Highlights from the Field: UChicago Impact is Named an IL-EMPOWER Learning Partner

We are pleased to announce that UChicago Impact has been named an IL-EMPOWER Learning Partner for the 2019-2020 school year!


UChicago Impact is Named an IL-EMPOWER Learning Partner

We are pleased to announce that UChicago Impact has been named an IL-EMPOWER Learning Partner for the 2019-2020 school year! IL-EMPOWER is an Illinois State Board of Education program focused on providing Illinois public schools with the resources needed to build capacity for continuous improvement and meeting students' needs.

UChicago Impact is now a Vendor Learning Partner for two of IL-EMPOWER's priority areas: “Culture and Climate” and “Curriculum and Instruction.” Through this program, UChicago Impact will offer qualifying schools 5Essentials Professional Learning support and the STEP (Strategic Teaching and Evaluation of Progress) formative literacy assessment, data management, and professional learning system.

Learn more about IL-EMPOWER.


I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation Sponsors a UChicago Impact Briefing on Cultivating Learning Environments That Promote Positive Student Outcomes

Last month, the I.A. O'Shaughnessy Foundation enabled UChicago Impact to bring together a diverse group of education stakeholders to learn more about how learning environments influence students’ grades. The event featured a briefing from Dr. Camille Farrington, Managing Director and Senior Research Associate at the UChicago Consortium, on her latest research that shows the learning environments educators create have a strong influence on students’ Academic Mindsets and Learning Strategies, and, ultimately, their performance. You can watch her presentation here.

The event also marked the public launch of Cultivate, UChicago Impact's new survey and framework that was developed with the support of the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation and in partnership with the UChicago Consortium. Cultivate is designed to support educators in creating the kind of learning environments that can change what students believe and, thus, how they perform.
Dr. Orrin Murray, UChicago Impact's Director of Technology and R&D, gave a demonstration of the Cultivate Reporting Site and Cassie Walker Burke, Chalkbeat Chicago's Bureau Chief, moderated a panel discussion with educators from the Graham Elementary and Middle School in Ohio on how they've applied Cultivate at their school. You can watch the demonstration of Cultivate here and the full panel discussion here.


STEP Goes to Mexico

The STEP Español team continues its work to provide schools with a research-based, formative assessment system designed to help educators understand students’ literacy progress and achievement in Spanish. The assessment is expected to be fully developed and ready for broad implementation beginning in the 2022-23 school year. In the meantime, Maggie Walsh, Co-CEO of UChicago Impact, Leticia Cantu, Senior Manager of STEP Español R&D and Professional Learning, and Liliana Vasquez, STEP Español R&D Manager, are sharing their expertise with educators across the United States and beyond. Most recently, they traveled to Torreón Coahuila, Mexico to discuss Spanish literacy in the United States with more than 100 practitioners from 11 Escuelas SER campuses. Leticia and Liliana jointly prepared for the presentation, with Liliana facilitating the session. 

STEP Español’s initial assessment offering, “Construir y Estabilizar,” is intended for Kindergarten—3rd grade students enrolled in bilingual, dual-language, or Spanish only instructional programs and will inform teachers about students' progression toward mastering the skills necessary for Spanish literacy development. Validation of the assessment will take place in 2020 at various school sites across the United States and there is still time for interested schools to join this study.

Learn more about STEP Español.


Indiana Teacher Leader Bootcamp

The 5Essentials Partners with the Indiana Department of Education to Support Teacher Leadership  

The Indiana Department of Education has invited UChicago Impact to provide 5Essentials professional learning at their inaugural Teacher Leaders Bootcamp. The Department's Teacher Leaders Bootcamp is designed to provide active teachers with the skills and strategies needed to develop their leadership capacity and lead others in bridging research and practice to drive improvement. This year's bootcamp program is grounded in the 5Essentials and participants will learn how to use the 5Essentials Framework to identify local problems of practice and formulate strategic action plans for school improvement. 

Learn more about the Teacher Leaders Bootcamp.