As a Partnership…

At Scaling Student Success, we are working to catalyze a statewide shift to a whole child vision that validates and builds upon the assets every young person brings so they are prepared and ready to thrive. Our goal is to spread whole child education to every student across every corner of the state by 2035.

Local & State Strategy

The partnership supports California school districts that wish to hold themselves accountable for students’ college and career readiness through the creation and implementation of a unique, locally-developed Graduate Profile.

To do so, we operate very much like a collective impact hub organization by performing six mutually-reinforcing functions:

  • VISION. We hold the vision of spreading whole child education to every student across every corner of the state by 2035 – i.e.,  encouraging districts and communities to develop a Graduate Profile as a locally-defined whole child vision that centers the voices of educators, students, and families (particularly those most marginalized).
  • SHARED LEARNING. We facilitate a community of practice to help districts learn with/from one another – i.e., bringing education leaders together through regular facilitated convenings to close knowledge gaps, challenge biases and assumptions, break down silos, and create efficiencies across our education system.
  • PARTNERSHIPS. We curate and convene practice partners with visions and equity goals aligned to ours – i.e., partnering with and promoting the best technical assistance providers in the field to support districts to realize their Graduate Profile outcomes as a promise to its students, families, and communities.
  • POLICY. We advocate for shifts in state policy that enable districts to pursue their whole child visions – i.e.,  working in partnership with policymakers, educators, support providers and others, we identify and support policy shifts that smooth the road for broader adoption of whole child outcomes statewide.
  • RESEARCH. We coordinate research to test the efficacy of our approach and assess impact – i.e.,  brokering, supporting and sharing research that establishes a base of evidence to support partnership efforts and outcomes, including their implications for classroom practice, school redesign, district leadership, and state policy.
  • COMMUNICATION. We communicate with the field and disseminate promising practices and useful resources – i.e.,  sharing lessons learned, progress, and success of project participants in order to inspire more school districts to follow a similar path to more holistic and equitable student outcomes.

Supporting Bold Leaders across the State

Scaling Student Success is dedicated to expanding the number of communities using a Graduate Profile to establish a whole child vision, and supporting them on each step of their journey. We do this through two programs:

Community of Practice

The community of practice (CoP) is a robust and growing cohort of California school districts that have engaged their community to create a Graduate Profile. Each district is eager to learn from one another about strategies for moving their Graduate Profile from “poster to practice” or “from laminated to lived”, making it a promise to their students and families. The CoP is organized into strands designed to address common problems of practice. Each year, we welcome new districts. Learn more about the benefits and associated costs from this invitation. Please join us!

In 2024-25, we are offering six distinct strands, each leading to a concrete product/outcome that operationalizes your Graduate Profile. Following a virtual “launch event” in early September, each expert partner/facilitator convenes their strand virtually 5-6 times through the year, leading to a “showcase event” in the May, when each district team will share their product in order to maximize learning across the network. Please see details below about each strand (description, product/outcome, team composition, partner/facilitator).

To sign up to participate in one or more strands of the 2024-25 CoP, please use this Strand Selection Form. If you’d like to hear a bit more about each of the strands (except Strand #1) from the facilitators, here’s a 11-minute video introduction.

Our 2024-2025 Strands Include:

Description

District teams will engage in a collaborative process to craft an instructional playbook tailored to your district’s unique vision of student success – your graduate portrait. The process is designed to leverage the expertise of teachers within the district by distilling the little things and key moves teachers make that lead to the development of the specific outcomes associated with your portrait.

Product / Outcome

The developed playbook will serve as a springboard for creating practical tools, such as observation protocols, reference documents, and student feedback mechanisms that will support bringing the portrait to life at the classroom level.

Team

The ideal team size would be between 4-6 individuals, including teacher-leaders, site administrators, and a district administrator with one person responsible for moving the work forward (with the team) between sessions.

Partner

Inflexion – Contact Matt Coleman at matt.coleman@inflexion.org

Description

In this strand participants will prototype a high quality performance assessment (HQPA) aligned to Graduate Profile competencies. Participants will explore the what and why of performance assessments and use quality criteria tools to analyze for rigor, learner agency, and authenticity. Then participants will prototype their ideal HQPA, and consider the implications their HQPA prototype would have on their school structures and pedagogies (eg. adult professional learning, master schedule, etc.)

