School Redesign: Tilden

Tilden Middle School

Grades: 5-8
Enrollment: 513
Location: Southwest Philadelphia; 6601 Elmwood Ave, 19142
Proposal Synopsis: Utilizing blended learning technology to personalize instruction for all students.

Vision: Tilden Middle School will provide a rigorous and engaging learning environment in every classroom that nurtures leadership, perseverance, integrity, curiosity, and kindness in order for our students to discover, develop, and communicate the skills and content necessary for college and career success in the 21st Century.

The Design Year: The design team at Tilden used the design year to extensively research blended learning implementation and assess the effectiveness of existing digital content offerings. The team conducted numerous school visits throughout the region and the country to school sites with varying models of blended learning implementation. Using the information learned through their research and site visits, the team developed an implementation plan and roll-out strategy for their new instructional model.  They also met with an array of technical assistance providers to inquire about professional development services to help school staff and leaders effectively manage the transition to a blended model.

In addition, the team worked to design and begin implementing a character report card for all students aligned to the school’s mission-based values of leadership, perseverance, integrity, curiosity, and kindness. Furthermore, the team worked with local partner organizations to develop and launch a family resource center that will connect students and families with social and academic support services.

Years One and Two of Implementation: The staff at Tilden participated in professional development in the summer and early fall to prepare for the launch of the school’s blended learning strategy. They developed and implemented the data collection and reporting routines and protocols to assess student learning and growth through online assessment tools.  In collaboration with local partner organizations, the team continues to assess additional service needs for its family resource center, and seek out additional resources and partners to help fill critical needs. The team is also refining the ways in which it can streamline the data collection and student feedback methods for its proposed character report card.

Tilden was recently selected by the Mayor’s Office to be one of the city’s initial community schools.  The community school designation will strengthen Tilden’s ability to engage families and to provide critical supports for all students.

Now in its third year of implementation, the school continues to deepen its practice in blended learning, including focusing on using the data gathered from the online programs to personalize instruction for students and to provide enrichment and remediation opportunities.  The school also continues to make great strides with its PBIS behavior support program.  The school has been recognized nationally for its leadership in this area.