The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably brought in a new normal in homes, schools, businesses, and other establishments. One of the biggest impacts can be felt in the educational system as schools and universities pursue virtual learning methods to avoid disrupting students’ educational progress. The change is not only challenging to students but also to school leaders who are spearheading the transition. With that in mind, Dennis McKesey launched Off School Grounds, a place designed to support school principals and leaders in their journey.
In light of the pandemic, Off School Grounds (OSG) was established in March 2020 by Dennis McKesey as a response to the growing need for support, mentorship, and coaching for school leaders in their transition to online classes. The virtual platform was designed as a safe space where African-American school principals and leaders can connect, “exchange ideas, and advance educational opportunities for students of color.” The weekly discussions cover education and leadership domains geared towards increasing student achievement. They serve as a guide for school leaders in attaining effective professional and ethical practices, visionary and strategic leadership, and remote leading and learning, among many others. On top of this, entertainers are welcomed and free to share their inputs during the meetings. In fact, many celebrity guests have been featured, such as Dame Dash, Ralph McDaniels, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D., DJ Red Alert, and many more.
The genius behind Off School Grounds is Dennis McKesey. He is a seasoned educator, leader, and executive coach who has trained countless school leaders throughout the United States. He is best known for implementing unique yet effective leadership development styles. Starting his career as a consultant for school principals, Dennis has become well-versed with the different challenges these school leaders face in their school districts. Thus, when the pandemic took over, it was evident that a virtual platform for mutual support among these school leaders was necessary.
Ultimately, Off School Grounds aims to help school principals and leaders pursue positive changes in their respective school systems. It is dedicated to fighting against education inequity that marginalized students often face in many urban communities. By challenging school leaders to become agents and advocates of these children, the platform provides greater opportunities for students of color and other marginalized groups.
Indeed, Off School Grounds is a beacon for school leaders during these tumultuous times. Here, school principals can support and mentor one another when the going gets tough. In essence, Dennis McKesey wanted to help make the transition to virtual methods smoother for students. He is making this possible by allowing school leaders to expand networks, insights, and ideas on how to improve their school systems.
Today, Off School Grounds is taking steps towards going global. One of its first international endeavors is sponsoring its own basketball court in Tanzania. The court was built behind a daycare center designed to provide a safe place for children to explore and play in the community. This is only the first of the many positive changes that Dennis McKesey and his team are determined to bring in African-American school systems and internationally.
Learn more about Off School Grounds by visiting their official website.