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In-Depth School Projects

Each full member of the Alliance chooses a school improvement project, lasting at least one year. Each project addresses a major aspect of practice affecting student achievement. Schools receive funds and facilitator support from the Alliance to support the projects, and share their learning and results with one another to help strengthen the Alliance as a whole.

Some innovative projects are presently being evaluated for effectiveness and are not necessarily endorsed yet by the Alliance for broader application. As a community of practice, however, the Alliance helps to conduct such evaluation and to examine issues uncovered as the effort unfolds.

Projects conducted for the '04-'05 school year:

In-Depth School Visits:

  • Al Raby H.S.: In-depth week-long team visit (called a PBI team visit) to assess teaching and learning, modeled on Rhode Island SALT visits.
  • Perspectives Charter School: In-depth week-long PBI team visit to assess teaching and learning (same as Al Raby H.S.).

Projects on Bilingual Education and English Language Learners:

  • Passages Charter School: Developed and documented new frameworks and staff development to guide literacy instruction for English Language Learners.
  • Telpochcalli School: Developed and documented clearer school-wide plan for bilingual education in all classrooms.

Projects Focused on Particular Instructional Needs:

  • Noble St. Charter High School: Strengthening assessment of student learning to provide more feedback that enables teachers to adjust teaching
  • South Shore School for Entrepreneurship: Increasing focus on entrepreneurship through student competitions to create business plans.
  • Whittier School: In-classroom coaching to help 3rd and 4th grade teachers develop reading strategies that respond to the needs of second language learners.

Projects Focused on Climate:

  • ACT Charter High School: Creating a comprehensive advisory curriculum to advance a school culture of academic achievement and citizenship
  • Big Picture Back-of-the-Yards: Development of student leadership and commitment to school through student teams that carry out projects to improve the school
  • North Lawndale College Prep High School: Developed a system of male student β€œhouses,” i.e. teams that mutually support one another’s academic and leadership efforts, utilizing a retreat at Morehouse College, and led by male faculty of color.