Product / Outcome

Prototyped or refined a task/challenge (both formative/ culminating) that aligns to HQPA and is designed so our most marginalized students can thrive.

Team

Design team of classroom-based educators for task design or various stakeholders if designing culminating assessments

Partner

Envision Learning Partners – Contact Soraya Ramos at soraya@envisionlearning.org

Description

After creating a Graduate Profile, now what? Our traditional assessment and grading practices may actually undermine the integrity and impact of a graduate profile. In this strand, we will explore how improved, research-based grading and assessment practices support Graduate Profiles in the long-term, and that improve teaching and learning in day-to-day lessons in the short-term. This strand will support teams with developing a multi-year strategic plan, aligned with your district’s mission and values, that builds understanding and capacity of your system—teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, software, caregivers—to improve grading practices so grades more accurately and fairly describe student performance.

Product / Outcome

A plan to prototype an assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student progress on a targeted outcome of the Graduate Profile.

Team

Teacher leaders + site leader + district administrator

Partner

Crescendo Education Group – Contact Joe Feldman at joe@crescendoedgroup.org

Description

Teams will learn practical strategies and tools that enable you to reveal and activate the wisdom, skills and expertise of community partners, alumni and families in your school district. You will map your community’s assets using a social capital/partner mapping tool, design community listening campaigns, and explore protocols for co-creating learning experiences with students and community partners. You will apply these approaches to your Graduate Profile by co-designing and implementing a community-engaged learning project that directly addresses the competencies outlined in your Profile. To learn more, check out this Forbes article.

Product / Outcome

Each participant will co-design and implement a community-engaged learning project and each district team will develop their community-engaged learning strategy.

Team

PK-12 Educators, Instructional Coaches, Community & Family Coordinators, CTE Staff

Partner

CommunityShare – Contact Jil Mackenzie at jilian@communityshare.org

Description

By understanding and leveraging learner progressions, district teams can effectively map pathways that align with both the overarching graduate profile and specific competency goals. This strand is premised on the notion that a common language and shared planning tool has the ability to transform teaching and learning. Together, we will explore innovative approaches to curriculum design and instructional practices that prioritize student growth and achievement and foster a culture of continuous improvement and success.

Product / Outcome

By the end of the year, each team will create a learner progression that operationalizes their Graduate Profiles and supports their journey toward competency based education.

Team

District leaders supporting teaching and learning, site administrators, teacher leaders

Partner

Leading for Transformation – Contact Nicole Allard at nicole@leadingfortransformation.com

Description

So you just launched a Portrait of a Graduate, now what? We start by building on what is already working well in your district and we will support your team to identify and create a website to curate examples that are currently aligned and identify your next steps. We will share our top 10 strategies to Bring Your Profile to Life and support your team in prototyping and testing these ideas. As a strand of the community of practice, we will share and learn from one another identifying the most effective strategies and resources to bring your Portrait to Life.

Product / Outcome

A branded and curated resource hub from examples in your district that highlights key practices and strategies aligned to your Portrait of a Graduate. Examples are here and here.

Team

Central office leaders, school leaders, teacher leaders

Partner

Learner-Centered Collaborative – Contact Bryanna Hanson at bryanna@learnercentered.org

We’re Accepting Members

Visit our Who We Are page to see a list of past and present Community of Practice members.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Learn more and join the Community of Practice.

Reimagining California Schools Innovation Pilot:

The innovation pilot comprises a select group of 5 districts and communities deeply committed to leveraging the power and potential of their Graduate Profiles to transform learning in their schools to make it increasingly more equitable, student-centered, and competency-based. The pilot promotes two mutually-reinforcing goals: (1) to help participating districts closely examine their practices, and engage deeply to intentionally shift systems of instruction, assessment, and accountability to bring to life the whole child competencies articulated in their Graduate Profile; and (2) to establish proof points that demonstrate for the state the positive outcomes when districts strive to realize a whole child vision.

Innovation Pilot Participants:

Practice & Policy Briefs

The four Practice & Policy Briefs (combined with a case study of Lindsay USD published earlier this year by NGLC) are intended to tell the real-world stories of California districts participating in the innovation pilot — their journeys to realize their whole child visions, the strategies they have opted to pursue, their lessons learned and challenges faced. Please feel free to share them widely.

