Grade Level Achievement – Recommendations

GRADE LEVEL ACHIEVEMENT WORK GROUP

This work group focuses on children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. As part of its initial charge, the Grade Level Achievement work group sought to identify and examine strategies to improve student achievement, including those targeting students at the greatest risk of failure and dropout, using an early warning process. This includes identifying: the exact rate of attendance or poor grades that indicate a student is at risk of dropping off track; key drivers impacting student achievement; opportunities for intervention, including out-of-school strategies; and strategies for sharing information with parents/families, service providers, teachers, and principals.

Recommendations

The Grade Level Achievement work group put forth the below set of initial, strategic recommendations to move the needle on our key indicators for this outcome. The group monitored the following progress to date:

RECOMMENDATION 1

Create and leverage effective partnerships between schools and external entities: including community-based organizations and institutions (e.g. Baltimore Behavioral Health Systems and the Baltimore City Department of Social Services).

Progress to Date: The Effective Partnerships action team examined promising practices associated with school-based partnerships and generated ideas for developing a system that supports effective partnerships across the district. As a result of this work, the action team has:

  • led the overhaul of the Partnerships Toolkit on the BCPS website, which is a resource for external partners and school leaders.
  • supported the BCPS Office of Community Engagement in refining its trainings for principals in the 2016–17 school year.

RECOMMENDATION 2

Collaborate with the Baltimore City Public Schools’ central office to identify opportunities to support long-term capacity building strategies that improve human capital.

Progress to Date: The Human Capital action team discussed the strengths and opportunities of strategies related to the recruitment, retention, and professional development of BCPS principals. The team drafted an action plan to launch an Advisory Board for the Of ce of Human Capital, as well as a plan to build a differentiated professional development strategy for principals based on tenure and identi ed needs. The re nement and implementation of these plans is ongoing based on recommendations from the new Acting Chief of the Of ce of Human Capital.

RECOMMENDATION 3

Explore opportunities to align and expand quality, individualized interventions to improve achievement. This includes enhancing and expanding: school-based academic interventions in both math and literacy, such as tutoring; health and behavioral health interventions; and quality out-of-school time (OST) programs, including both after school and summer.

Progress to Date:

  • The Baltimore City Health Department produced a comprehensive Youth Health and Wellness strategy with input from a number of stakeholders, including Baltimore’s Promise. Efforts are underway to implement the strategy.
  • The Quality, Individualized Interventions — The OST action team examined the distribution and accessibility of OST seats, and the current alignment of OST programs with the district’s instructional priorities. The action team also examined the quality improvement systems of various programs and their outcomes. With support from the Family League of Baltimore, the action team drafted a strategic vision for OST and youth development programming in Baltimore City.