The ACE program focuses on accelerating transformation in struggling schools through strong leadership, effective teaching and high expectations. The core ACE strategy is strategic staffing: recruiting and retaining the best possible educators for students attending chronically underperforming schools.
Since the programs’ inception in 2015, ACE schools have improved in all areas. Academic performance has increased in core content areas, attendance has improved, and parents feel more positive about their child’s school.
The first two ACE cohorts had an additional hour of instruction each day for students, plus tutoring until 6 p.m. three nights a week. While the extended learning time for students has great benefits, it limits the amount of professional development and planning time for adults.
The new model will not extend the school day in order to focus on developing leadership capacity through a leadership team approach. Teams will focus on three key levers: (1) data use; (2) lesson planning and instructional alignment through PLC; and, (3) student culture. Teachers will participate in additional time after school engaging in professional development, planning and preparation, and tutoring/enrichment for the benefit of the school and colleagues each week.
ACE campuses focus on effective instruction in addition to social and emotional learning, within a culture of high expectations to guide students toward graduation and college readiness.
The district’s strategy to improve its highest-need campuses includes:
- Proven and effective campus leadership teams
- Effective teachers as identified through the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI)
- Financial incentives for staff
- Increased exposure to math and reading
- Social and emotional learning and development
- Parent engagement
- Increased professional development & training
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