The Colorado Department of Education

Offices | Staff Contacts | Colorado.gov

Educational Service Providers - Provider Detail

The information provided regarding Educational Service Providers is provided for information only. The Colorado Department of Education does not endorse, represent or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, services or other materials provided by these educational service providers. Any reliance upon any information, content, materials, products, services or vendors included on or found through this listing shall be at the user's sole risk.

Provider

Expeditionary Learning

Contact Information

Primary

Jon Mann
6550 East 21st Avenue
Denver, CO 80207

Phone: (303) 887-6216
Email: jmann@elschools.org

Secondary

Mark Conrad
247 W 35th Street
New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 239-4455
Email: mconrad@elschools.org

General Information

Website: www.elschools.org
Screenshots / Demo: elschools.org/our-approach
Effectiveness Data: elschools.org/our-results
Type of Organization: Other
School improvement partner
Organization is best described as: Non-Profit
Age of Firm / Number of Years in Operation: 20 years
Level(s) services may be provided: - Elementary
- Middle
- High School
- District
Provides performance guarantees in contract: NO
Educational Services Provided Assessment
Comprehensive & Effective Planning
Comprehensive Turnaround Provider
Curriculum Alignment
District Culture
Educator Effectiveness
Instruction
Leadership
Organizational Structure and Resources
Professional Development
Student
Family and Community Support
Bully Prevention
School and District Improvement
Diagnostic Review

Name of Schools/ Districts that this organization has served in Colorado:

EL partners with more than 20 schools in Colorado. A partial list of contacts which represents the variety of school types that are effective in implementing EL includes:

The Odyssey School, Principal Marcia Fulton, marcia@odysseydenver.org, (303) 316-3944

William Smith High School, Principal David Roll, droll@aps.k12.co.us, (303) 364-8715

Tollgate Elementary, Principal Laurie Godwin, lrgodwin@aps.k12.co.us, (303) 696-0944

Scholars to Leaders, Principal Carolyn Geary, cgery@slacademy.org

Polaris Elementary, Principal Joe Gawronski, jgawrons@psdschools.org, (970) 488-4400

Downtown Denver Expeditionary Learning School, Principal Scott Mengel, scott.mengel@ddeschool.org, 720-335-6305

Recent References:

The Odyssey School, Principal Marcia Fulton, marcia@odysseydenver.org, (303) 316-3944

William Smith High School, Principal David Roll, droll@aps.k12.co.us, (303) 364-8715

Tollgate Elementary, Principal Laurie Godwin, lrgodwin@aps.k12.co.us, (303) 696-0944

Scholars to Leaders, Principal Carolyn Geary, cgery@slacademy.org

Polaris Elementary, Principal Joe Gawronski, jgawrons@psdschools.org, (970) 488-4400

Name of Schools/ Districts that this organization has served in other states:

EL partners with more than 165 schools in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Please contact us for references that most closely reflect your interest. A short list of general contacts (rural, suburban and urban) includes:

Capital City Lower Charter School, Executive Director Karen Dresden, kdresden@ccpcs.org

Washington Heights EL School, Principal Brett Kimmel, bkimmel@schools.nyc.gov

Kettle Falls Elementary, Superintendent Greg Goodnight, ggoodnight@kettlefalls.wednet.edu

Rochester City School District, Assistant Superintendent Mary Doyle, mary.doyle@rcsdk12.org

Genessee Community Charter School, Principal Lisa Wing, lwing@gccs.edu

Springfield Renaissance 6-12 school, Principal Steve Mahoney, mahoneys@sps.springfield.ma.us

Qualifications of this Organization (licensure, trademark, etc.):

Expeditionary Learning partners with schools, districts, and charter boards to open new schools and transform existing schools. Our current network consists of 165 schools in 30 states and Washington, DC serving 45,000 students and 4,000 teachers. EL provides teachers and school leaders with professional development, school-based coaching, and online tools to improve curriculum design, instruction, school culture and structures, leadership, and assessment practices.

EL puts teacher learning at the center of its model. We work with new and veteran teachers across their career trajectory, offering professional learning that is intensive, sustained, content-specific, connected to the day-to-day realities of classrooms, and tied to the school's improvement goals. In two separate studies, the National Staff Development Council featured the EL approach to professional development as the only model of 26 studied that meets all 27 standards for high quality.

