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Kelley School aims to boost performance in at-risk schools

Fairview Elementary School

Fairview Elementary School is one of three at-risk schools that is part of a Kelley Executive Partners pilot program.

A collaboration between Indiana University’s Kelley Executive Partners and the IU School of Education is seeking to boost student performance at at-risk schools in Indiana. The schools plan to implement new strategies beginning next school year.

The Effective Leaders Academy aims to raise student performance at schools that have received C and D school letter grades from the state. The program is working with three pilot schools–Fairview Elementary in Bloomington, Harrison Hill School of Inquiry in Indianapolis, and South Central Elementary, just outside of Louisville.

Gary Crow is an IU School of Education professor and a co- director of the Effective Leaders Academy. He says the program is focusing on at-risk schools rather than those that are already failing.

“The F schools are those schools that are subject to state take over and there’s a lot of attention that’s being paid to those schools. But not much is being paid to those schools that are kind of on the cusp of being that way,” Crow says.

Officials with the Effective Leaders Academy are already meeting with school leaders to pin-point problem areas. They will then develop strategies to fix those areas and implement new plans beginning next fall.

Fairview Elementary Principle Karen Adams says she is looking forward to the new changes and is confident they will boost student achievement.

“The Kelley school of Business has a nice framework for planning which is different than some of the planning we’ve done before,” she says. “I think it helped us look at some things in a little bit different light which is helping us move forward.”

The Effective Leadership Academy plans to expand the program to ten more schools in the fall.

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