College of Science and Health > About > Centers & Institutes > STEM Center > Activities and Programs > Chicago Public Schools District Wide Collaboration

Chicago Public Schools District-Wide Collaboration

​​​​​​​​​​​​Chicago P-12 Math Collaborative

For almost a decade, the DePaul STEM Center has worked closely with Chicago Public School district (CPS), the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, and partner universities to improve mathematics education for all students across the district from Pre-K through the end of high school.

The overarching goals of this effort are to:
  • Build leadership capacity in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) through a shared vision and distributed leadership within the Chicago mathematics community focused on the Teaching For Robust Understanding (TRU) Framework.
  • Establish communities of learners and practitioners centered on the formative assessment cycle using Formative Assessment LessonsMARS tasks, and other research-based, high-quality resources.
  • Build and expand capacity to provide high quality mathematics instruction in alignment with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) in networks, schools, and classrooms.
  • Improve student outcomes and success in mathematics.
David Foster session              
The work operates at multiple levels including district-wide Teacher Leader Institutes, Professional Learning Communities in networks and individual schools, and coaching of math teams and individual teachers in schools.
   
Chicago P12 Math Collaborative graphic
Teacher Professional Development Cycle graphic
Teacher Leader Institutes (TLIs):

The Math TLIs provide quarterly district-wide professional development centered on high-quality mathematics instruction and the transition to the CCSSM. They are attended by 1300 Teacher Leaders from the following grade bands/courses: P-2, 3-5, 6-8, Algebra, Geometry.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs): 

Erikson supports 30 P-5 Teacher Leaders in 15 schools across two Networks. DePaul supports ~165 teachers in ~90 schools across four Networks. This includes the 6-8 or Algebra Teacher Leader, and a Partner Teacher, who is another teacher in the building who teaches the same grade band/course. The PLCs meet 1 time per quarter for 3 hours after school. The objective of the PLCs is to go deeper with the learning from the TLIs, and to foster communities of learners around mathematics instruction.

Coaching and School-Based Services: 

Erikson provides coaching to all 30 P-5 teachers in the PLC. DePaul provides coaching for up to 40 PLC Teacher Leaders across the four Networks. Coaching sessions take place one time per quarter. Both Erikson and DePaul provide support to school-based math teams, which at a minimum consist of all Math Teacher Leaders in the building. 

Administrators from all PLC schools (P-12) are required to attend professional development sessions. These sessions are designed to provide administrators with knowledge and tools as they support continuous improvement in mathematics and high-quality mathematics instruction at their schools.

This support will consist of approximately 12 hours of professional development over the course of each school year. 

Every day, in all mathematics classrooms throughout Chicago Public Schools (CPS), ALL students will:

· Engage in mathematical sense-making leading to deep mathematical understanding.

· Apply mathematics efficiently and flexibly to solve problems.

· Communicate and respond to mathematical thinking in visual, written, and/or verbal forms.

Both Teacher Leaders and Facilitators reported gaining a deeper understanding of high-quality mathematics instruction from this year’s Teacher Leader Institutes. Many stated that the use of project tools and strategies contributed to an improvement in student learning.

· Of the teachers who attended the Professional Learning Communities, 93% indicated that sessions deepened their learning from the Teacher Leader Institutes, and 100% reported that sessions provided support for implementation.

· Over 85% of coached teachers reported that the classroom support contributed to a better understanding of the Common Core State Standards, an increased level of cognitive demand in their math teaching, and increased numbers of students engaged in mathematical discussions and problem solving.

Administrators reported that the Administrator Academy was effective at developing a better understanding of high-quality mathematics instruction, and providing information and skills to help them observe the quality of mathematics instruction in classrooms.

Both Teacher Leaders and Facilitators reported gaining a deeper understanding of issues surrounding high quality mathematics instruction from this year’s Teacher Leader Institutes, particularly in acquiring math strategies and tools useful for improving mathematical practices in their schools.

Of the teachers who attended the Professional Learning Communities, over 80% indicated that the sessions deepened their learning from the Teacher Leader Institutes and provided support for implementation.

In classroom observations, outside evaluators indicated that 82% of the teachers provided “accomplished, effective” or “exemplary” instruction. Most teachers (82%) used cognitively demanding questioning strategies, and encouraged students to express their thinking and use multiply strategies in problem solving.

Ratings for the Administrator PD were high, with nearly all participants indicating that the PD developed their understanding of what high-quality math instruction looks like, and provided them with information and skills to observe and support quality mathematics instruction in classrooms.

​​Outcomes:

  • Both Teacher Leaders and Facilitators reported gaining a deeper understanding of issues surrounding high quality mathematics instruction from this year's Teacher Leader Institutes, particularly in acquiring math strategies and tools useful for improving mathematical practices in their schools.
  • Of the teachers who attended the Professional Learning Communities, over 80% indicated that the sessions deepened their learning from the Teacher Leader Institutes and provided support for implementation.
  • In classroom observations, outside evaluators indicated that 82% of the teachers provided “accomplished, effective" or “exemplary" instruction. Most teachers (82%) used cognitively demanding questioning strategies, and encouraged students to express their thinking and use multiply strategies in problem solving.
  • Ratings for the Administrator PD were high, with nearly all participants indicating that the PD developed their understanding of what high-quality math instruction looks like, and provided them with information and skills to observe and support quality mathematics instruction in classrooms.

PLC Participant Testimonials:

Professional Learning Community participants were asked how their involvement in the PLC had led to changes in their schools, their students and other classrooms. Responses were overwhelming positive, and described a wide array of changes, including:

  • Improvement in their use of questioning
  • More meaningful and more common discussions with students about math
  • A deepening of the students' understanding
  • Increased use of project supported tools and strategies such as Math Talks, the Three Reads, use of Problems of the Month, and re‐engagement lessons
  • More teacher communication, collaboration and sharing within schools

The following are a few illustrative examples to help detail the above:

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