How Would You Spend $1.5 Million?

February 1st, 2011

Category: News

Two weeks ago, Secretary Lowery approved all four Partnership Zone schools’ plans, which outlined their strategies to turnaround their persistently low-performing campuses. 

In their plans (found here: Howard, Stubbs, Glasgow, and Positive Outcomes), each school specified how they would utilize $1.5 million ($750,000/year) to make changes around areas of time, staffing, and instructional programming.  Initial analysis of these plans highlights that campuses are looking to outside organizations, many of which are familiar faces within Delaware, to help perform this work.  Examples of organizations that will help schools include, but are not limited to*:

  • Learning Focused Strategies – will continue helping Howard and Glasgow High Schools with curriculum mapping and instructional design and delivery systems;
  • Vision Network – will continue partnering with Howard and Glasgow High Schools to conduct inform their professional development and PLC structure, respectively;
  • Mass 2020 – will partner with Glasgow, Howard, and Stubbs to analyze their current school schedules and develop an extended-learning time structure that maximizes student learning;
  • Innovative Schools – in coordination with Big Picture, will assist Positive Outcomes in the development of an internship program for students in coordination with community partners;
  • Devereaux Center for Autism Research and Educational Services (CARES) – will provide Positive Outcomes tailored support to meet the needs of their unique student population;
  • Children and Families First – will continue working with Stubbs to provide wraparound services for students and parents; and
  • Buck Institute – will assist Glasgow and Stubbs implement project-based learning into their classrooms.

These multiple partnerships demonstrate that our Partnership Zone schools understand the importance of altering current practices.  However, as mentioned in this space before, the critical factor left unaddressed is whether the schools can piece together these various reforms, through a clear leadership structure, into one coherent system that benefits all stakeholders involved.  If not, the potential for continued piecemeal reform exists, which could prevent the dramatic gains necessary to get the majority of these students back on track for academic success. 

*Additional organizations identified in the Partnership Zone applications include, New Leaders for New Schools, Southern Delaware Professional Development Center, Delaware Academy for School Leadership, Learning Link of Delaware, and the Positive Behavior Support Center at the University of Delaware.

Brett Turner



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