Through the BES Fellowship, individuals deeply committed to transforming education embark on a four-year process to design, found, and lead an excellent public school.
Year One: Training Year
Fellows take part in one of three tracks, depending on their region:
Build Track: The “traditional” Fellowship track focused on founding fresh-start public charter schools. As part of the Build Track, Character and Equity Fellows build a school focused on equity and human development, and Community Co-Design Fellows co-design a school alongside a community design team.
Growth Track: Fellows found and lead the replication or expansion of an existing charter school
Autonomous School Track: Fellows found and lead a high-quality, autonomous in-district school
Fellows participate in 300+ training hours (450+ for Community Co-Design Fellowship, 150-300+ for Growth Track), study 20+ exemplar schools nationwide, complete a minimum of two residencies at excellent and equitable schools, write and submit their charter application, and build a founding board.
Over the course of the training year, Fellows, with the support of BES, commit to raising startup funds for the school. Upon completion of the training year, Fellows partner with a dedicated BES coach, who works closely with leaders in years 0-2. This coaching program, called Follow On Support, ensures that schools start strong and stay strong.
Year Two: Planning Year
Leaders become strong project managers; develop leadership skills where they have gaps; gain content knowledge; identify, vet, and onboard their founding team; recruit their founding students; move from lead founder to school leader; and crystallize their vision for the school. Leaders receive further coaching and training on anti-racist school leadership, which we believe is essential to enacting the kind of transformational change that students deserve.
Note that the planning year may look different for Fellows taking part in the Growth Track and Autonomous School Track, depending on the needs of the region, school, and community.
Year Three: Year 1 of Operation
Leaders actualize their vision for an anti-racist, equitable school when they welcome their inaugural class of students, become strong teacher coaches, use data to intentionally move academic results and address achievement and opportunity gaps, and manage and cultivate diverse talent.
Year Four: Year 2 of Operation
Leaders champion and uphold their vision as the school size doubles. Leaders primarily work on sharpening the academic focus, attracting and managing talent in a competitive market, developing a strong leadership bench, and sustaining a culturally relevant and anti-racist environment.
Click here to read about changes we’ve made to the selection process and Fellowship experience.