• Frequently Asked Questions


    How was the network of Investment Schools selected?

    Selection of the 2013-2014 Investment Schools was grounded in research on three primary characteristics of high-performing, high-poverty (HPHP) schools: high student engagement in learning (“Readiness to Learn”), effective instruction (“Readiness to Teach”), and the ability to gather the resources necessary to meet student needs in the face of the unique challenges of high-poverty schools (“Readiness to Act”). Through a comprehensive review of student achievement data, we identified which HPHP characteristic would provide the greatest opportunity for improvement for each 2013-2014 Investment School. We also analyzed our capacity to provide the right supports for particular schools – this is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to change. We were honest with ourselves about schools in which quick, dramatic improvements were ambitious but attainable.

    What is CMSD’s approach to supporting the Investment Schools?

    We are going to do things fundamentally differently to drastically transform a subset of schools in a short period of time. Since CMSD is not taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach to change, there are different possibilities for how the changes will look and feel in each building. Investment Schools will have different levels of interventions and customized combinations of support strategies. As result, different Investment Schools have been identified to focus on building a Readiness to Learn, Teach, or Act.

    What do you mean Readiness to Learn, Teach or Act and what schools fall under

    each focus?

    Follow the chart below to find your answer!

    Readiness to Learn focus


    How will we build students’ Readiness to Learn?

    • Clean, attractive, inviting classrooms and public spaces
    • Every adult in the school using consistent, positive language to set the tone of high expectations for everyone
    • Improved student and staff attendance and morale
    • Real-time coaching for teachers who struggle to manage classroom behavior and keep students engaged
    • Extra time for student advisory and structured mentoring, tutoring, and other supports
    • Proactive solutions to empower students and families
    • Cooperation and communication between educators, families and providers of other student supports 


    Readiness to Teach focus


    How will we build educators’ Readiness to Teach?

    • Extra time for teachers to collaborate, learn from one another and plan outstanding, relevant lessons
    • Holding every adult accountable for the success of every student
    • Integrated use of classroom technology to engage students
    • Targeted professional development and ongoing coaching on how to use available data to meet individual students' learning needs
    • Curriculum and resources to support high-quality instruction for English language learners and special education students
    • All-school training to deepen staff commitment to a culture of learning, high expectations, and where every student graduates from high school prepared for college and career success 


    Readiness to Act focus


    How will we build school leaders’ Readiness to Act?

    • Allowing principals more budget flexibility to be responsive to the needs of students in their school
    • Protecting schools from unnecessary bureaucracy so that leaders can focus on the students and teachers in the school
    • Coaching Investment School principals in how to lead positive effective change processes
    • Expanding school partnerships that have worked in other CMSD schools (i.e., New Tech Network)
    • Increased cooperation and communication between external partners to keep every program focused on the needs and goals of the school and its students