Off School Grounds was launched in April 2020, by Dennis B. McKesey, an experienced educator, leader and executive coach that has trained scores of school leaders throughout the country through his unique style of leadership development. In light of the COVID- 19 Pandemic, the need to create a virtual platform to support, mentor and coach school leaders was undoubtedly essential. Off School Grounds provides such opportunity in conjunction with creating a “safe space” for school leaders to network and share best practices for their continued growth and development.
This virtual platform also fosters the development of innovative leadership practices that allows school leaders to exchange ideas and advance educational opportunities for students of color. The weekly discussions cover a wide array of education and leadership domains that include;
visionary and strategic leadership, effective professional and ethical practices, remote leading and learning as well as other essential leadership practices that are crucial for increased student achievement.
Each session extends the opportunity to relax and unwind before engaging in intellectual dialogue with the presence of a live DJ. At the onset of the meeting, the facilitator shares an opening message followed by the topic of the day. The topic lends itself to an open forum for principals to reflect and express relevant issues within their school communities. The closing consists of an inspiring message from an invited guest, who is a leader or pioneer in their respective field. The show has featured celebrity guests such as Ralph McDaniels, DJ Red Alert, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D. from Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, and Dame Dash.
Off School Grounds is committed to combatting the educational inequities of marginalized students in urban communities by challenging school principals to be change agents and advocates for children. The coalition supports the premise that it is a nationwide responsibility to minimize the achievement gap for underserved children that reside in this country’s poorest communities. Off School Grounds was intended to be a beacon for school leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The platform continues to amplify national dialogue among school leaders to provide greater opportunities for students of color thereafter.
We are committed to providing community stakeholders, business leaders, and community leaders with accurate, research-based information about a variety of educational and community- based topics, including eradicating the school to prison pipeline, increasing youth workforce and career readiness, decreasing juvenile recidivism rates, and securing other wrap around services that protect our communities most vulnerable members.