Page 11 - Great Schools Partnership 20017-2018 Annual Report
P. 11

  Three new community schools
Great Schools Partnership is onboarding three new community schools – Belle Morris Elementary, Spring Hill Elementary and Whittle Springs Middle - in the 2018-2019 school year, bringing the total to 16 sites in our community schools strategy. With this expansion, Great Schools Partnership’s community schools now reach more than 6,700 Knox County students, their families and the neighborhoods surrounding these schools.
Arts-Integrated tutoring
In comparison to middle class students, children from economically distressed homes enter school with dramatically less exposure to vocabulary and limited context to give words relevance. This gap leaves low income students significantly behind their wealthier peers in reading proficiency. Using a strong evidence base, Great Schools worked with Knox County Schools (KCS) to develop and pilot a new tutoring model designed to address this disparity and help economically disadvantaged students excel. KCS art, music, physical education and English/language arts teachers work in teams to provide interactive, engaging afterschool instruction using a specific curriculum. Reading proficiency, student behavior and parent engagement improved dramatically in our pilot program. The tutoring program is now being offered at 11 KCS elementary schools.
Transition successful programs
Positive outcomes are just one indicator of a successful Great Schools Partnership research and development project. Real success comes when the program is sustained, even as our funding is withdrawn, by Knox County Schools or another community partner. We’re moving toward that mark with two programs this year. Through a partnership with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, KCS students will continue to gain computer programming skills through CodeTN. Additionally, the show will also go on with Shakespeare in Shades as we transition this program to the UT Clarence Brown Theatre.
Strengthening our team and our work
Leadership transitions and the expansion of our operations generated a five-year period of exuberant growth and change for Great Schools Partnership. We are proud of the innovation this has produced, and are ready to spend some time strengthening the management and evaluation of this work. Through our partnership with Knox County Schools Office of Research, Evaluation and Assessment, we are carefully building out our accountability measures for everything that we operate and fund. Additionally, our team has grown ten-fold since 2013! We now have 42 full-time employees, 17 part-time employees and we are investing time and attention to support their success. These efforts will ultimately result in the success of Knox County’s students, families and communities.
Our 2018-2019 Focus • Knoxville, TN

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