Chicago Public Schools Partners with Knowledge Delivery Systems to Deliver Groundbreaking Professional Learning to 22 OS4 Reinvestment Schools over Three Years

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KDS’s innovative blended learning enables OS4 to provide comprehensive professional development tailored to the needs of each school to increase student achievement in CPS’s lowest performing schools.

Knowledge Delivery Systems
We are committed to the OS4 reinvestment strategy of supporting high-need schools through intensive PD, and we are excited to pair our OS4 schools with Knowledge Delivery Systems in these efforts. -- Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO, Chicago Public Schools

As part of the key initiative to transform its lowest-performing schools, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) has partnered with Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS), a leader in strategic blended professional development (PD) solutions for K-12 schools, districts, and educators. This three-year intensive professional development partnership at 22 ‘Reinvestment Schools’ will improve instructional practice in classrooms to accelerate the academic growth for all students by ensuring quality instruction in every classroom.

KDS provides a unique approach to professional learning that is deeply engrained in the latest research on effective PD. KDS’s approach is grounded in research that shows that it takes an average of 49 hours of immersive and sustained professional development to boost student achievement. (“Reviewing the Evidence on How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement,” U.S. Department of Education, 2007). This is not a traditional form of “sit and get” professional development, where teachers passively sit through limited PD sessions.

KDS utilizes “flipped” learning—a highly effective blended model that includes 50 hours of high-quality online coursework supported by ongoing face-to-face coaching, observation, feedback, and in-depth instruction for optimal professional learning. This model actually shifts practice in a way traditional practice doesn’t and can’t—for increased student achievement. KDS has implemented this radical professional learning strategy successfully with leading districts such as the School District of Philadelphia, where teachers and administrators who participated in KDS PD coursework demonstrated up to a 77% increase in understanding of critical concepts and strategies.

“In these accountability-driven times, districts often focus their time and money on teacher evaluations to identify a small number of ineffective teachers. CPS is, instead, focused on providing a system of intensive support for teachers to help them improve their practice, which impacts all teachers and helps all students. We are providing effective professional learning that improves teaching practice on a large scale for a lot of students, very efficiently,” said Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems. “We are proud to partner with CPS and OS4’s initiative to present an innovative approach to individualized professional learning, fully aligned with district priorities to instill 21st Century skills in students. We’re excited to make an impact in the OS4 Reinvestment Schools and help them in their mission to ensure every child receives a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares them for success in college, career, and life.”

KDS has designed this program in collaboration with a cross-functional CPS team to meet the needs of OS4 schools and encompass intensive support for teachers from both virtual and on-site coaches. KDS course offerings for CPS teachers and principals for the 2013-2014 school year include: “Transforming School Culture,” “Common Core State Standards” in both literacy and mathematics, and “Assessment and the Common Core,” among others. As part of this initiative, OS4 held a Chicago Executive Leadership Academy (CELA) meeting for school principals from the 22 Reinvestment Schools and the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program schools on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The professional learning day included a leadership workshop with KDS and sessions with Dr. Anthony Muhammad, a national expert on transforming school culture.

“CPS recognizes the importance of providing both school leaders and teachers with ongoing, comprehensive professional development and support that will help them reach their full potential in driving student success,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CPS CEO. “We are committed to the OS4 reinvestment strategy of supporting high-need schools through intensive PD, and we are excited to pair our OS4 schools with Knowledge Delivery Systems in these efforts.”

About Knowledge Delivery Systems

Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) creates and delivers online, blended, and flipped-model strategic professional development solutions to districts, teachers, and schools. KDS’s award-winning eClassroom™ platform enables schools and districts to optimize their instructional practice with customized programs tailored to their specific goals and to engage collaboratively in virtual learning communities. KDS’s diverse library of research-based and relevant courses, given by today´s most revered industry experts, impart key strategies, tools and knowledge to enrich and improve the educational experience.

About Chicago Public Schools OS4

The Office of Strategic School Support Services (“OS4”) is a new office created by Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of CPS, to provide high-need elementary and secondary neighborhood schools with the comprehensive and coherent services and support required to increase student achievement and sustain school improvement. With this initiative, all students will show accelerated academic growth by ensuring that quality instruction is occurring in every classroom for every student.

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Christine Condon
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