Amarillo, Imperial Valley schools tie for Aspen’s neighborhood faculty prize — science weblog

Dive Temporary:

  • The Aspen Institute awarded two schools — Amarillo Faculty, in Texas, and Imperial Valley Faculty, in California — its Prize for Group Faculty Excellence Thursday. The winners will break up the $1 million prize.
  • The Aspen Prize is a biennial award that acknowledges the highest neighborhood schools within the nation and the practices that permit their college students to succeed. 
  • Each schools had been highlighted for the inventive methods they’ve proven their dedication to college students, in addition to their improved pupil consequence metrics.

Dive Perception:

Amarillo Faculty and Imperial Valley Faculty have each launched creative methods to assist college students graduate. Imperial Valley, for instance, has revamped its scheduling course of across the availability of scholars. It has additionally launched into constructing tiny homes on campus for college kids experiencing homelessness or previously within the foster care system. 

“Once we noticed that, that simply blew me away,” Michael Sorrell, Aspen Prize co-chair and president of Paul Quinn Faculty, mentioned Thursday on the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

Amarillo has additionally revamped its scheduling, instructing most programs in eight-week classes. 

That was a tough raise, Amarillo President Russell Lowery-Hart advised Increased Ed Dive.

“There have been pedagogical challenges. There have been scheduling and advising challenges,” he mentioned. “But nonetheless, with these challenges our pupil success price elevated 12% over the 16-week semester lessons.”

Moreover, the faculty upgraded its tutoring system, referring all college students to obligatory tutoring in the event that they obtain a 70% or decrease on any task. 

“You possibly can really feel it on the campus in addition to see it within the outcomes,” mentioned Jane Swift, co-chair and former governor of Massachusetts, on Amarillo’s dedication to its college students. 

The 2 schools have information to again up their dedication to college students. In simply 4 years, Imperial Valley has practically doubled the credentials awarded per pupil and seen a 12 proportion level enhance in commencement charges, Sorrell mentioned. The school enrolls 60% to 80% of its space’s highschool graduates. 

Sorrell mentioned these numbers “may very well be the very best p.c Aspen and its companions have ever seen. We’re speaking a couple of historic accomplishment.”

Amarillo Faculty, which gained Aspen’s Rising Star Award in 2021, has doubled its commencement and switch charges since 2010, Swift mentioned. Graduates are making about $11,000 extra per 12 months than different new hires within the area. 

The selection to choose two schools to win the award, out of 10 whole finalists, was not a primary within the 12-year historical past of the prize. Schools shared the highest honor in 2013 and 2019. 

“This isn’t a compromise in high quality, these are two extraordinary candidates that need to be celebrated,” mentioned Sorrell. “As an alternative of choosing, why don’t we simply have a good time them each?”

The 2 schools had been chosen from greater than 100 candidates. Along with pupil consequence metrics, the prize jury interviewed college, employees and college students to decide on a winner.

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