Classroom Learning: We are leading the ongoing refinement of our proprietary, standards-based, college preparatory curriculum aligned with college and career readiness to ensure appropriate rigor and alignment with our common assessments. To strengthen effective implementation of the curriculum, we are advancing principals’ instructional support to teachers through targeted initiatives that maximize the way in which our educators collaborate with and learn from one another.
Putting MATH Education to Work: In partnership with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, Putting MATH Education to Work aims to increase math achievement for all students by improving teacher practice, promoting high levels of student engagement in mathematical thinking, and providing schools with high quality resources that positively impact classroom instruction.
Executive Functioning Skills Integration: In partnership with Georgia Bozeday, Ed.D., Director of Educational Services at Rush NeuroBehavioral Center (RNBC), we are establishing a model to synchronize learning from classroom and workplace settings through the implementation of RNBC-designed and research-validated Executive Functions curriculum.
Test Preparation: Coupled with our focus on challenging classroom learning, we launched a network-wide test preparation program, affording our students the same types of test preparation skills for high-stakes college entrance tests that high income students can access. We are responding to the need to better prepare our students with test taking strategies and skills to earn SAT scores that reflect their true potential and open the doors to college access.
Academic Human Capital: To ensure a ready pipeline of well-prepared principals, the Cristo Rey Network is leveraging the extraordinary talent and mission commitment in our schools through high quality professional development programming to inspire and cultivate future academic leaders for our schools. Furthermore, our emerging Principals participate in The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame over the course of three summers and two academic years to develop their capacity to be transformational leaders.
Student Retention: Armed with a better understanding of why students leave our schools prematurely, and with evolving interventions successfully stemming attrition in some schools, we are making substantial progress on four-year retention. We are matching strong academic emphasis and support from the national office staff with grants to individual schools to fuel retention interventions strategically tailored to the local school culture and need. We seek to meet our 2020 goal of 70% four-year student retention, with our schools’ intention to continue to raise that bar to 90%, the rate currently attained by our highest performing schools.