ISA’s November newsletter

By Abner Oakes

ISA's Director of Outreach


ISA Accepting New School Districts for Social, Emotional, and Academic Coaching

In 2012 the UChicago Consortium on School Research issued a report that stated, “The essential question for developing students as learners is not how to change students to improve their behavior but rather how to create contexts that better support students in developing critical attitudes and learning strategies necessary for their academic success.”

ISA works with schools to integrate social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD) into core academic classes and to weave this research-based approach throughout school culture. Participating schools report greater student persistence, engagement, and achievement. One ISA school was recently featured in a case study by the Learning Policy Institute called Teaching the Way Students Learn Best: Lessons from Bronxdale High School.

ISA now seeks to expand the number of schools and districts participating in its SEAD network. What does each district get? With support from philanthropy, ISA will work with district staff to co-construct a district-wide SEAD implementation plan; ISA will also provide customized coaching to support SEAD across the core academic content areas in at least one secondary school in the district. This work is intended to enhance the capacity of district and school staff to support teachers and school leaders with SEAD implementation and to improve student achievement. This new cohort will launch in late January 2020.

To receive more information, please email ISA’s associate director Daryl Johnson.

(The above photo is courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.)

Carver HS Math Team Presents in NC

The math team from ISA partner school Carver High School in Winston-Salem presented at the annual conference for the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics on November 7. Presenters from the school were Ebony Jason, Jonathan Stowe, Charita Ward, and Raketa Thomas, as well as ISA mathematics coach Dr. Denise Johnson. The presentation’s title was Meeting Digital Competencies in High Needs High School Mathematics. Also present were Carver’s principal Dr. Carol Montague-Davis and ISA senior director Dr. Betty Greene-Bryant.

New Webinar on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: Maze Moment!

The learning process is beautifully non-linear, yet many students enter school believing it should follow a straight, uninterrupted path. How can we create rituals that help adults and students understand and process the conflict between this belief about learning and its reality? It’s important that the ups and downs, the forward leaps and the backward steps, as well as the apparent dead ends, are normalized as important parts of the learning process. In one New York City school, one teacher, with the support of his mathematics coach, has worked to reorient the narrative with his students. Through this collaborative effort, the Maze Moment activity was born – an activity that has positively affected student perseverance and growth mindset in several schools with which ISA works.

Join ISA for a new SEAD-focused webinar at 4:00 pm ET on December 17. You will hear about a specific classroom activity – Maze Moment – and its impact on students’ academic demeanor. You will also learn the process for developing this kind of activity and the importance of ensuring that academic classrooms address students’ social and emotional needs and how that approach makes for better teaching and learning.

Click here to register for this online event and connect with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MazeMoment.

ISA Odds and Ends