EL's off-site institutes and site seminars engage teachers as learners to support better assessment of student learning, demonstrate engaging content instruction, and foster their own development as learners and thinkers. Expert EL school coaches - called School Designers - provide intensive school-based support to help teachers and administrators adapt EL instructional practices learned at these professional development sessions to align with school vision and local context and develop innovative strategies that meet the needs of their students.

Qualifications of Instructors/ Staff that Provide Services:

EL's 165 school partnerships are managed by eight Regional Directors covering the Northeast, New York City, the mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, the Midwest, the Mountain Region, and the West. Most regional directors are former teachers or principals of EL schools, and most have been with EL for 10 or more years. Each Regional Director manages a team of EL School Designers who are responsible for providing EL schools with professional development and school-based coaching. Most School Designers worked as educators themselves before joining EL, many in EL schools.

The Regional Director for the Mountain Region, in which Colorado is located, is Jonathan Mann. Jon has a wide range of experience in educational leadership, school reform, curriculum and instruction and professional development. Jon was the Director of Welby New Technology High School in Mapleton, the previous director of College Summit Colorado, a member of the Woodstock School faculty in northern India, a graduate of the Claremont Mckenna College, University of Colorado and Denver Public School's Ritchie Fellows program for Educational Leadership and a founding teacher and former Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning.

Cost:

EL employs a fee for service structure. The EL MOU and school work plan is developed in collaboration with the school's leadership and reflects goals and supports that will deepen implementation and improve student achievement. Schools contract for School Designers' direct service days that include travel and planning. These days are used to work directly with teachers and administrators on a myriad of practices: from in-class coaching support to administrative coaching to curriculum design. Schools also contract for slots at EL's regional and national professional development institutes and conferences.

Explanation of how we are able to provide differentiated services to meet the individual needs of schools and districts.

In EL schools, services are highly customized to the individual needs of schools and districts. Every year, EL regional directors and school coaches collaborate with school-based leadership teams to craft annual work plans. These work plans are informed by data on student achievement and school culture factors that affect achievement. Every EL work plan is composed of at least one student achievement goal and one school conditions goals.

Understanding the Two Types of Goals: Student Achievement and Conditions

Student achievement goals are associated with student-level data points/evidence as well as teacher data points/evidence. In EL schools Student Achievement incorporates connections across three realms:
- Academic achievement as measured by traditional means
- Relational character values and habits of scholarship, engagement, and motivation
- High-quality products and performances that addresses an authentic need

Examples of student achievement goals:
- Students in grades 3-5 will be able to make accurate and sophisticated inferences about grade-level non-fiction texts.
- Students will become confident and fluent in multiplication and division facts.
- All students are engaged, proficient writers.
- All students will improve how frequently they exhibit at least one Habit of Scholarship each semester.
- The number of students passing all of their classes will increase to at least 85%.
- Every high school student will develop a compelling college application letter.
- All students will create at least one high-quality writing product that has an authentic audience.

School conditions goals support the improvement of teaching and learning. They are associated with teacher data points/evidence, but not student-level data points/evidence. They may relate to implementing a structure or system to improve school culture, leadership, or assessment practices.

Examples of school conditions goals:
- All teachers, in grade-level or job-alike teams, have sufficient time to collaboratively craft high-quality learning expeditions and projects.
- Community meetings will strengthen school culture and foster student leadership.
- 100% of teachers will participate in Learning Walks focused on defining and increasing student engagement.
- A high-functioning School Leadership Team will drive school improvement focused on student learning.
- Special education and ELL students will receive the support and scaffolding needed to participate actively in all learning expeditions and projects.

Identifying Strategic and Inspiring Goals

A goal of either type should meet the following criteria:
1. It is informed by data, such as:
- Student achievement data (e.g. state tests, classroom-level assessments, interim assessments such district benchmarks or MAP scores)
- School-wide tools (observation tools, walk-throughs, surveys, rubrics, etc.)
- IR data/letter
2. It is realistic and builds on strengths
- If a new structure or system is being implemented, other structures are stable and complementary
- Sufficient personnel and time is in place to support the goal
3. It is bold and inspirational, even when strategically narrow
- It's succinct and memorable
- It involves important work that will make a difference
- It spurs thoughts like, "I want to work at that school!" or "Yes, this will make a big difference for our students!"
- It should be a SMART Goal

For example, the one EL school's implementation review data showed that teachers wanted support and feedback on implementing differentiation strategies based on student data, and the school currently has no consistent coaching structure to support teachers individually. So, they set a School Conditions goal that puts in place the structure of coaching linked to PD cycles, with the end goal being that data-driven differentiation occurs in all classrooms on a regular basis.

