In 2015, Dallas ISD launched the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) initiative which utilizes effective instruction, additional class time, and social and academic skill-building, 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:
- District support
- 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
- A culture of high expectations
The ACE plan works to ensure that effective leadership teams and teachers are in the classrooms where they are most needed by incentivizing top teachers and principals to relocate and work at some of the district’s lowest-performing schools.
The ACE program focuses on accelerating the transformation of struggling schools through strong leadership, effective teaching and high expectations so every student becomes college ready.
ACE 1.0 Transition Schools To ensure a smooth transition from the ACE program back into the feeder pattern, each ACE 1.0 campus will identify “transition leaders”. ACE 1.0 transition leaders will support the first year after ACE by receiving and sharing professional development, then modeling best practices within the classroom to support colleagues. The goal is to continue elevating learning and become a model for others across district, thus earning the ACE Model School designation. ACE 2.0 Schools ACE 2.0 schools follow the original ACE plan with campus leaders and all teachers incentivized through a stipend. ACE 2.0 teachers and leaders commit to a 1 hour extended school day to provide additional instruction for students by implementing longer literacy and math blocks. 2.0 leaders and teachers also commit to an additional 3 hours after school for specialized PD and tutoring. ACE 3.0 Leadership Schools ACE Leadership schools will emphasize teacher leadership development. These schools will not extend the school day for students, thus not providing stipends to all teachers. These schools will establish large leadership teams (12-14 teachers) and offer stipends for 8 hours of weekly leadership work in professional development, curriculum alignment, data analysis, PLC leadership, positive culture building, and the development of strong parent and community partnerships. Teachers will still “opt in” to work at these schools, yet only 50-70% reconstitution is anticipated (as compared to 85-90% at first round ACE schools).