i3 Grant STW Transformation Network

i3 Grant STW Transformation Network

Investing In Innovations, I3 Winners Announced

The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 that the National Forum was one of 30 to win a Development grant of up to $5 million dollars from the Investing in Innovations fund, i3. The competition was tremendous with the Department of Education receiving 1,698 applications, the largest response to a grant program yet.

Read more at EdWeekly

See the Complete list of winners and their scores

Read the Abstract submitted by the National Forum

The Complete Grant submitted by the National Forum

National Press Release

Program Description

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform proposed to develop and test a promising innovation aimed at 1) building the capacity of persistently low-performing middle-grades schools, 2) improving their students’ academic performance, and 3) closing achievement gaps among sub-groups. The Forum develop and tested the innovation with a consortium of 18 urban and rural schools in three states—North Carolina, California and Illinois. The innovation used the (1) Forum’s Schools to Watch (STW) criteria as a framework for change; (2) tools for school assessment, goal setting, action planning and monitoring; (3) a multi-layered system of support including a STW coach, a principal leadership coach, and a mentor school matched by demographics; and (4) focused professional development designed to build a learning community and address the needs of students at risk of educational failure.

Over time, we expected the 18 schools to 1) strengthen their structures, norms, and processes for continuous improvement; 2) increase their academic rigor; 3) promote equity for all students, including those with disabilities and limited English proficiency; and 4) develop an array of supports designed to meet the needs of young adolescents. Over the 4 years, the project served approximately 18,000 students in the 18 schools. Our State STW Program, which now operates in 17 states, provides a strong infrastructure necessary for both scale-up and sustainability. Our non-profit partners include the Association for Illinois Middle Schools, the California League of Middle Schools, the North Carolina Association for Middle Level of Education, and Academy for Educational Development. The Center for Prevention Research and Development at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign will conduct the evaluation.

Case Studies & Coaching

2010 - i3 STW Transformation Network produced 4 case studies:

California Case Study - Building Bridges to Success! Through Vision, Values, Character and Achievement 2012-2013

FHI360 Case StudyFrom Data to Success: Using Early Warning Indicators to Shape Interventions for Students in the Middle Grades

Illinois Case Study - Building a Middle-School Program within a K-8 School: Promises and Challenges

North Carolina Case Study - A Journey to Excellence

2010 - i3 STW Transformation Network Coaching Guides:

Coaching Guide - Good coaching matters and in fact, our i3 grant schools with the same coach and principal showed the most improvement over the grant’s five years. That is why we are delighted to offer this wonderful field guide specifically crafted for supporting coaches for Schools to Watch® in middle grades schools. It is a long-needed tool that melds together the best knowledge about coaching with the power of the Schools to Watch and its Ratings Rubric for advancing middle grades education.

Coaching Handbook - The Coaching Handbook is a shorter version with tools and examples discussed in the Coaching Guide.

Project Team

2010 School’s to Watch® Transformation Network

Maryam Hall
Irvan Howard
Aneta Murphy
Peter Murphy
Katie Winchell

Kathleen McNeary
Vicki Mogil

Ran Barnes
John Harrison
Betty Terrell

CPRD – University of Illinois
Dawn Carpenter, Nancy Flowers, and Peter Mulhall

FHI 360
Patrick Montesano and Michelle Feist

Progress & Findings

Progress and Findings

The Schools to Watch (STW) Transformation Network Project seeks to improve student achievement in low-performing middle-grades schools. The four year project began in October 2010 in California, Illinois, and North Carolina with 18 schools. We are using a multi-layered system of support and an extensive set of school improvement strategies, including a STW coach, principal coach, STW site visits, professional development, early indicator systems, and networking activities. The evaluation is conducted by the Center for Prevention Research and Development.

Telling Our Story - The 2010 i3 Grant put together a document to share about their project.

Coaching Field Guide and Handbook
Coaching Field Guide
Coaching Handbook

The Impact of the i3Project: School Focus Group Findings

During the 2012/13 school year, CPRD visited one i3 school in each state to conduct focus groups with teachers, leadership teams, and administrative teams in order to learn more about how each school was implementing the i3 project. Hamlet Middle School (Hamlet, NC), Davis Elementary School (Chicago, IL), and Coalinga Middle School (Coalinga, CA) were
selected based on recommendations from the state leadership teams for their high level of project implementation and the resulting impact of the i3 Project on their individual schools. Hamlet Middle School was selected as a 2013 Schools to Watch school shortly after CPRD conducted their school visit, and Davis Elementary School was selected as a 2014 Schools to Watch school. Although Coalinga Middle School was not yet ready to apply for Schools to Watch, they had achieved Safe Harbor status in 2012 and like the other two schools had seen great improvements since implementing the i3 Project. This report summarizes the impact of the i3 Project on these three schools, the challenges the schools faced and their lessons learned, as well as their goals and expectations for the last year of the i3 grant.


Final Evaluation Report

The 2010 i3 Schools to Watch (STW) Transformation Network Project would like to share their final report for the project. CLICK HERE to read the Final Evaluation Report

i3 Project Fact Sheet

To read more on the i3 Project Fact Sheet for June 2013, click on the link below.

Impact of the i3 Project: School Visit Focus Group Findings

CPRD works with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform i3 grants. With the 2010 i3 STW Transformation Network Project wrapping up, CPRD has put together a fact sheet The Impact of the i3 Project: School Visit Focus Group Findings. This is a wonderful document to read and get more information about the 2010 i3 grant.

Presentation for 2014 Learning Forward Conference

We had a team from our i3 STW Transformation Network Project present at the Learning Forward conference in December 2014. CLICK HERE to see thePowerPoint from their presentation.