Why Support

Reinventing Professional Preparation for Urban Educators

What We Do.

The Reach Institute is an innovative graduate school that prepares K-12 teachers and school leaders for work in urban schools and districts. Reach helps urban educators acquire the professional knowledge and skill needed to foster both deeper and more equitable student learning.

How We Do It.

To ensure teachers and school leaders translate educational theory into effective daily practice, Reach’s leading-edge design harnesses the power of

  • Rigorous and relevant course content
  • Collaborative, inquiry-based professional learning
  • Personalized, one-on-one faculty coaching

Our Impact.

Since its inception in 2006, Reach has trained over 650 educators, many of whom work in the Bay Area’s highest performing urban schools. Today over 50,000 students’ lives are touched by Reach graduates. Students in longstanding Reach partner schools, e.g. Lighthouse and Unity High School in Oakland, and Cornerstone Academy in San Jose, far outperform peers similar urban schools. Over 90% of Reach participants believe it provides a model for urban teacher and school leadership development.

Why it Matters.

Recent K-12 test results reveal a sobering trend: despite decades of reform, academic achievement gaps (and their resultant opportunity gaps) are wider than ever across the Bay Area.

At the same time, research confirms the critical impact that teachers and school leaders have on urban student achievement; and by extension, the tremendous need for highly effective K-12 professional preparation and development.

Meanwhile, high urban teacher and principal attrition rates have fueled an unprecedented shortage of well-prepared urban teachers and principals across the Bay Area. Reach is dedicated to helping meet this critical demand, having more than doubled our enrollment for 2016-17, and pursuing R&D efforts to support implementation of new college and career readiness standards.

What it Takes.

To help diversify the urban educator ranks, Reach is dedicated to keeping the barriers to entry as low as possible. As a non-profit, Reach relies on philanthropic support to provide high quality educational services. We are actively seeking support from organizations and individuals who share Reach’s commitment to achieving equity and social justice through increased educational opportunities for all students, regardless of socio-economic background.   What could be more important in today’s world?

What Reach Participants Have to Say.

“Reach focuses on equity for ALL students. This is so rare in teacher preparation programs, that I can’t imagine becoming a teacher through any other avenue.”


“Reach informs beginning teachers, and makes good teachers into great teachers.”


“Reach was instrumental in my thinking about kids – if it weren’t for Reach, I would not have persisted as long as I have in the classroom.”


“Reach reinvigorated my commitment to working towards creating a more just society.”


“I have grown more through this process than in any year in my 25 years as an educator!“


“Working with reach has been game changing. Reach is one of the few programs tailors their program to help school leaders directly impact the ‘black box’ of instructional improvement.”


“No other program will give you the depth of knowledge and skills needed to lead schools to excellence like the Reach Instructional Leadership Academy.”


“Reach has been a transformative experience for me. Through the support from my coach, reading and reflecting on the research, and the collaboration with my cohort colleagues, the experience in Reach was directly tied and my work at my district.”

  • Nhi Truong

    Before Reach, I thought I knew all about teaching! However, Reach has challenged me to become a better educator by shifting my views on what high-quality education looks like for my students.

  • Dashiell Gerdes

    The Reach Instructional Leadership Academy has provided me with invaluable experience and support, for which I will always be grateful.

  • Sierra M. Thai-Binh

    I wish for all Bay Area administrative and teacher leaders the opportunity to be part of a cohort of educators such as the ones I've had the joy to learn with this last year. That, together with the incredibly caring, knowledgeable, and sweetly demanding faculty of Reach, have made finally finishing my Masters degree a rewarding reality. I am especially grateful for the way I was pushed out of my comfort zone and supported in developing skills in areas of academic collaboration and intervention for our most struggling students.”

  • Herinder Pegany

    I've been an educator for 25 years but I feel like I am setting out on a new journey, both professionally and personally. I am grateful for the leadership skills that I have gained through the Reach ILA program. I am even more thankful for the relationships that I have developed with the Reach faculty and my cohort members.

  • William Nee

    Reach taught me a new way of thinking about education and how things work in a school building. In a very positive way, it pressed the reset button on my understanding of how change takes place in schools and how communities of educators and students work together to construct an instructional core. Reach has given me the technical training to understand school systems, the tools to be effective in pushing improved outcomes for those systems, and a cohort of fellow educational leaders who continually inspire me.”

  • Marion S. Dickel

    I have enjoyed the opportunities the Reach program has given me to learn and grow through study, discussion, and practice of teaching, coaching and educational leadership issues with a wonderful cohort of leaders who are passionate about improving education.

  • Drea C. Beale

    Reach helped me to think about school leadership in holistic way and equipped me with tools to do great work. Thanks to Reach, my work is grounded in research, involves cycles of inquiry, and puts data at the center. All of this is in service of equitable outcomes for all students. Reach has instilled habits within me that allow me to thrive!

  • Douglas A. Garriss

    Reach has had an enormous impact on my growth as an instructional leader. I started this program in tandem with my new district administrative position, and honestly do not believe that I would have succeeded in this position without the support and guidance from my Reach instructors and coaches. By putting theory into practice, I have become an agent of change in our district who supports teachers in developing the knowledge and skills that meet the diverse needs of our students.

  • Elizabeth Morgan

    Reach has been an amazing learning experience over the last two years. I discovered a new identity for myself in the world of education. Reach has supported me in becoming an instructional leader that can support a shared vision and move both students and teachers forward in their growth and personal levels of success. The use of the coaching cycle, equity lens and a focus on developing and strengthening teacher capacity have become anchors in my "toolbox" and enable me to promote and support instructional shifts. I'm very fortunate to be part of this wonderful and supportive program.