Fall River Public Schools
RF staff founded the Resiliency Prep School in the fall of 2007. Since their departure in January 2012, RF continues to provide the staff with professional development in the areas of student engagement, instructional leadership, and curriculum design. In addition, RF handles the school’s development responsibilities, which support student enrichment opportunities, after-school programming, and professional development expenses.
Norwich Public Schools, Griswold Public Schools, New London Public Schools, Mashantucket Pequot Nation, Three Rivers Community College, and Mitchell College
On May 14, RF submitted a proposal to the US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grants, part of the stimulus funds. RF’s first early college high school model was designed for a Connecticut collaborative that included New London Public Schools, Norwich Public Schools, Griswold Public Schools, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, Three Rivers Community College, and Mitchell College. RF helped to create a dual enrollment program where “high need” high school students would have the opportunity to take college classes that allowed them to receive high school and college credits at the same time. The U.S. Department of Education defined “high need” students as “students at risk of educational failure, or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, who are far below grade level, who are over- aged and under-credited, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are limited English proficient.
The goal of the project was to have “high need” students graduating with their high school diploma and Associates degree at the same time. All of the partners are located within a twenty-mile stretch, but, prior to this project, they rarely communicated and almost never collaborated in any way with one another. Each district simply found its own innovative ways to address the needs of its “at-risk” and “high need” populations. As a result, there was a tremendous amount of duplicating efforts and wasting limited resources. The genius of this initiative was that it compelled entities to collaborate.
Fall River Public Schools, New Bedford Public Schools, Brockton Public Schools, Northeastern University, UMass Dartmouth, Urban Initiative, Massasoit Community College, and Bristol Community College
Resiliency Foundation also partnered with Fall River Public Schools, New Bedford Public Schools, Brockton Public Schools, North- eastern University, UMass Dartmouth, Urban Initiative, Massasoit Community College, and Bristol Community College to create dual enrollment opportunities for “high need” students.
This project was modeled after the Talent Search program that aims to provide college readiness training and supports to students whose parents did not attend college. In addition, counselors are put in place to ensure that students are taking classes that have the rigor necessary for students to experience success at the college level. In cases where high schools don’t offer enough college prep courses, Talent Search is permitted to either fund a teaching position or pay the tuition for dual enrollment classes at a local community college.
New London Public Schools
RF worked closely with administrators at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London, Connecticut to create an alternative education program for 7th and 8th graders who were struggling to make effective progress in school. Recognizing that this system was a huge disservice to their most at-risk students, RF and New London Public School staff began designing a Resiliency for Life model that could be customized to meet the needs of underserved serve middle school aged children.
The core principles of the program were closely aligned to those of the Resiliency for Life program in Framingham, but the design was somewhat different. Over a two-year period, RF staff collaborated with the local community foundation, community stakeholders, and school personnel to develop an innovative program that ultimately led to increased performance for a targeted group of students.
RF staff facilitated a three-day Common Core State Standards (CCSS) workshop with all of the alternative education teachers in Central Falls, RI. Teachers were given CCSS curriculum that was developed by RF staff which maintained the level of rigor that CCSS demands but incorporated authentic assessments, multiple forms of modeling, and access to a variety of resources to reinforce challenging concepts.
Connecticut Department of Education
The Connecticut Department of Education hired RF to conduct an audit of the Thames River Academy Alternative High School (TRA) located in Norwich, CT. TRA had the lowest test scores and the highest dropout rate in the state, and RF was hired to evaluate school performance related to: school culture and leadership; curriculum and instruction, school design, data management, and school and community resources.
Over a two-month period, RF staff interviewed students, parents, Norwich School Board Members, school and district administrators, community stakeholders, and leaders from sending schools. In addition, RF staff spent more than 80 hours observing classroom instruction and evaluated every teacher. Lastly, school and district policies were reviewed and compared against state regulation and law. An extensive report was written that documented RF’s finding, offered best practice, and suggested recommendations for change.
Plymouth Public Schools
RF worked with Plymouth Public School’s administrators to design an after-school pathway for over-aged and under-credited students and two prevention programs for incoming freshmen who were entering high school with two or more risk factors. RF staff also developed budgets, program policies and procedures, information brochures for parents and school personnel, and worked with school administrators to set benchmarks for student achievement.
Fall River Innovation Academy
RF worked with the City of Fall River Department of Education to develop a prospectus for a new school, under Massachusetts State Innovation Status. The prospectus called for the creation of the Fall River Innovation Academy (FRIA), an innovation school designed to address the needs of the Fall River student population and community-at-large. FRIA provided a public school option for the city’s students to close the achievement gap in educational attainment and college success. The Superintendent and the Mayor, whom also serves as the Chairman of the School Committee, approved the prospectus and RF was invited to facilitate an 11-member planning committee to develop a full proposal.
Over the course of seven months, RF convened the planning committee, conducted bi-monthly meetings, reached consensus amongst planning committee members on each component of the proposal, drafted language on policies and procedures related to school programming and student selection, and created a shared governance model. In addition, RF coordinated community outreach activities and presented at multiple community forums and school committee meetings.