Scaling What Works!
Scaling What Works. For Better Education and Better Futures.
What is School Transformation?
The School Transformation program scales best practices in leadership, teaching, and learning used at our pilot school TAF Academy to partner with existing public school districts. Using our STEMbyTAF approach, we help schools create academic environments that eliminate race-based disparity in academic achievement and promote the highest level of student learning and teacher development.
Our sustained approach to instructional change and improved student learning hinges on building strong relationships between teachers and students and designing student-focused, relevant learning experiences. Uniting this approach with best teaching practices and sound academic, social and emotional interventions yields the most desirable outcomes for students.
Imagine a public school that redefines STEM literacy, equitable education, and what it means to be a well-educated 21st-century student. Imagine a school known for encouraging innovation, for pushing the limits of what is expected, delivering curriculum in a way that is relevant to real-world needs and goals of students, and creating an environment that promotes academic success through a social justice lens. Imagine a school where learning is designed for, and often by, the students, where teachers collaborate as part of their daily practice and learn alongside their students, where parents are welcome in the classrooms at any time, and where professionals in other fields participate in teaching and learning. When you walk in this school, you sense there is a bond of caring between all the groups—teachers, students, leadership, and support staff—where people look out for each other and students support each other to do their very best.
Read the complete STEMbyTAF Vision for Our Schools adopted by all our school partners.
In order to transform using the STEMbyTAF model, we equip each of our partner public schools with:
- Full-time instructional coach(es) for the duration of the transformation.
- Focused, ongoing professional development on campus and through our STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute.
- School leadership collaboration.
- Program support including instructional technology, college and career readiness, and access to STEM professionals.
- Membership to a network of educators teaching with the STEMbyTAF method.
“Students will learn to succeed – not for standards or teacher expectations, not to compete in the workforce and fuel the economy, not for personal gain and prestige – but so they can position themselves to create the world they envision, personally, communally, nationally and globally.”
Transformation Brings Results.
Boze In The Spotlight
In 2015, with the help of the Tacoma Public School District, Boze Elementary became a STEMbyTAF Transformation School and started its journey to change the way its teachers teach and its students learn. With a mostly minority student population, Boze Elementary not only met the criteria for TAF, but we also received energetic support and commitment from its principal Arron Wilkins and the rest of the administrative staff and education team.
By the summer of 2015, the full Boze Elementary staff attended the STEMbyTAF Teacher’s Institute where they would learn the tools necessary to become enablers of the highest form of education – a project-based model with a heavy focus in STEM, out-of-the-classroom learning, and leadership opportunities.
Once the first day of school began in September of 2015, Boze teachers were equipped with . TAF instructional coaches worked alongside the educational team to develop projects around the students and their interests. They collaborated with one another to make learning fluid for students, with each subject matter correlating to another – the true way we as adults work in our lines of business. They began reaching out to the community and nearby businesses for support as well, and received a tremendous amount of support expanding learning outside of the classroom walls and into distribution centers, operation departments and more. For the first time, these young children were being exposed to their future and the unlimited possibilities in a way that made their dreams tangible. They were beginning to see the world not from a fantastical perspective, but from a place where they could identify problems and work together to solve them.
Reaching Students Furthest From Educational Justice.
Inline with our mission to bring equity in education to students of color and low-income communities, public school profiles must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- At least 70% student population of color
- More than 40% students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch
- More than 15% students in special education
- School qualifies for Title I Federal assistance
- School is in state mandated turn-around status
- Students’ standardized state test scores are consistently below the state and district averages.
Along with the preliminary qualifications, schools must also have:
- A superintendent with existing plans to innovate the school district
- School Board approval
- An innovative principal with demonstrated leadership and quality relationships with staff and families
- The majority of teaching staff agreeable to change
Are you interested in more information about TAF and our transformation work? Leave us a line and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!