learn / 2020

REAL SCHOOL for LA Kids

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Larchmont Charter School

REAL (Relate, Engage, and Learn) SCHOOL for LA Kids will codify and amplify a consistent, Whole Child approach for teachers of all grade levels TK-12. By codifying the constructivist approach and building a teacher leadership training program, we can reach more students and help unite public charter schools and LAUSD. This plan builds on LA 2050’s vision of a brighter future, with every one of our youngest Angelenos seen, heard, nurtured, understood, and challenged to become a creative, analytical thinker and a socially responsible innovator.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • San Fernando Valley

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • Larchmont Charter School
  • City Charter Schools

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Both Larchmont and City Charters operate relationship-and-diversity-centered, educational models. They have previously partnered to expand access to this model in the educational field and their collaboration has won support from the Walton Family Foundation and others. Much work lies ahead. Leaders Amy Held, Executive Director, Larchmont Charter School, and Valerie Braimah, Executive Director, City Charter Schools plan to divide the work of this project equally between themselves and their respective staffs. They plan for a 50-50 split of the financial resources and the workload. Theirs is a successful, tested collaboration with important, wide-reaching results.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Larchmont Charter School and City Charter Schools will codify a framework to incentivize and empower ALL teachers to address ALL students as the whole individuals that they are. Training and support will enable a generation of teachers to deliver these educational principles to thousands of students in their daily work.

Traditional educational models (such as rigid “no excuses” and direct instruction) fail to address the Whole Child*, particularly social-emotional learning needs. Further, very few schools attend to critical diversity, equity, and inclusion work, despite the fact that cultural competency is an essential skill for students preparing for an increasingly global and integrated society. Traditional teacher training does not emphasize how to develop student cultural competency, critical thinking, or social-emotional skills. Success is defined as a series of test scores, leaving out non-cognitive growth measures that also need to be developed. *WholeChildEducation.org

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Both of our schools were founded to bring this model to our students, and both schools are among the top-performing public schools in California. Our school communities are intentionally inclusive: we put relationships first and develop social-emotional competencies to build a strong, safe, and supportive space for all students, staff, and families. When we fail to invest in professional development in these areas, and we only define success as narrow measures of academic achievement, we disincentivize our schools and teachers from developing students as whole, anti-racist, anti-biased, socially-emotionally competent people, who can think critically and solve problems in their communities. We will create a Community of Practice for educators (an active community to build relationships with and learn from fellow educators) in the grant timeframe, from July 2020 to July 2021 as government policies allow. We are professional educators and our proposal offers the tools for leadership.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

200
Direct impact
10,000
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Each trained teacher (200) will reach approximately 50 students. Thousands (10,000+) of students will benefit! Our framework draws from The Common Ground Collaborative to develop the collective capacity of our teachers to implement four inclusive community-building practices: maintain safe and inclusive classroom culture that supports academic risk-taking for all students; establish a safe and inclusive community through systematic, daily use of SEL-focused community-building practices; develop teacher and student cultural competency in the “Ready for Rigor” framework (Zaretta Hammond) through multicultural curriculum; ensure inclusion of marginalized individuals and reduce punitive measures by implementing restorative practices.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We plan to use the following metrics to measure success: -Participation -Execution of Innovation Projects at each partner site -Executing workshops, symposia, and publications -Teacher assessments -Development of 3-Year Strategic Plan for the Community of Practice Hub and its goals -Satisfaction and impact surveys for Symposiasts and Community of Practice participants -Surveys of parents, students and recent graduates of Larchmont Charter School and City Charter Schools on SEL-related outcomes.

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Arts education
  • Student proficiency in English & Language Arts
  • Proficiency in STEM

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation