College Prep Teaching & Learning

College Prep
Teaching & Learning

Building Relationships & Personalization

Building Relationships
& Personalization

Continuous Improvement


The Seven Principles

Research-based. Effective. Sustainable.

Our seven research-based principles provide the foundation for ISA’s work. We collaborate with schools and districts to create comprehensive plans and implementation strategies designed to meet their specific needs and to achieve and sustain success.

Our approach focuses on three areas:

College Prep Teaching and Learning

1. College Preparatory Instructional Program

We want all students to be better prepared for postsecondary spaces that they choose. ISA collaborates with principals and teachers to enhance learning opportunities so that the school more intentionally cultivates student belonging, agency, and academic achievement through an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning,

2. Extended School Day and School Year

Learning continues beyond the traditional school day and year. Extended timeframes for learning provide additional opportunities for student development. ISA helps educators to plan more structured time and opportunities for students to receive academic support and to participate in enrichment opportunities, internships, and community service projects.

3. Continuous Professional Development

Teaching and learning are complex and human experiences carried out in an ever-evolving society. Ongoing professional development provides educators opportunities to identify and advance practices that accelerate learning for students. ISA’s professional development supports educator collaboration and learning.

College Prep
Building Relationships & Personalization

Building Relationships and Personalization

4. Distributed Counseling™

Distributed Counseling is how we characterize supportive relationships in our schools. Staff members act as student advocates and help students expand their agency and become better equipped to have an active role in shaping their current schooling experiences.

5. Dedicated Team of Teachers and Counselors

The complexity of educating young people requires teamwork; it cannot be done alone. ISA partners with schools to cultivate teams that emphasize collaboration, creativity, and a collective sense of responsibility for student achievement and well-being. As the capacity of the adults and teams grow, everyone reaps the benefits, especially the students.

6. Parent/Caregiver Involvement

We believe, and research agrees, that every parent or caregiver wants for their student academic success and access to future opportunities that a robust education can provide. ISA collaborates with our partners to support parents, caregivers, and the community as they participate in the life of the school.

Continuous Improvement

7. Continuous Organizational Improvement

ISA schools use a variety of strategies to assess their organizational and programmatic effectiveness, including the use of critical friends and peer observations and the reviews of teacher assignments, student work, and student performance data. ISA supports schools in using a variety of data to inform practice so that students are progressing academically, socially, and emotionally.

Continuous Improvement
ISA New Programs

ISA is ready to provide support.

Download our services guide to learn more about the ways that we support schools and districts or contact Abner Oakes, National Director of Outreach and Engagement, for more information on partnering with ISA.