Post Announcement Learnings: Launch plans

We have circulated the ideas we have (although in their infancy), to get feedback fast, so we can iterate. We had the honor of meeting with Aimee Horowitz and Celine Azoulay this week, (Executive Superintendent also heading up Renewal School Program, NYC DOE, and Executive Director respectively) and received some valuable feedback that we wanted to share. We have also received feedback from Bonnie Boltax, an Assistant Principal in the same district as PS 119. We have also come across our own learnings as we quickly work to get started. We have complied these learnings below to help others launch their Adopt A School Programs!

General Advice

  • Work with school leaders who are visionary and understand the impact this program should have
  • Make sure the outcome is tied to student performance
  • Identify group leaders for each initiative (the principal shouldn’t be point person for everything)
  • Get the superintendent involved
  • Document/Memorialize all work
  • Get other employees involved quickly; send out survey and ask how they want to participate, or if interest in Captaining any initiatives
  • Create contact list for the school that is easily accessible

Book Study Groups

  • How are books selected/what is the goal from reading the book and how will it translate to the kids
  • 8 week cycle recommended, gives time for teachers to try out suggestions, and come back to discuss what worked and what didn’t
  • Discussions should tie back to student work
  • Invite neighboring schools to larger speaker series, especially the middle school that elementary school feeds into
  • Document everything, upload to YouTube, what’s working/what’s not
  • Make sure follow through on all programs is collaborative (could be good chance to tie in our TP (Talking Partners) program for participating teachers)

Professional Development Days

  • Prepare a reflection sheet at end of workshops, PD Days- hold teachers accountable
  • For teacher development: ensure side by side coaching and consistency
  • Do these outside of the school – teachers love being in a nice/different space (our office for example)

After School Program

  • Students should be pre assessed and post assessed (also good to do a mid assessment, but not necessary)

Parent Engagement

  • Think about- How do you ensure parents are committed- beyond attendance at a PTA meeting
  • What does parent commitment mean to the school?
  • Identify specifics of what you will be discussing at parent meetings
  • Parents love take homes at end of workshop and respond to “glitzy” flyers
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