Establishing a school design “laboratory” and a charter school to serve as hubs of innovation for personalised learning
City Year works to bridge the gap in high-poverty communities between the support students need and what their schools are designed to provide. In partnership with Oak and the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, and in support of a new public charter school (Compass Academy) in Denver, Colorado, City Year established the School Design Division to continuously develop, test, refine, and disseminate new school practices.
“Compass Academy has given me opportunities to grow inside and outside of school and has also helped me understand and grow in things like self-agency, growth mindset and self-management.”
– 7th grade student at Compass Academy
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Founded in 1988, City Year was inspired by the belief that young people can change the world through national service. City Year places over 3,000 full-time AmeriCorps members in 28 communities across the nation to provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide supports that help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. All of City Year’s students are in low-income communities where there is an increased risk of exposure to trauma and many struggle with learning and attention issues. City Year AmeriCorps members support these students in growing core values, attitudes, and skills that holistically drive social- emotional growth, civic participation, and academic success, using youth development practices and an asset-based approach to counteract the adverse effects of poverty. The advantages of the near-peer relationship of the AmeriCorps members are leveraged through an interrelated set of services in schools: School Partnership Services, Academic Services, Student Engagement Services, and Progress Monitoring Services.
ABOUT THE OAK FUNDED PROJECT
The Oak-funded School Design Division serves as a vehicle through which City Year and its partner, the Center for Organization of Schools at John Hopkins University (CSOS/JHU), can investigate and share new personalized learning innovations. Following a core belief that policy and practice must follow evidence, The School Design Division is committed to designing, implementing, promoting, and transferring scalable solutions that translate to schools and school systems across the country, and which can be implemented utilizing public resources in low-income, underserved communities where students with learning differences are especially vulnerable. Funding from the Oak Foundation supports the following objectives:
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Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.
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