Putting the Final Touches on Partnership Zone Plans
Delaware’s Partnership Zone Schools are putting the final touches on the initial drafts to be submitted to the Delaware Department of Education by Monday, November 15 outlining the steps they will take to turn around their schools.
While the final details are unavailable, public hearings and information sessions have provided some insight into where each school’s plan is headed.
- Howard High School of Technology: Howard High will adopt a transformation model. Howard already took the first step of hiring a new principal to engage in turnaround efforts. In addition, Howard will look at expanding their use of data-driven instructional practices and curricular development. Howard will continue to work with outside vendors, such as the Vision Network and Learning Focused Strategies, with whom they work now.
- Stubbs Elementary – Stubbs will implement a turnaround model. Although almost 50% of their staff has already been replaced, they may have to be re-interviewed as stipulated in regulations. District/campus leadership has shown promise with their efforts to look at outside school models for replication, including Propel and the Buck Institute (project-based learning).
- Glasgow High School – Glasgow will adopt a transformation/restart model. Glasgow was initially interested in replicating the New Tech model but opted to create various academies/small schools on a single campus. This approach was pursued by the Gates Foundation throughout the early 2000s and has been found to have moderate effects on student learning but significant positive effects on student retention and graduation. As they implement these models, the Christina Education Association is considering collective bargaining agreement modifications regarding teacher placements and extended learning time that could have a positive impact on reform efforts).
- Positive Outcomes Charter School – Positive Outcomes will implement a transformation model. They will enhance their curriculum to help meet the needs of all their students. Positive Outcomes has shown tremendous leadership by analyzing the potential to adopt an alternative school model, whether it is replicating a Big Picture school or creating an internship program for students within the community.
While the final details have yet to be made public, we hope the Department of Education utilizes this opportunity to push districts farther and harder than they have gone before. This might mean rejecting plans that incorporate piecemeal reforms and demanding more transformative plans – ones that clearly challenge the indefensible status quo and put forth a vision of increased student learning and the difficult steps they will take to get there.
Next week, we’ll explore the next steps in this process as The Delaware DOE reviews each application and either accepts or sends them back to the planning table.
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