Innovation & Linkage Schools

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Strategies for Helping Students Succeed

Extended day and summer learning and enrichment opportunities: Research demonstrates the significant impact more in-school time has on learning outcomes for students of all ages. DEEL works with community partners to bring high-quality after school and summer programs to students across the city. These include academic and enrichment programs.

Social and emotional supports: Students need to feel safe and secure in their school environment. Our social and emotional supports help students build necessary skills including: social skills, anger management, grief and loss, anti-bullying/harassment, behavior management, safety and de-escalation techniques, and provide wraparound services to help meet students' additional needs.

Health services: Student health is directly linked to educational outcomes. A sick student cannot fully participate in class time. DEEL supports programs that provide the early identification, treatment, and removal of health-related barriers to learning.

Math and literacy interventions: Certified school staff work with students to provide additional instruction in these core subjects. Our data show these programs have significant positive impacts on the highest-needs students. These programs helped our levy-funded middle schools bring 40% of their L2 Math (not proficient) students to proficient in just one year.

Culturally Responsive Programming: Culturally responsive education is an approach that recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning. It means creating a bridge between students' home and school lives, and utilizing the background, knowledge and experience of students to inform program development in areas such as: curriculum, teaching and instruction, hiring of staff, ongoing professional development, and family and community involvement.

Academic Case Management: These programs support the needs of students both in and out of the classroom to ensure they are ready to learn. Some programs provide students one on one mentorship to help with academic and social emotional learning. Other programs give families the tools to help their students, including culturally responsive parent nights with toolkits they can use at home to support math and reading. 

Impactful Partnerships: Expanded professional learning opportunities provide teachers with the tools to best support their classrooms and individual students. The Levy funds training at the Center for Educational Excellence to supports train-the-trainer sessions to help teachers become educational coaches in their schools.

Measuring Impact

To ensure the Levy is having the greatest impact, continued funding depends on schools meeting specific goals from among these measures:

  • Elementary students achieve age-level expectations on the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)
  • Students show growth on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments in math or reading
  • Students improve on state tests in math, reading, science, or writing
  • Students make gains on the state English language proficiency exam
  • Student absences are reduced
  • Middle or high school students pass core courses
  • Students promote to 10th grade on time

Community Partners

Levy-funded schools implement these strategies in partnership with community-based organizations that are approved by us through the RFQ process to work with struggling students. Find out more about our Community-Based Organization partners

How DEEL Selects Schools

  • We target Seattle public schools with large numbers of students at high risk for school failure (see list of eligible schools)
  • Schools compete for available funds by submitting a Request for Investment proposal that outlines their needs, explains how they propose to use Levy funds, and demonstrates their ability to track students' progress as a result of Levy investments
  • Selected schools receive Levy support to become Innovation schools and implement a combination of strategies to increase students' academic achievement
  • All public middle schools are eligible to become Linkage schools, which serve smaller concentrations of at-risk students and focus Levy investments on just one or two areas
  • Individualized goals are set for each school; schools must make acceptable progress towards those goals in order to continue to receive funding
  • We analyze student data on an ongoing basis in order to refine practices and make timely improvements