Partners Expands to Philadelphia

Partners in School Innovation expands its critical work in building educational capacity to Philadelphia through a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation.

The William Penn Foundation has awarded Partners $2,170,000 over the next 36 months to bring the organization’s proven school transformation approach to Philadelphia. The work funded will support improved educational and learning outcomes for children at elementary schools in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).

“Following our successes in the Bay Area and Michigan, we are excited for this opportunity to bring the Partners district and school transformation approach to support proven leaders in Philadelphia,” said Derek Mitchell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Partners. “We immediately saw the alignment of our work to the district’s broader Action Plan 3.0 and are looking forward to collaborating to develop sustainable transformation at all levels of the SDP system. We know this work is the best way to improve the life options of all students, and we’re especially excited about supporting leaders and teachers in the most challenged schools.”

Partners will work with the School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia on the rigorous implementation of our School Transformation Approach to increase teacher and leader capacity and accelerate student achievement; create systems to inform the leadership practices, professional development, and core instructional programs across the district; and ensure district leaders and systems are prepared to sustain results.

“Partners in School Innovation is a great match for the particular schools in my network because they are all in need of a structural framework that can help solidify instructional systems,” said John Tupponce, Assistant Superintendent. “These systems need to be embedded and sustainable. The principals and teachers are truly interested and capable of transforming their schools and Partners was the piece that was missing. With the principal knowledge and the strategic structures and coaching of Partners in School Innovation, it’s a perfect match.”

“We are optimistic about the opportunities for improvement that can result from collaborating with a national organization with a track record of success working in urban districts,” said Elliot Weinbaum, Great Learning Program Director at the William Penn Foundation. “Our hope is that Partners, working alongside our teachers and administrators, will improve a host of educational outcomes, help turn three schools in high-poverty areas into high-performing schools, and that this work can serve as a model for school improvement that can be replicated elsewhere throughout the City.”

Partners will begin implementation of its program in the School District of Philadelphia in July 2015, conducting intensive work at three school sites to anchor the Results-Oriented Cycle of Inquiry (ROCI) process to improve teaching and learning in those schools and facilitate cross-school learning networks to foster collaboration and the spread of ideas across sites.


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