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Collaborative Schools for Innovation & Success Implementation Grant

Primary Investigator(s):

Funding Agency: State of Washington

Period: 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2018

The state of Washington created a grant opportunity for school-university partnerships to address improving teaching and learning in poverty impacted schools and improving teacher preparation and professional development for professionals who work in these schools and others like them. This provided a chance for the University of Washington and Blakeview Elementary School (pseudonym), to engage in a shared visioning process that set an agenda for work that led to a Full Service Community School (FSCS).

The Planning Team which was composed of university faculty and graduate students, educators at the school, family members, and representatives from community-based organizations, identified a FSCS model because it brought the current assets, practices, needs, and areas of improvement within the school under one larger umbrella that recognizes that children, particularly those from families impacted by poverty, are best served by schools that blend high quality instruction and academic supports with health and wellness programs developed in collaboration with community partners (Caspe, et al., 2007; Dryfoos, 1994, Watson, et al., 1983; Griffith, 1986; Henderson and Berla, 1995; Levine and Lezotte, 1995, Warger, 2002).

The goals and activities that are the core to this school-university partnership project include: a) providing a holistic approach to education; b) supporting ambitious instruction, particularly in the area of mathematics instruction; and c) using data driven inquiry and practices in core subject areas. The innovation plan also addressed very specific objectives, such as: (1) improving communications and coordinating project partners and stakeholder groups; (2) enhancing the pedagogical knowledge and instructional skills of Blakeview teachers; (3) strengthening the organizational and leadership capacity of the school; (4) supporting high quality instruction in new and emerging areas; (5) weaving social emotional health and wellness services into the fabric of the school; (6) increasing family engagement; and (7) providing high quality field experiences for preservice teachers (PSTs). The theory of action for the project focused on building capacity within the school for highly coordinated, evidence-based programs and services that converged on measurable changes in outcomes for teachers and students.