Teach Plus Illinois Partners with Five Chicago-Area Schools in its Inaugural Network for School Improvement Program

Teach Plus Illinois Partners with Five Chicago-Area Schools in its Inaugural Network for School Improvement Program
Program will develop strategies to improve math outcomes for middle school students and instructional practices for teachers

Chicago, IL—Teach Plus Illinois has selected five Chicago-area schools as partners in its inaugural Network for School Improvement (NSI) program, which aims to improve middle-school math instruction, increase opportunities and support for teacher leadership, and increase the share of African-American, Latino, and low-income students across Chicago achieving proficiency in 8th grade math. The school teams will work collaboratively across their network, and with the Teach Plus NSI schools in Los Angeles, to identify and problem-solve the biggest challenges facing their students.
The Teach Plus NSI school partners are:

  • Dunne STEM Academy, serving over 200 students in the Roseland neighborhood. 
  • Evergreen Middle School, serving over 300 students in the McKinley Park neighborhood.  
  • Gallistel Language Academy, serving over 700 students in the East Side neighborhood.
  • Hernandez Middle School, serving over 1,000 students in the Gage Park and West Eldson neighborhoods.
  • Marsh Elementary School, serving over 700 students in the South Deering neighborhood. 

“Through our current programs in Chicago, we’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of teacher leaders as they collaborate with like-minded peers on similar problems of practice,” said Kristen Ciciora, Teach Plus’ Chicago Teacher Engagement Manager. “We are excited to launch the NSI program and to infuse even more improvement science principles into this initiative.” 
“This partnership complements our mission of developing our teachers as they improve in their craft but also strengthen their collective efficacy,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez, CPS Network 8 Chief. “Both Evergreen Middle and Hernandez Middle are focused on improving their math. When we put our energy on developing our teachers, our students prosper and this program will allow the math teachers to truly blossom.”
As part of the Teach Plus NSI, a Teach Plus teacher leadership coach supports each teacher leader to grow their skills and knowledge of leading an improvement effort in their schools. Each school’s team, which includes the principal and math teacher leader, meets on a monthly basis with their coach to problem-solve around math instruction, share learnings and strategies, and gauge opportunities to bring solutions to scale within their schools and across the network. The entire network of schools will also convene virtually and in-person. A key element of the program is Teach Plus’ partnership with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy to develop continuous improvement skills among the network’s teacher leaders, principals, and peer teachers. The program is supported by the inaugural NSI grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success.  Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students.  teachplus.org