Teacher and School Leader Support & Capacity Building

PAI contributes to strengthening schools through technical assistance and professional development focused on improving the capacity of schools to foster student success in middle school and 9th grade as well as on sustaining aspects of the Career Academy model in Philadelphia.

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9TH GRADE SUCCESS NETWORK

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Students are twice as likely to graduate on time if they are on track in 9th grade. A 9th grader is deemed “on track” if they earn credits in their four core academic classes (Math, English, Social Studies, Science) plus at least one additional class.

We strive to close the systemic gap in on-time high school graduation for Black, Latinx, economically-disadvantaged, and other marginalized student groups by building capacity of 9th grade teacher teams to support their students and increase 9th Grade On-Track rates. Through PAI’s professional development, coaching, and network-wide learning, teams collaborate to provide data-driven interventions and student supports in order to ultimately change the trajectory of students and place them on a path toward college and career success.

PAI provides weekly coaching and technical assistance to 9th Grade Assistant Principals and other 9th Grade Academy leaders (teachers, counselors, etc.) on using data tools to inform practice, organizing intervention efforts for Off-Track students, and monitoring the success of those intervention efforts. All coaching and technical assistance is aligned with the “12 Key Practices” PAI developed, which codifies the most important practices and traits of effective 9th grade teams.

PAI provides Professional Development to 9th grade teacher teams on a number of topics related to effective teaming, data utilization, and intervention implementation for 9th Grade On-Track.

The 9th Grade Success Network Community of Practice, which meets quarterly, is a vital component of PAI’s support of the 9th Grade Success Network. The Community of Practice is comprised of a small group of core 9th grade team members from each Network School. The schools meet together regularly to problem-solve common challenges, share ideas and best practices, learn new techniques and strategies, and plan improvement efforts.

For more on the 9th Grade Success Network of Schools, contact:

For more on the 9th Grade Success Network of Schools, contact:
Nadia Schafer

Nadia Schafer

Associate Director,
Data Supports and Evaluation

nschafer@academiesinc.org

215-546-6300 ext. 113

"The Ninth Grade Success Network engages school leaders and teachers in data analysis to determine strategies and instructional practices that best align to meeting the academic and social-emotional necessities for our students. PAI’s consistent support, to our leaders and staff, enables school improvement and planning that will improve student outcomes and lead to our ultimate goal of increased post-secondary opportunities for our students."

Dr. Malika Savoy-Brooks,
Chief Academic Supports Officer,
The School District of Philadelphia

"The Ninth Grade Success Network engages school leaders and teachers in data analysis to determine strategies and instructional practices that best align to meeting the academic and social-emotional necessities for our students. PAI’s consistent support, to our leaders and staff, enables school improvement and planning that will improve student outcomes and lead to our ultimate goal of increased post-secondary opportunities for our students."

Dr. Malika Savoy-Brooks,
Chief Academic Supports Officer,
The School District of Philadelphia
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MIDDLE SCHOOL SUCCESS NETWORK

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School teams will:
  • Learn to analyze data, create and monitor student interventions and change ideas, as well as develop new practices
  • Engage in Continuous Improvement methods (plan, do, check), making adjustments quarterly
  • Build racial equity practices into all change ideas


PAI has launched a new student success network of schools focused on middle-school student success. The Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC) noted in a 2018 study, Ready from the Start, that 9th Grade Success is correlated with performance in middle school. According to PERC, ninth-grade on-track rates varied by a set of what they called Eighth-Grade Predictors (8GP): GPA, attendance, suspensions and demographic characteristics, with 8th-grade core-subject GPA being the best predictor of 9th-grade on-track status.

The PERC report concluded: “Interventions do not need to wait until high school; the sooner steps are taken to address these students’ problems, the more opportunities there are for a fresh start”. But less attention has been paid to middle school success as compared to efforts focused on 9th grade success. As a result, PAI is taking the innovative approach it developed to foster 9th-grade success and adapting it to middle schools, creating a Middle School Success Network, with an initial focus on the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

PAI plans to work with a standard team at each school. These teams will be part of a Community of Practice within the Network of Schools. Teams will meet weekly; the Community of Practice will convene quarterly. Two-day Summer Institutes will be held annually.

For more on the emerging Middle School Success Network, contact:

For more on the emerging Middle School Success Network, contact:
Maggie Pedone

Maggie Pedone

Manager of Middle School Programs

mpedone@academiesinc.org

215-546-6300 ext. 130

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CAREER ACADEMY SUPPORT

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The initial thrust of PAI’s work was on implementation and management of Career Academies, a specific model of career-connected learning created by PAI’s founders in 1969 that has since been put into action in over 8,000 schools nationally. Career Academies offer a structured environment that schedules students/teachers in small learning communities within schools focused on specific career pathways. Each Academy has a college-prep, sequential curriculum focused on career themes and is supported by an Industry Advisory Board comprised of stakeholders from business, higher education, and the community.

First offered locally via “pocket academies” - small schools within schools - that served only a portion of a particular school’s enrollment, Career Academy implementation in Philadelphia shifted to focus on an All Academy (or Wall-to-Wall) approach, whereby all students in an individual high school are enrolled in a Career Academy. Thanks to PAI’s partnership and support, Philadelphia has two All Academy Schools: Lincoln High School and The Academies at Roxborough High School. PAI’s primary role at this stage of Career Academy implementation is management of the Industry Advisory Councils associated with the career pathways at these schools, coordination of summer internships, and provision of other technical assistance and support as requested.

For more on Career Academy, contact:

For more on Career Academy, contact:
Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

Director, Programs and Partnerships

ssmith@academiesinc.org

215-546-6300 ext. 105