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Diplomas Now. Keeping Every Student on the Path to High School Graduation, College Readiness and Adult Success. Investing in Innovation (i3) winner. Diplomas Now: Comprehensive Approach to School Improvement. Organizational Supports

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keeping every student on the path to high school graduation college readiness and adult success

Diplomas Now

Keeping Every Student on the Path to High School Graduation, College Readiness and Adult Success

Investing in Innovation (i3) winner


Diplomas Now: Comprehensive Approach

to School Improvement

  • Organizational Supports
  • Inter-disciplinary and subject focused common planning time
  • Bi-weekly EWI meetings
  • On-site school transformation facilitator
  • Instructional Supports
  • Double dose math & English
  • Extra help labs
  • Common college preparatory or high school readiness curricula

Teacher Team

  • Professional Development Supports
  • Job-embedded coaching - Math and English instructional coaches
  • Professional learning community
  • Professional development linked to grade/subject specific instructional practice
  • Data Supports
  • Easy access to student data on the Early Warning Indicators
  • Benchmarks tied to national and state standards
  • On-site facilitator to leverage EWI data

Shared Cohort of students

Student Supports

  • Multi Tiered Response to Intervention Model
    • 10 to 15 City Year AmeriCorps members: whole school and targeted academic and socio-emotional supports
    • Communities In Schools on-site coordinator: case managed supports for highest need students
  • Interventions to address early warning indicators of
  • Attendance
  • Behavior
  • Course Performance
  • Whole school attendance, positive behavior, college-going culture
  • Strengthening student resiliency
Diplomas Now provides the range and intensity of supports required in the nation’s most challenged secondary schools
  • Whole School Reform
  • City Year Corps Members
  • Case Management

Supporting all students to graduation and college readiness

  • Early Warning System
  • On-site coordination

Diplomas Now-

Investing in Innovation Fund Winner

1,700 Applicants

49 Grantees

Investing in Innovation (i3)

  • $30M federal grant + $6M match through generous support of the PepsiCo foundation
  • 60 schools in 10+ districts reaching 57,000 students
  • Conduct randomized experimental study validating the impact of the model, and focusing on the conditions necessary to:
    • Achieve 80% grad rates in high schools
    • Reduce by 66% the number of students entering high school below grade level

“Cutting-edge ideas that will produce the next generation for reform.”

District Partners

Chicago Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Louisiana Recovery School District, School District of Philadelphia, New York City Department of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Northeast Independent School District (TX), Richland County School District One (SC), Southwest Independent School District (TX) , San Antonio Independent School District (TX), Whitehall City School District (OH)

- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Other Partners

State Departments of Education of Louisiana, South Carolina and New York, Union Park High Schools, Deloitte Consulting, School Loop, Pearson PreVent, the City of Philadelphia.


Early Warning Indicator and

Tiered Intervention

On-Site Talent Development School Transformation Facilitator for EWI data and intervention management and analysis, teacher team facilitation, and intervention integration and support

City Year team of 8 -18 corps members to provide school-wide and targeted interventions

CIS On-site coordinator to provide case management and integrated student supports

Diplomas Now Partnership Model

Diplomas Now partners with schools to align school organization, human capital, professional development, curriculum enhancement and an early warning system to meet the needs of all students, increasing the effectiveness and capacity of schools to bolster student achievement and school success.

  • School Organization
    • Teacher teaming with common planning time for teacher teams to discuss EWI data and interventions
    • Strong whole school elements including:
        • School-wide climate and attendance initiatives
        • HS Readiness Curriculum
        • Extra-help courses
        • Instructional Coaches/Job-Embedded Professional Development
        • Extended Learning Time/School Day

Talent Development High School

Curriculum and Instruction


Everyday Math (district program)

District program support

Hakim’s Story of Science

Math Acceleration Lab

Savvy Readers’ Lab

Transition Math & Algebra

TD Writing Program

Mastering the Middle Grades curriculum

Student Team Literature

Hakim’s History of US

FOSS & STC science support

High Five As & Bs Climate Program

Talent Development Middle School Curriculum and Instruction






Climate & Character


Early Warning Indicator Meetings

Goal: To coordinate and create interventions for students who are exhibiting early warning indicators and to closely monitor their progress so that students are successful.

