We are excited to announce the release of Eskolta’s 2016 annual report. This report shares the details of our continued and growing impact working with reflective and empowered educators to solve problems collaboratively and spearhead meaningful change.
In 2016, we developed improvement and innovation projects with 35 schools in all five NYC boroughs. Through these unique partnerships, we worked with educators to use research-based school-improvement methods to address needs specific to their schools. The report showcases our partnership with the New York City Department of Education on citywide conferences and institutes that provide deep professional development: the Transfer School Common Core Institute (TSCCI), the Academic and Personal Behaviors Institute (APBI), and the Advanced Academic and Personal Behaviors Institute (AAPBI). As one teacher who participated in APBI shared, “The Institute has been the best PD [professional-development] series I’ve attended because it provides tools that result in actionable, school-wide changes.”
In the report, we highlight the success story of a pilot team of teachers at Jill Chaifetz Transfer School (JCTS) taking part in TSCCI. Led by Michael Wolach, a teacher leader at JCTS and an Eskolta Fellow, the team of teachers and advisors explored ways to promote student empowerment and developed conferencing tools and structures. Wolach leveraged his experience as a member of the first year of the Eskolta Fellows program—a series of training sessions we developed for school- and district-based educators interested in leading school-improvement initiatives—to implement action research and improvement science techniques to improve student outcomes. Wolach explains, “I was able to merge what I was learning through the fellowship with my everyday work, whether that is a meeting protocol or a theoretical approach to piloting an initiative.” Now Wolach and the teachers at JCTS are helping hundreds of students reach goals and problem-solve while also developing a shared understanding of student needs among staff members.
Wolach and his fellow transfer school teachers were also able to share their experiences at the sixth annual NYC Transfer School Conference, an initiative of the New York City Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Readiness in partnership with Eskolta. The conference brought together more than 900 educators and support staff representing 38 of the city’s 55 transfer schools and served as an opportunity for educators to connect and share high-quality practices in a workshop setting.