The Learning Partners Program is designed to promote interschool collaborative learning and leverage the rich reservoir of expertise that already resides within our school communities to improve the educational experience for all New York City students.
Using the Framework for Great Schools as a focal lens, the Learning Partners Program matches a host school that exhibits strong practices in a specific learning focus area with two or more partner schools that are interested in strengthening their own practices in that area.
A facilitator from within the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning is assigned to each group of schools to guide the collaborative process. Throughout the course of the academic year, school teams within each group of Learning Partners schools will participate in a series of biweekly school team meetings, monthly intervisitations, and other related educational development activities.
In the 2016-17 school year, there are 121 schools participating in the Learning Partners Program as small groups of three or four schools. In addition, 70 schools are participating in Learning Partners Sustain, in which larger cohorts of six to nine schools work together.
Learning Partners: District-Charter Collaborative
The District-Charter Collaborative, an iteration of the Learning Partners Program, is designed to facilitate collaboration between district and charter schools. DCC schools work together over two academic years in professional learning communities, composed of four schools (both district and charter), known as quads. Quads engage in a series of monthly intervisitations, professional development, and regular school planning meetings that utilize the inquiry process to drive collective learning within a particular focus area. In the 2016-17 school year, 27 schools are taking part in DCC.
Learning Partners: Urban Teacher Residency
By facilitating collaboration among schools working to train the next generation of New York City educators, the Learning Partners-Urban Teacher Residency (LP-UTR) aims to slow the “revolving door” of teacher attrition and produce stronger outcomes for students. In partnership with New Visions for Public Schools, LP-UTR triads work together to support the instructional and leadership development of first-year teaching residents and their school-based mentors. Host schools that have several years of experience with the residency model support schools that are newer to or interested in expanding their work with new teachers. At each school, LP-UTR coaches work with teams of mentors and administrators to engage in ongoing inquiry work focused on problems of practice connected to new teacher mentoring. Teaching candidates prepared via this residency model have stronger impacts on student learning than other first-year teachers, and they remain teaching in NYCDOE schools at substantially higher rates (93% of UTR graduates are in the classroom after four years). In the 2016-17 school year, 18 schools are participating in LP-UTR.
Learning Partners In Action
All iterations of the Learning Partners Program work to bring together schools from across New York City to share and network creative solutions and strong practices. By encouraging educators to collaborate, student education is elevated on a rising tide of dedicated support and proven experience.
Researchers from the DOE’s Research and Policy Support Group and Columbia University’s Center for Public Research and Leadership completed a report documenting the experience of three Learning Partners triads during the 2014-15 school year. These case studies reveal the unique learning process of each triad, identify successful components of interschool collaboration, and provide timelines of the work and artifacts used by schools. We hope that the report will help generate ideas to get started or continue efforts in collaboration.
The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 Learning Partners Program was February 3, 2017. The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 District-Charter Collaborative is March 17, 2017. More information is available on the intranet page (DOE login and password required).
For more information or questions about the Learning Partners Program, please contact LearningPartners@schools.nyc.gov. For more information on the District-Charter Collaborative, e-mail DCC@schools.nyc.gov.