At least 200 San Antonio-area teachers will earn master’s degrees over the next five years, thanks to a new partnership announced today by Relay Graduate School of Education and San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
Two innovative programs will provide both experienced and novice teachers with an opportunity to receive a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree. Funded by grants from the City Education Partnership, the programs will enable teachers to hone their skills by practicing strategies that have proven successful in schools across the country.
Starting in the spring of 2017, Relay will enroll 75 veteran teachers in the Relay M.A.T. – Content Intensive. The teachers will work to further develop their teaching skills and build the deep subject-matter knowledge necessary to teach rigorous middle school courses, as well as dual-credit high school courses that allow students to receive both high school and college credit. Teachers in the program will continue working full-time while earning their degrees.
The initiative to enable more teachers to teach dual-credit courses aligns closely with SAISD’s goal to have 90 percent of high school students complete an advanced course that offers college credit by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. This goal will ensure that San Antonio students are well prepared for college.
“This partnership with the Relay School of Graduate Education is an example of how we are embracing innovation in our District,” Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. “As SAISD pursues status as a national model urban school district, these and other programs will allow us to build a pipeline of highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers who have a deeper understanding of the subject they are teaching, leading to more rigorous instruction for students.”
A separate, two-year program called the Relay Teaching Residency will enable 25 teaching residents per year to learn and practice teaching strategies under a mentor teacher at Ogden Elementary School. Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, residents will gain their teaching certification in the first year of the program while serving as a teaching apprentice. In their second year, residents will earn a master’s degree and transition into a full-time, lead-teaching role.
Relay teachers and leaders will impact 350,000 PK-12 students nationally in 2016-17. Through its innovative approach to practice and delivering feedback on actionable skills and techniques, Relay—which now operates 12 campuses nationwide—has provided preparation to thousands of teachers, including more than 200 teachers at its Houston campus since 2013.
“Giving students a high-quality education requires one great teacher after another who have the skills and knowledge needed to support their students,” said Relay San Antonio Dean Fellow Julio César Contreras. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to expand Relay’s work in Texas while also providing San Antonio students access to a relay of great educators.”
The M.A.T. – Content Intensive program will begin in March, pending approval of Relay San Antonio as an Institute of Higher Education by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Relay will recruit teachers from San Antonio and across the country to participate in the residency program at Ogden Elementary. Teachers in both programs will make a commitment to remain in the District for three years after completing the program, instead of paying tuition.