In publishing these briefs, our goals are to:

  • Embolden school district leaders to pursue a similar vision and path
  • Entice policymakers and funders to incentivize these efforts
  • Encourage state educational agencies and associations to join the movement

Click on the images above to read the 2023 Practice & Policy Briefs.

Innovation Pilot Yearly Updates

Our latest and archived annual status updates.

Partnering to Increase Impact

Scaling Student Success has established formal partnerships with more than a dozen organizations with demonstrated success in operationalizing Graduate Profiles. Our practice partners add enormous value to our Community of Practice through ongoing expert support and technical assistance. As we grow, we have begun to add partners that strengthen our work in communications, research, policy, and data supporting whole child outcomes.

See our partners

A high school student posing with her robot

Guiding Principles

Partners and participants adhere to these principles:

By centering students who have been marginalized as we scale high-quality implementation of evidence-based practices, support it through research, and sustain it through shifts in policy, we will narrow the opportunity and achievement gap and assure that all CA young people develop the skills, competencies, and mindsets necessary for future success.
By leveraging existing efforts of CA school districts, support providers, funders, and state and national education reform initiatives, we will build on their successes in non-duplicative value-add ways, to advance a unifying vision and common agenda.
By remaining curious and inquisitive, and by actively listening and engaging, we strive to learn from related efforts in local communities, other states and countries, as well as service providers who have journeyed along a similar path.
By recognizing that all growth and learning is rooted in relational capital, we commit to building trust by being open, honest, empathetic, even vulnerable in our interactions in order to model a human-centered approach.
By acknowledging that each individual, organization, and community operates in its own unique context (history, beliefs, values, politics, relationships, etc.), we accept that each will choose to proceed in a way that honors its context.
By recognizing that Graduate Profile outcomes represent not only what we foster for students in schools, but also for ourselves as adult learners, we will promote symmetrical student and adult learning by modeling empathy, inquiry, collaboration, engagement, and reflection.
By acting as a collaborative and responsive partnership, we will attempt to coalesce and focus the field and its collective vision for equitable access and opportunity and improved student learning outcomes.
By “leading from the middle”, we support bold and innovative efforts in CA school districts to leverage the power and potential of a whole child vision (i.e., Graduate Profile) to transform education. We build awareness about their promising practices in an effort to catalyze change both in other districts across the state and in statewide policies and structural supports to advance whole child innovations.

Partnership Aims

Over the course of the next decade, this partnership aims to…

among CA school districts and networks committed to operationalizing their Graduate Profiles as a strategy for transforming teaching and learning and holding all community stakeholders mutually accountable for a broader set of student learning outcomes

about lessons learned, progress, and success of project participants in order to inspire more school districts to follow a similar path to more holistic and equitable student outcomes

that establishes a base of evidence to support partnership efforts and outcomes, including their implications for classroom practice, school redesign, district leadership, and state policy

(local and state) that enable scaling and sustaining positive partnership outcomes

(i.e., tools, platforms, network of support providers) to facilitate continuous improvement of evidence-based educational practices in communities across the state

A middle school student poses with an open book

Partnership Aims

A middle school student poses with an open book

Over the course of the next decade, this partnership aims to…

among CA school districts and networks committed to operationalizing their Graduate Profiles as a strategy for transforming teaching and learning and holding all community stakeholders mutually accountable for a broader set of student learning outcomes

about lessons learned, progress, and success of project participants in order to inspire more school districts to follow a similar path to more holistic and equitable student outcomes

 that establishes a base of evidence to support partnership efforts and outcomes, including their implications for classroom practice, school redesign, district leadership, and state policy

(local and state) that enable scaling and sustaining positive partnership outcomes

(i.e., tools, platforms, network of support providers) to facilitate continuous improvement of evidence-based educational practices in communities across the state

Transform education to bolster student success

Raise the aspirations of our education system and the expectations and capacity of local communities to prepare each and every young person for future success.

Looking for help? Get in touch with us

Two high school students in the middle of an important discussion

Scaling Student Success is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit charity exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Checks should be made payable to: Community Partners for Scaling Student Success. Your donation is only tax deductible if made to Community Partners, our fiscal sponsor and the tax-exempt entity.