2016-17 Focus Schools

The School District has been partnering with each 2016-17 focus school since October 2016 to develop a recommendation to improve academic outcomes for all students. As part of this process, each school completed a school quality review to assess the school’s strengths and challenges. Each school also hosted focus groups and community meetings to get input from students, parents, teachers, and community members. The District then reviewed school data and the stakeholder feedback to develop a recommendation for improving student academic outcomes.

Starting in September of 2017, these schools began implementing exciting and ambitious academic intervention plans. The interventions are based on each school’s specific needs with the goal to create rapid academic improvement. These schools will receive investments of up to $1 million. See the tables below for a summary of each school’s investments and interventions.

Schools Implementing Their Own Academic Improvement Plans

Bartram HSA technology-driven, blended learning model with targeted small group instruction and collaborative and engaging student projects.

Improve instruction and student engagement

--Blended learning curriculum
--Assess CTE interest and class offerings
--Regular professional development including an academic coach
--Keep and hire the best teachers for the new model

Improve school climate and student attendance

--Maintain current climate staff
--Improve graduation rate

Ninth grade academy model
Harding MSTechnology and personalized learning to accelerate student achievement.

Improve instruction and student engagement

--Blended learning model to support daily small group instruction and independent work
--Assistant principals to support instruction, accountability, and climate
--Additional school-based teacher leader

Improve school climate and student attendance

--Full implementation of a positive behavior intervention and support system
--Continued partnership with City Year
--Expand and improve family engagement and support

Increased collaboration with families and community stakeholders and training for the School Advisory Council

--Better support teachers through expanded professional development opportunities

High quality, collaborative professional development
HartranftAccelerated student achievement through consistent use of small group instruction, reduced class sizes, and dedicated staff focused on increasing attendance and better supporting bilingual families.

Improve instruction and student engagement

--Daily use of small group instruction targeted to student needs
--Reading specialist support for early literacy
--Technology to support targeted small group instruction
--An academic coach to build instructional capacity
--Implement a team leadership approach

School turnaround professional development and training

Expand and improve family engagement and support

--Full time bilingual counseling assistant
--Parent ombudsman to support family engagement
McDanielAccelerated student achievement through high-quality instructional practices, better support families experiencing attendance challenges, and resources to serve the needs of students in two separate buildings.

Increase instructional rigor and engagement through intensive teacher development

--Collaboration with Jounce Partners on high quality teacher professional development
--Summer professional development institute
--Regular professional development throughout the year
--Keep and hire the best teachers for the new model

Expand and improve family engagement

--A school-wide attendance improvement plan and additional staff, including a parent ombudsman
--Additional support staff to better operate two separate school buildings

Administrative and support staff to better operate both campuses, including an additional AP and counselor


Turnaround Network

John Marshsall
Accelerated student achievement through a highly-structured approach grounded in research and focusing on the essential elements of successful school turnaround.

Identify and cultivate great turnaround leaders

--Selection of a principal who exhibits turnaround competencies
--Assistant principal to support school transformation

Establish a teaching and learning continuous improvement process

--Analysis of student work in three week intervals
--Monthly data meetings at the network and school level
--A reading and a math content coach
--Blended learning strategies to support personalized learning
--Class size reduction at the K-2 level to 20 students

Build instructional capacity

--Additional growth opportunities and job-embedded support
--Annual summer turnaround institute
--Cross network learning sessions
--Support a healthy and safe learning environment

A dedicated social worker and counselor

--Advisory to support students in grades 6-12
--Research-based behavior and support programs

Engage school community in the turnaround process

--Quarterly School Advisory Council meetings
--Philanthropic partnerships aligned to academic goals
--Quarterly community engagement opportunities


High School Improvement Cohort

Fels HS
Kensington Health Sciences Academy
Overbrook HS
School improvement through a focus on 9th grade, engaging stakeholders involved in college and career readiness efforts, and creating new opportunities to implement high school improvement plans.

School year 2017-18 Investments:

Each of these schools has been partnered with the Institute for Student Achievement - a high school support organization with a strong track record of helping high schools significantly improve performance. The schools have also received additional coaching and professional development resources to help staff better serve high school students.