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Study Group: Leadership for These Complex Times

Aug 18
9:00 AM - 3:00 AM
Traverse City, Michigan

Grades: K-8

Led by: Rhonda Perry

Hosted in: Dobbs Ferry, New York and New York City

Dates: Sunday, August 18, 2024

We can all agree that the global, national, and local landscapes are increasingly complex. Complexity requires collaboration, and that collaboration can start with the work of building (and rebuilding) shared values, exploring also what those values mean in practice. This study group will begin with a discussion of ways that we, as leaders, can think hard about whether our values are right for the times and for our communities. Are there ways to make our value- statements more heartfelt? How can we bring our school communities together around values–and around an effort to be in a true learning community? 

The topics this group takes up after an initial discussion about ways to launch (or relaunch the year) will emerge from the group itself. Chances are good that the group will explore ways to work well with people– teachers or families–who are a challenge. Then, too, it is likely that the group will reconsider structures and systems that support on-the-job learning, and cross-classroom inquiries. 

Then, too, we’ll think together about our students, leaning on each other in order to learn ways to lead communities that are stronger, more affirming, and more welcoming, communities where all students feel a sense of belonging.  

 Now more than ever, school leaders need to lean on each other to engage in reflective practices that can result in a blueprint for ways to better meet the ever-changing, complex moments that face us.  Our communities look to us for answers… and together, we can help each other to lead stronger, more affirming, and welcoming school communities.  These times require thoughtful, strategic, and intentional leadership moves. What lessons have we learned from navigating tough times that can help light our way? 

This group will start with an in-person day in Dobbs Ferry, New York on Sunday, August 18, 2024. We’ll also meet for 5-6 sessions across the fall semester, meeting sometimes virtually and often in person, meeting either in New York City or Dobbs Ferry–all of this will be determined after the group is established and participants share best times. We’ll have a second in-person retreat later in the year, visiting a school together. 

About All 2024-2025 Study Groups and Retreats:

The educational world has been changing in important ways, and we all need to consolidate and intensify our learning. In 2024-2025, you are invited to join The Reading & Writing Project in study groups designed to grow the knowledge base of us all. 

It is important that each of these study groups become close-knit communities. So, we’ll launch most of the groups with a two-day retreat. (The school leader group is a bit different, see that write-up for more information) The East and West Coast study groups will meet in one of our homes and will involve cooking together, backyard barbecues, and more. The RWP can provide lodging for some participants at no cost, and other participants will no doubt be local and able to commute (plan on evenings and breakfasts together!) To learn more about possibilities for lodging, write These study groups will be free, although you’ll need to finance travel and, if necessary, lodging. 

To apply, please complete this form and include a one-page letter which includes:

  • A brief overview of your experience 

  • Your history and experience working with Units of Study and/or RWP. 

  • Might you be able to lead your own, more local study group, learning from kids and colleagues in classrooms other than your own, bringing that broader range of data and thinking to the study group?

  • To what extent are you able/willing to commit to participating/attending the group 

You can use the same letter to apply to multiple study groups. We will prioritize accepting educators who partner with The Reading & Writing Project in year-long Staff Development, but everyone is encouraged to apply to join this adventure.  We want to learn with all sorts of schools, all sorts of places. We will communicate your application status by early June.