Personalized Learning: Design & Evaluation

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School Design & Pilot Support

Breakthrough Schools: New Orleans Regional Support

Client: Breakthrough Schools: New Orleans (New Schools for New Orleans & Educate Now!)

“Cat and her team really worked to gain a deep understanding of the New Orleans school landscape, build strong partnerships with individual schools, and customize their support and coaching accordingly. We are so grateful for the tailored approach they took, and our schools benefitted immensely!” -Indrina Kanth, Chief of Staff, New Schools for New Orleans

The Challenge

New Schools for New Orleans aims to deliver on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans. To this end, New Schools for New Orleans applied and was named a finalist in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Next Gen Learning Challenge. Partnering with Educate Now!, New Schools for New Orleans formed Breakthrough Schools: New Orleans and set out to launch a competitive selection process to identify schools interested in designing and implementing whole-school personalized learning models. Not only was Breakthrough Schools interested in selecting schools to fund, they intended to shepherd schools through the school redesign and planning process to a fully completed School Launch Plan.

Our Solution

In support of the lead partner on the project, Blueprint Education Consulting (Blueprint), CA Group was tasked with developing and executing a comprehensive plan for schools interested in learning more about personalized learning, designing personalized learning pilots in their schools, and applying for grants to implement personalized learning across their charter school networks.

Created comprehensive personalized learning plan for an ecosystem of schools. Blueprint and CA Group designed a plan that articulates the opportunities, activities, and resources needed to support schools at various stages of whole-school personalized learning development (e.g., exploration, pilot, full redesign). Additionally, the plan delineates a cohesive and contiguous set of funding opportunities, activities, and resources to support schools at each of the various stages.

Developed and conducted personalized learning workshops & training. Blueprint and CA Group developed and hosted a series of workshops for schools interested in learning more about personalized learning, how to design and implement a personalized learning pilot, and scale personalized learning across their network. The workshops and support also included 1:1 office hours by faculty from nationally recognized personalized learning schools, and national experts on critical topics such as personalized learning teacher/leader training and change management, implementing competency based progression, and online curriculum selection.

Designed applications, selection criteria & managed selection process. Blueprint and CA Group designed the grant applications and selection criteria for the various grant types and supported the selection of the first cohort of schools in each category. New Schools for New Orleans is using the materials to run future rounds of grant competitions.

As Phase I engaged 60 percent of the charter school market in New Orleans, Phase II is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2015 and aims at expanding the program’s impact in established schools and furthering the program’s reach into the remaining 40 percent.

Outcomes

During the first phase of the project, 23 schools attended personalized learning workshops, and nine schools received funding to implement personalized learning pilots and/or scale personalized learning programs. Over $2 million has been invested to encourage the implementation of personalized learning in New Orleans schools, impacting over 12,000 students.

Collaborators

Blueprint Education Consulting

CA Group Team Members

  • Bebe Ryan
  • Cat Alexander
  • Kirsten McKone
  • Kristen Buri
  • Pamela Barrier