A virtual platform where school leaders can connect, exchange ideas, and support one another is what Off School Grounds is all about. Today, the platform established by Dennis McKesey is pointing many African-American school leaders towards making a positive impact in their respective educational systems and bringing in more opportunities to marginalized students in urban communities.
Dennis McKesey is a highly trained executive coach, leader, and educator who started his career solely as a consultant for school principals. Over time, he has trained school principals and leaders throughout America, and his experiences have landed him a better understanding of their goals and needs, especially during the pandemic. The leading mentor was motivated by the pandemic to establish a platform where school principals and leaders can convene and give one another a sense of guidance as they switch from traditional teaching methods to virtual ways.
Established last March 2020, Dennis McKesey designed Off School Grounds to support school principals while mentoring and coaching them to make the transition to virtual learning much easier for the students. Moreover, the fast-growing organization fosters the development of innovative leadership practices that will advance educational opportunities to students of color while encouraging school leaders to exchange ideas.
The platform hosts weekly meetings and discussions covering topics on ethical practices, leadership, and remote learning, among many others. For each session, a live DJ entertains the school leaders and helps them relax before jumping right into the weekly intellectual discussions, which tackle serious issues faced by the school systems. Besides hearing from experienced leaders, entertainers are also open to reflect and share their input with the group. In fact, Off School Grounds has featured several celebrity guests such as Doug E. Fresh, Dame Dash, Chuck D. from Public Enemy, Ralph McDaniels, and DJ Red Alert, among others.
At present, Off School Grounds is taking its first steps towards expanding its reach internationally. It has sponsored a basketball court at Macooba Daycare in Tanzania to serve as a safe space where children can play in the community. The organization, led by Dennis McKesey, also continues to advocate positive changes that will address education inequality which marginalized students face in their day to day life. By providing a place where leaders can connect, the rising organization takes the lead in amplifying a national dialogue intended to unlock greater opportunities for students of color.
Indeed, Off School Grounds is unlike any other organization and support platform. Its noble mission makes it stand out from the rest as it seeks to improve not only the experiences of the school leaders but also the future of marginalized groups of students. In the future, it hopes to make greater strides in closing the achievement gap between underserved children residing in the poorest communities. For Dennis McKesey, there is still so much in store for the organization, and its recent endeavors are only the start of a revolutionizing movement in the educational systems.