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i3 is Off and Running for the 2016-17 School Year!

October 27th, 2016

i3 is off and running for the 2016-17 school year! August 22 and September 10, 2016, marked Launch Days for principals and teacher leaders participating in LDC's i3 grant-funded professional development project in New York, NY (NYCDOE), and Los Angeles, CA (LAUSD).

What is the LDC i3 Project?

The federally funded LDC i3 project focuses on supporting teachers in using collaborative planning time to build their expertise in using and designing standards-driven writing assignments within their existing curriculum. The focus is to provide students with multiple opportunities to develop the enduring reading and writing skills that the College and Career Readiness literacy standards call for in each discipline.

The Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant connects professional learning with the real work of the classroom. It provides K–12 teachers with in-person and virtual support and an on-going learning path for skill development—at no cost—for the School Years 2016-17 and 2017-18.

In the paragraphs below, LDC’s i3 Grant Project Directors for New York City and Los Angeles, Barbara Brown and Megan Jensen, respectively, detail their experience at the annual i3 Principal and Project Liaison Launches in each city.

About Launch Days

The Launch Days hosted 80 participants from 40 schools in New York, and 68 participants from 34 schools in Los Angeles. The events provided school leaders with the opportunity to :

1. Establish their instructional and planning goals for their LDC work and align those goals to local evaluation frameworks;

2. Begin planning how they will track evidence of progress toward those goals;

3. Work with LDC coaches from Generation Ready, Teaching Matters, and the American Reading Company to review and customize the LDC work plan for their school; and

4. Experience the resources that will be used within their LDC work (LDC CoreTools, LDC Courses, and Teaching Channel Teams).

All participants used LDC Courses and CoreTools to experience the process of writing a standards-driven LDC Task. School leaders voiced excitement over bringing their professional learning experiences from the Launch Days back to their sites in order to facilitate teachers' introduction to these intentional, collaborative planning processes. It was an exciting and productive two days!

On August 22, LDC hosted the second annual i3 Principal and Project Liaison Launch in New York. Participants included administrators, project liaisons, instructional specialists, and teachers from 40 schools in all five boroughs. School leaders had the opportunity to meet their Teaching Matters and Generation Ready coaches in order to goal-set for the upcoming year and explore the resources that their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will be using, like the LDC CoreTools platform for creating modules. All participants used the LDC planning tools to write tasks and started working on instructional ladders. School leaders learned they can now share their experiences with their PLCs in order to encourage engagement and open up a dialogue about the importance of backwards design.

Many participants pointed to two main highlights from the event: 1) goal-setting, and 2) hearing from a panel of last year's i3 schools. In regard to goal-setting, administrators selected two instructional focus areas for the year (around rigor of assignments and assessment, instruction, or systems alignment), and then aligned those areas with the NYC Quality Review Indicators, Danielson Teacher Evaluation Rubric, and LDC Teacher Competencies to see how LDC can impact the work they are already focused on. Many principals and assistant principals shared how useful it was to see how the LDC planning tools would influence teacher growth.

Finally, launch participants were able to hear about the experiences of two schools that kicked off LDC's i3 pilot year in 2015-16. Marium Rizvi, a social studies teacher and project liaison from the School of Integrated Learning in Brooklyn, explained how her coach, Christina Wallace, helped her create Common Core aligned tasks and instructional plans. She went on to say that a majority of her middle school students passed the 10th grade Global Regents exam with flying colors due to their growth in close reading, annotating, and constructing essays. Principal Edgar Lin and project liaison Conor Callagy, from JHS 22 Jordan L. Mott School in the Bronx, spoke of how LDC gave teachers across contents a common language for creating tasks, designing instructional plans, and assessing student work. Both schools look forward to continuing in the i3 Grant work in the upcoming years, and all of the new schools are eager to begin!

In Los Angeles on September 10, participants from Saturn Street Elementary, Century Park Elementary, and Florence Elementary shared their learnings from using LDC’s resources on their campuses. Tracie Bryant, Saturn Street Principal, and Tiffany Cullen, teacher and LDC project liaison, pointed to using LDC in collaborative PLC structures as their mechanism for shifting professional practices and teacher mindsets on their campus. “This is really Collaborative Literacy Design!” Tracie explained, noting that her teachers are now thinking about using standards and student learning objectives to drive and revise their instruction.

Kim Polk, principal, and Deborah Stagg, teacher and LDC project liaison, both from Century Park Elementary, pointed to the value of receiving virtual coaching support in their planning. Principal Polk noted that, as a single administrator at an underfunded school site, she found great support and value in having an LDC coach who provided ongoing feedback to teachers on their instructional plans.

Finally, Connie Acosta, Florence Elementary School principal, and Maria Blanco, teacher and LDC project liaison, highlighted the use of LDC’s common planning tools and Peer Review rubric in driving more collegial, collaborative feedback and discussion among teachers.

We look forward to supporting these schools in further situating their LDC work within their locally defined goals to ensure their sustained success!

To learn more about the i3 program and how to get your school involved, please contact


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