Today, Relay Graduate School of Education, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse educator preparation programs, announced its expansion to serve the students and teachers of Atlanta. In partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, Relay’s rigorous model of curriculum and practice will prepare a diverse cohort of aspiring teachers to best meet the needs of Atlanta students.
“At Relay, we’re dedicated to teaching teachers and school leaders,” said Dean of Relay Atlanta Christy Harris. “We know the importance of ensuring every adult working with a student is prepared to support the academic skills and character growth each child needs to succeed in college and life. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Atlanta schools to prepare and develop more great educators for our kids.”
Relay will offer the Relay Teaching Residency in Atlanta, which caters to college graduates and career changers who are seeking a path into the teaching profession. The two-year residency program provides a gradual on-ramp into teaching. Residency participants will work alongside a mentor teacher during the first year and will begin the second year by leading a classroom of their own. Residents who complete the program will earn their certification and master's degree over the course of the two years.
“Each year, there is a need for qualified, diverse teachers in Atlanta schools,” said Jondré Pryor, Head of Schools, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools. “We’re excited to have Relay help increase the talented pool of educators that will help our students prepare for college and choice-filled lives.”
The residency program, launched with start-up philanthropy from redefinED Atlanta, will build on Relay’s work in Atlanta. This school year, Relay is working with 30 local school leaders, principal supervisors who are taking part in the National Principals & Principal Supervisors Academy or the Instructional Leaders Professional Development program.
Atlanta Public Schools will partner with Relay to expand the opportunity for school leaders while piloting a residency program. In many cases, aspiring teachers will be working with Relay-trained school leaders.
“Through my experience with Relay, I’m sharpening my skills as a principal supervisor. This program has helped me and the participating principals have a laser-like focus on high-leverage improvement areas,” said Danielle Battle, Associate Superintendent Mays & South Atlanta Clusters, Atlanta Public Schools. “I’m thrilled that other principals and teachers will have the opportunity to participate in Relay’s high-quality programs in the year ahead.”
In addition to supporting great educators, Relay is committed to diversifying the teacher workforce. More than two-thirds of Relay’s graduate student body self-identify as people of color. With 15 other campuses nationwide, nearly 75 percent of Relay's residents identify themselves as black or Latinx. In addition, of those who have completed a Relay preparation program over the past six years, more than three-quarters remain working as teachers and teacher leaders in PK-12 classrooms. Across teacher and leadership program graduates, nearly 90 percent continue to work in education.
Relay has been authorized by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission to offer the master’s program and Georgia Professional Standards Commission to certify teachers. Classes for the residency program begin this summer. To learn more please visit http://bit.ly/RelayInterest.