Crafting Learning Targets

1. Craft long-term and supporting targets for teachers and for leaders that align with the goal. Quality targets are:
- Friendly and accessible - not long-winded or jargon-filled
- Specific and contextualized
- Clear about the intended learning (not doing) that is able to be assessed

For example: One EL school's School Conditions teacher target reads:

I can implement differentiation strategies based on student data / needs. This means:
- I know what data to collect.
- I know how to analyze data.
- I can select appropriate differentiation strategies based on data:
_ Flexible grouping (readiness, interest)
_ Compacted curriculum
_ Tiered lessons

Equally important, in terms of USE, quality learning targets are
- Made public; shared with teachers at the outset
- Referred to regularly to help teachers track their progress toward attainment

Identifying Structures and Leadership Actions

Identify structures and leadership actions, including the role of EL
- Name any existing structures and systems that support teachers in reaching the goal
- Identify any new structures and systems that will be created to support reaching the goal
- Ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear and realistic

For example: One EL school has strong PD cycles in place and can now add individual teacher coaching. The Instructional Guide will take responsibility for coaching teachers in their use of data while the EL school designer will take lead responsibility for planning and facilitating PD. There is sufficient time and personnel built in to support these structures and actions.

Identifying Realistic, Meaningful Data Points to Monitor Progress

Data points should:
- Include formative assessment data collected at a classroom and/or school level so that not too much time passes before the leadership team can monitor progress to discover what's working and what's not...and then "follow the bright spots" to formulate a theory of action about what's causing success
- Not be overly cumbersome to collect or analyze
- Be linked back to the structures and leadership actions in terms of development of the tools to collect data or inclusion of a structure to support analysis and next steps
- Be shared with all stakeholders to help monitor progress and refine theories of action

For example, one school's data point for the School Conditions goal is coaching notes. The Instructional Guide in that school will create a standard coaching form, set and adhere to his coaching schedule, and attend weekly School Leadership Team (SLT) meetings to discuss and analyze teachers' progress. These structures and actions are all identified as part of the work plan.


Apart from EL work plans, Expeditionary Learning provides a broad array of professional development institutes both regionally and nationally. EL's PD has received consistent recognition as "best of breed," and teachers, principals and district leaders consistently describe it as "the best and most relevant I've every experienced."

How will we evaluate our services and support to schools and districts and its effectiveness in school/ district/ student achievement?

Annual Strategic Planning Cycle:

EL understands that school improvement demands continuous attention to thoughtful process and product. Expeditionary Learning is committed to school partnerships that are proactive and informed through a cycle of planning.

a. Prior to the start of the school year, a Partnership Agreement is reviewed and committed to by the partners.
b. Also prior to the school year, the actualization of this agreement will be delineated in an annual Work Plan and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
c. Regular check-in meetings with school leadership and EL School Designers and/or Regional Directors will establish goals and assess progress toward those goals.
d. Each spring, school and EL personnel engage in a comprehensive Implementation Review (IR). The IR assesses the extent to which the school is implementing core EL practices in Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, Culture and Leadership.
e. Year-end planning conversations are driven by results data. At the end of the first Affiliate Year, a decision is made whether to progress to full membership. Subsequently, these conversations lead to collaborative development of a new Work Plan and corresponding MOU.

Sample of services offered for a school or district:

Under 500 Students:

Our school designers spend an average of 30 days a year in a school working on-site with teachers and school leaders. This allows them to provide professional development within a whole school design and combine focused institutes with on-site coaching and support. Off-site institutes and site seminars engage teachers as learners to support better assessment of student learning, demonstrate engaging content instruction, and foster their own development as learners and thinkers.
School-based professional development offerings

Each school designer develops a variety of school-based professional development opportunities for staff based on a school's identified needs. Some examples include:

Full staff training for improved schoolwide implementation of our model
Small team coaching sessions for curriculum planning
Curriculum planning with individual teachers
Demonstration lessons with students and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
Targeted professional development around one of the key facets of our model, authentic student-engaged assessment
Classroom observation and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
Individual or small group meetings with school leaders or leadership teams
Presentations to various constituent groups (e.g., parents, community groups, school boards)
Ongoing assessment of the schoolwide implementation of our core practices
Access to teaching resources, model student work, and EL Commons, our online forum for sharing knowledge and collaborative work space

