Leadership development for excellent, integrated schools

DCSC launched the UnifiED Explorer program to develop and build the bench of future school leaders. The UnifiED Explorer program will prepare leaders of charter, district, and independent schools to deliver an excellent, integrated education in their respective communities while growing the movement for integrated schools nationwide.

Hear from a former Explorer

“The Explorer program was so much more than exploration of diverse by design schools. It provided spaces to have honest conversations, unpack the current state of education, and was a hub for opportunities to engage in high-level networking. Through the program I gained a new lens for my own leadership and vision for my school community. I reaffirmed my “why” and became inspired to be the most effective leader I can be. The created partnerships and resources are priceless! Being an Explorer was time well spent.”

– Cesserly Rice, Explorer with support from Opportunity 180

UnifiED Explorers stats

Announcing our first Explorer cohort!

Andrew Bobowski (Memphis, TN)

Kelly De La Cruz (Polk County, FL)
“I am committed to equitable access to school choice, but I recognize that I have much to learn and seek to collaborate with others with different and/or more experience than I.”

Kristin Droege (Kansas City, MO)
“DCSC seeks and finds great colleagues and collaborators for addressing the challenges we are all facing across so many aspects of education. The Explorer program provides a chance to meet other expert educators, see new settings in which innovative approaches are happening, and apply new thinking and learning to our own challenges.”

Sean Duncan (Santa Fe, NM)
“I joined the Explorer program because I am excited to learn with and from others around the country doing similar work.”

Alisha Gripp (Kansas City, MO)
“I joined the Explorer program to continue the learning I started in UnifiEd School Launch Fellowship; I look forward to continuing to learn from some of the best practitioners in my field.”

Katie Hahn (Jersey City, NJ)
“I joined the Explorer program because I want to learn more about how to leverage school integration to develop caring critical thinkers.”

DJ Hartigan (Jersey City, NJ)
“I joined the Explorer program because I want to learn more about how schools are building diverse and integrated communities.”

Josh Hengen (Nashville, TN)
“I joined the Explorer program because I want to help bring the best practices in diverse-by-design, liberatory education from around the country to Valor College Prep and continue inspiring our diverse community to live inspired, purposeful lives.”

Kyle Kucharski (Memphis, TN)
“I joined the Explorer program because I am interested in learning how schools and leaders across the country are building strong communities that provide an excellent education for all students.”

Angelia Moore (Santa Fe, NM)
“I have joined the Explorer Program because I believe students and families deserve richer opportunities for learning that honor what they bring to their school communities.”

Tyler Rajchel (Las Vegas, NV)
“I joined the explorer program because I believe that here in the Clark County School District we can be doing things differently to better serve our most at risk students.”

Jay Renfro (Nashville, TN)
“I joined the Explorer program because I am interested in launching a nature-based school in Southeast Nashville.”

Cesserly Rice (Las Vegas, NV)
“I joined the Explorer program as a means of networking with other educators, exploring great schools, and enhancing my leadership capacity.”

Hollie Russell-West (St. Louis, MO)

Shambrion Treadwell (Las Vegas, NV)
“I joined the Explorer program because I want more for myself and my community.”

Dr. Christopher Young El (St. Louis, MO)
“I joined the Explorer program because I wanted to have an opportunity to learn from individuals who are already operating schools that are successful in educating the targeted population.”

Theory of Action

unifiED: Theory of Action chart for DCSC Explorers

Cross sector, cohort-based collaboration

Explorers participate in monthly, cross-sector, cross-region cohort calls. The cohort calls follow a dilemma protocol and provide Explorers the opportunity to collaborate and learn in a diverse environment.

unifiED: Tailored residency
unifiED: Access to experts and resources

Access to experts and resources

The Explorer program arms Explorers with broad access to experts and resources. Experts from across the Coalition and its partners lead all workshops and excellent school visits.

Exposure to exemplary models

Explorers are exposed to exemplary diverse-by-design models – including models of anti-bias curriculum and instruction, social-emotional-learning, and building diverse, equitable, and inclusive school communities – from across the Coalition. Explorers visit at least 12 schools during three excellent school visits across the country.

unifiED: Exposure to exemplary models
unifiED: Coordinate for individualized learning

Application of learning

Explorers apply their learning at their school of employment, designing and executing a school-specific project. For example, an Explorer might redesign curriculum to incorporate Universal Design Learning, launch a staff-lead equity team, or implement restorative disciplinary practices. 

UnifiED Explorer Program Timeline

Exposure to exemplary modelsWelcome

Virtual Excellent School Visits
Virtual Excellent School VisitsNew York City
Excellent School Visits
Access to experts & resourcesAnnual Convening
Cross-sector, cohort-based collaborationMonthly, cross-sector, cross-region, cohort calls
Application of LearningExplorers apply their learning at their school of employment, designing and executing a school-specific application of learning project

Compare Our Programs

UnifiED ComponentsSchool Launch FellowshipExplorer Program
Residency at member school
Excellent School Visits
Workshop: Equity Audit
Workshop: Roots ConnectED Leadership Institute
Annual Convening
Application of learning
One-on-one coaching and ongoing support
Monthly cohort call
Alumni mentor
Mini-grant for alumni development plan
Individualized, partner professional development
unifiED School Launch Program

We catalyze and support the creation of high-quality diverse public charter schools through strategic research, advocacy, membership activities, and outreach.

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