Updated data


diplomas now results continuing progress

Diplomas Now Results: Continuing Progress

Diplomas Now Results

Philadelphia, PA

Below are the results Diplomas Now was able to achieve in partnership with four high poverty schools in Philadelphia during the 2010-11 school year. Aggregate results shown for Feltonville, Cooke and Marshall middle schools and Overbrook high school.



Course Performance

# of Off-track students

in Attendance*

# of Off-track students

in Behavior**

# of Students Failing Math and English

47% decrease

76% decrease

78% decrease





# of Students

# of Students

# of Students





65% decrease




June 2010

June 2011

June 2010

June 2011

June 2010

June 2011

*Off-track in attendance defined as students with below 80% attendance. ** Off-track in behavior defined as 3 or more negative behavior comments in a marking period.


National Evaluation: Overview

Key aspects of national i3 initiative

Identify some of the most promising school improvement initiatives

Provide support for them to scale up nationally

Research their effectiveness using the most rigorous methodologies available

Document lessons learned about implementation during the scale-up process

Publicize study results to influence national and state policy


National Evaluation: Research Design

  • Study will compare student outcomes in schools that implement DN to student outcomes in schools that do not.
  • Assignment to these groups is accomplished through randomization. Eligible schools are assigned DN or Non-DN status via a lottery:
    • DN schools implement the DN model
    • Non-DN schools pursue any other school reform initiatives

Diplomas Now Required Components

  • For both middle and high schools:
  • All Diplomas Now core staffing elements (Talent Development school transformation facilitator, team of City Year corps members, Communities In Schools on-site coordinator)
  • Staffing model that supports interdisciplinary teacher teams with common planning time during the professional day (both in interdisciplinary team and vertical subject-area professional learning communities)
  • College preparatory/high school readiness (middle grades) evidence based core academic curricula in math, language arts, science, and social studies
  • Full-time, school-based ELA and Math coaches
  • Evidence-based accelerated learning extra-help classes in math and English for all students who need them.
  • School success courses - Freshmen Seminar (HS), Mastering Middle Grades (MS)
  • School wide attendance, positive behavior and school climate and culture programs
  • Extended day programs
  • At least bi-weekly EWI Meetings attended by teacher teams, and DN partners / student support staff
  • Appropriate access to student information systems to facilitate creation of Early Warning Indicator and benchmark assessments reports
  • Johns Hopkins School-Family-Community (NNPS) program
  • Diplomas Now partners participation on school leadership team, sign off on school schedule , Diplomas Now model is central to school improvement plan
  • A monthly implementation review meeting with district leadership
  • For high schools only:
  • 4x4 block schedule (Four extended learning periods or four periods and one enrichment, elective period)
  • Small learning communities with dedicated administrators and counselors (9th Grade Academy and 2 or more thematic academies for grades 10-12)
talent development organizational reforms
Talent Development Organizational Reforms

Small Learning Communities

Teacher Teams

Early Warning Indicator Meetings

Common Planning Time

4x4 Block Schedule (high school)

Extend Time Literacy & Numeracy Courses (middle school)


Twilight School (high school)

Distributive Leadership

communities in schools
Communities In Schools


The Communities In Schools Model & Diplomas Now:

Provide annual school- and student-level plans for delivery of prevention and intervention services.

Utilize school-based case manager concept to ensure appropriate delivery of prevention and intervention services.

Broker services through CIS partners


City Year’s Whole School Whole Child model

Tiers of Impact

Corps Member Assets

  • School climate, attendance, positive behavior and enrichment programs
  • Family engagement

Whole School Prevention

  • Critical mass of people power
  • Diverse “near peer” role models and tutors
  • Full-time and extended day
  • Idealistic culture/energy
  • Real-time response to need

Classroom Support

  • Enable differentiated instruction
  • Reinforced classroom learning

Targeted Support

  • For hundreds of students in school
  • Academic and socio-emotional

Improved student Attendance, Behavior and Course Performance: English & Math

Improved on-time grade progression

Student mindset and skills for school achievement and civic participation