We established partnerships between Lavinia Group and a number of charter schools using innovative funding models. Lavinia is an organization that helps its partner schools and networks revitalize their literacy and math instruction through leader and teacher training. Lavinia’s leadership designed the highly successful literacy curriculum for Success Academies, a large charter network of schools in New York City.
We funded Ascend Charter Schools, using a catalytic payment model – paying for successful outcomes. Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 5,800 students in 15 schools across Brooklyn. As part of the Ascend grant, Lavinia is working with the Ascend leadership team to revise Ascend’s mathematics instruction, audit current data systems, plan instructional design, and develop various instructional strategies. It is also implementing professional development and other trainings at Ascend. Much of the funding that Heckscher is providing is based on successful implementation of the Lavinia guidance and the students’ underlying success on interim assessments and state exams. Ascend has also committed a substantial percentage of Lavinia’s cost.
We also funded a partnership between Lavinia and Brooklyn Charter School, Cultural Arts Academy Charter School, and Bronx Community Charter School to build upon the literacy work that Bloomberg Philanthropies initiated with charter schools this past summer called Summer Boost. Notably, we required that the schools be willing to pay for 50% of the cost, for the school year.
As part of this grant, for these three schools for grades 3-5, Lavinia is putting its reading instruction in place, auditing current data and systems, developing systems for effective instructional management, developing an assessment strategy and providing direct school coaching and other professional development.