Professional development institutes AND seminars

Our professional development is led by the most experienced school designers and master teachers from across our network. Three-day and five-day residential institutes provide content-rich curricular and instructional strategies for teachers and leaders on topics such as reading, math, differentiation, assessment, and the use of data. Five-day residential Learning Expeditions for Educators allow teachers to experience learning as their students do. And two-day Site Seminars invite educators to observe some of our most successful schools in action.
Expeditionary Learning National Conference

The Expeditionary Learning National Conference includes a mix of interactive master classes, structured discussion groups, and regional gatherings. Approximately 120 master classes, collaboratively designed and facilitated by EL school designers and teachers, are offered each year to the conference's 700+ participants. The optional pre-conference day is a chance to experience EL practices on a deeper level. Participants can take a science-based or humanities-based Slice - a day in the life of a Learning Expedition; visit a local EL school; or explore a common EL practice, such as differentiation or assessment.

Go to www.elschools.org for more details on the current professional development offerings.

500-1000 Students:

Our school designers spend an average of 30 days a year in a school working on-site with teachers and school leaders. This allows them to provide professional development within a whole school design and combine focused institutes with on-site coaching and support. Off-site institutes and site seminars engage teachers as learners to support better assessment of student learning, demonstrate engaging content instruction, and foster their own development as learners and thinkers.
School-based professional development offerings

Each school designer develops a variety of school-based professional development opportunities for staff based on a school's identified needs. Some examples include:

Full staff training for improved schoolwide implementation of our model
Small team coaching sessions for curriculum planning
Curriculum planning with individual teachers
Demonstration lessons with students and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
Targeted professional development around one of the key facets of our model, authentic student-engaged assessment
Classroom observation and follow-up debriefing sessions with teachers
Individual or small group meetings with school leaders or leadership teams
Presentations to various constituent groups (e.g., parents, community groups, school boards)
Ongoing assessment of the schoolwide implementation of our core practices
Access to teaching resources, model student work, and EL Commons, our online forum for sharing knowledge and collaborative work space

Professional development institutes AND seminars

Our professional development is led by the most experienced school designers and master teachers from across our network. Three-day and five-day residential institutes provide content-rich curricular and instructional strategies for teachers and leaders on topics such as reading, math, differentiation, assessment, and the use of data. Five-day residential Learning Expeditions for Educators allow teachers to experience learning as their students do. And two-day Site Seminars invite educators to observe some of our most successful schools in action.
Expeditionary Learning National Conference

The Expeditionary Learning National Conference includes a mix of interactive master classes, structured discussion groups, and regional gatherings. Approximately 120 master classes, collaboratively designed and facilitated by EL school designers and teachers, are offered each year to the conference's 700+ participants. The optional pre-conference day is a chance to experience EL practices on a deeper level. Participants can take a science-based or humanities-based Slice - a day in the life of a Learning Expedition; visit a local EL school; or explore a common EL practice, such as differentiation or assessment.

The 2012 National Conference will take place May 3-5 in Denver, CO.

1000+ Students:

Whether schools are chronically underperforming or at the top of their game, our professional development improves the practice of every teacher and leader, raising student achievement and improving critical thinking while simultaneously creating a culture of success and respect.
Setting the Conditions for Success

With the right conditions in place at the district and school levels, our approach to school improvement transforms a school's culture. We use a Partnership Readiness Assessment to solicit baseline information about a school's readiness for partnership and the district's support for comprehensive change.
Strong School Leadership

We look for thoughtful and influential school leadership shared across a team. The school vision should reflect a commitment to structures and relationships that optimize student and adult learning and foster character and trust. The majority of a school's faculty should embrace our school improvement model.
Structural and Curricular Autonomies

The school's scheduling protocols need to be flexible enough to allow significant time for group projects, fieldwork, and presentations. In addition, our focus on deep learning mapped to "power" standards requires flexibility around the organization of curricular content.
Time for Professional Development

Our coaches work together with teachers and school leaders on targeted work plans aimed at specific curricular, instructional, and structural improvements. The principal and each faculty member participate in at least 10-15 days of professional development every year in the summer and during the school year. School coaches need frequent and ongoing access to a school's staff to promote growth and improvement in practice and results.

<< Return to Provider List