On May 13, 2016 the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the leading professional association for education leaders in the nation awarded Partners in School Innovation its Partners in Educational Excellence Award which recognizes exemplary school and community partnership programs.

“We are honored to be selected as ACSA’s 2016 recipient of the Partners in Educational Excellence Award,” said Derek Mitchell, Ph.D., CEO of Partners in School innovation. “This award is particularly exciting for us as we know ACSA as an organization deeply and consistently committed to social justice and the powerful role our schools can play in eliminating the achievement gap. We were selected for our ability to powerfully and deeply partner with schools serving high percentages of underserved students of color to effect sustained positive student achievement results. Over the years we have learned how to help districts invest in the professional growth of their teachers and leaders serving our most challenged communities and are proud to play one part in helping them achieve breakthrough results.”

Partners has been serving Santa Clara County for over ten years. During that time Partners has partnered intensively with Alum Rock Elementary Unified School District (AREUSD), Oak Grove School District (OGSD), and Franklin-McKinley School District (FMSD) and has had significant sustained, positive impact on student achievement and learning. Partners’ intensive partnership at Chavez Elementary and Fischer Middle School in Alum Rock, for example, yielded accelerated results for students (as compared to all ARUESD and all CA). Additionally, Chavez Elementary went from one of the lowest performing schools in the state (in the lowest 5%) to a successful school in just 3 years. They experienced a 177-point API growth and exited Program Improvement after working with Partners for two years. Early results in Franklin-McKinley and Oak Grove indicate similar trajectories.

Partners in School Innovation has been working with under-performing schools and districts since 1993 and our strategies have evolved over 20 years to fill a unique space in the education reform community. We are committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with teachers and leaders to help students thrive as learners, regardless of background or ZIP code.

“The work with Partners has transformed the way we look at educational programing and the impact on the students we serve,” said Stella Kemp, Assistant Superintendent Education Services at Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose. “By surfacing issues of equity, we transform the adult practices across the district to leverage assets to meet the needs of students and verify impact in a systematic and deliberate manner that confirms our transformation efforts. Partners has supported our schools and our leaders to build the necessary cycle of inquiry to promote improvement in teaching and learning.”

“Partners has impacted our school tremendously through its thought partnership and ROCI cycle (Results-Oriented Cycle of Inquiry),” said Aurora Garcia, Principal at Franklin-McKinley Elementary School. “Through reflection we are beginning to fully internalize the process of inquiry and continuous improvement as a team, making adjustments in our lesson planning, our teaching, and in understanding how students learn.”

Partners is proud of our work and the continued impact of our intensive engagements across the country as we expand to help other under-performing schools and districts. Our management practices are distinguished by multi-year partnerships, the use of existing human capital in schools where we partner, and remaining curriculum and initiative agnostic.