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City Year’s Network for School Improvement Expands to Jacksonville, Florida

Boston (Nov. 30, 2021)—City Year, in partnership with the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, is expanding its Network for School Improvement (NSI) to a third city to help students complete eighth grade prepared for high school and postsecondary success.

A cohort of 10 schools in Jacksonville, Florida will take part in a network that already includes schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The initiative is funded through a five-year grant awarded in 2019 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as part of the foundation’s Networks for School Improvement portfolio.

Networks for School Improvement create the time and space for educators to share and implement promising practices that move schools closer to becoming places where young people feel engaged in their learning and prepared to advocate for themselves—conditions that lead to greater academic success. Throughout the pandemic, the network has helped schools adapt to ongoing learning disruptions that have disproportionately affected students who are Black, Latinx or whose families have experienced poverty.

City Year already partners in Jacksonville with 11 schools, where City Year AmeriCorps members serve full time in classrooms as student success coaches in collaboration with teachers. Jacksonville is part of Duval County Public Schools, one of the largest U.S. school districts.

“The addition of the NSI is a significant step that will allow City Year to work even more closely with educators in Jacksonville to advance educational equity and help more students feel school is a welcoming place where they can learn and grow,’’ says City Year Jacksonville Executive Director Allishia Bauman.

“The network has been a trusted resource for educators during the pandemic, and we’re looking forward to being part of Jacksonville’s efforts to design classrooms that prepare more students for success academically and in life,” says Paola Deliz Félix Encarnación, City Year’s national leader for the NSI.

“We hope the NSI will serve as a springboard to help create more learning environments that inspire and motivate students,” says James Ellout, managing director for the NSI in Jacksonville.

The City Year NSI guides school leaders in the use of continuous improvement practices, which rely on a repeated cycle of planning, implementing and studying outcomes, and adjusting approach to drive changes that lead to more productive learning environments.

City Year seeks regular feedback from educators as part of the process. In a recent survey, 80% of educators reported feeling very or extremely confident in implementing continuous improvement practices, while a survey last year showed about 80% of educators felt their work was making a difference for the students they serve. The City Year NSI began in 2018 with a seed grant from the Gates Foundation.

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About City Year

City Year helps students and schools succeed, while preparing the next generation of civically engaged leaders who can work across lines of difference. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide support to students, classrooms and the whole school. Schools that partner with City Year are up to two to three times more likely to improve in English and math assessments, and the more time students spend with AmeriCorps members, the more they improve on social, emotional and academic skills—skills that help students thrive in school and contribute to their community.

A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by AmeriCorps, local school districts and private philanthropy. City Year partners with public schools in 29 communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. Learn more at cityyear.org or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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