversity in our student body, our teacher workforce should reflect that diversity,” said Chad Rountree, Director of Teacher Pathways for Denver Public Schools. “In order to bring more diverse and local talent into the classroom, we need to create a strong system of supports and clear pathways for ongoing professional growth and development. Relay’s model and approach are well aligned with these goals.”
Relay has a strong track record of working with educators and leaders in the state. The first class of an estimated 75 Denver teachers and residents will join a community of nearly 150 Colorado school leaders—including one-third of all current Denver Public Schools principals—who have participated in Relay’s National Principals Academy Fellowship since 2013. Denver principals who have seen the value of the programs are now eager to provide the same high-quality training to their teachers.
“I am eager to partner with Relay to host Teaching Residents,” said Zach Rahn, Principal of Ashley Elementary School and a participant in Relay’s National Principals Academy Fellowship. “The residency model will better prepare new teachers for the challenges of teaching, and my current teachers will gain opportunities to build their skills as mentors and leaders.”
Relay gained approval to operate in Denver from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education on May 6, 2016.