13 Philadelphia schools open year with new resources to launch innovative, teacher-driven projects



Scott Gaiber


Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 2016 – The Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders (School Leaders) proudly announces that 13 of the city’s schools will start the 2016-17 school year with new resources to implement innovative projects the inaugural year of its Teacher-Leader Collaborative Grants Program.  School Leaders selected grantees for 2016-17 from a competitive pool of proposals, and they represent a mix of district, charter, and parochial schools.

The Teacher-Leader Grants Program fosters leadership among teams of teachers to address, in collaboration with their principals, impediments to student success beyond the walls of their own classrooms.  In total, projects are expected to impact about 10,000 students and address varying issues ranging from improving student attendance to increasing student access to technology, the arts, safe play areas, and rigorous curricula. Read more about the grantees and their unique projects here.

Made possible by the generous support of the William Penn Foundation, School Leaders initiated the Teacher-Leader Grants Program to improve the retention of effective teachers by providing them leadership opportunities and resources to pursue projects that improve student outcomes.  In addition to the grants, which range from $4,000 to $14,300, School Leaders will provide implementation support to each school team so that they can reach their goals.

The grantee teams welcome the opportunity to work together on these meaningful projects to improve their schools.  Principal Sharon Marino of McClure Elementary School, who will work alongside her teachers on their grant project to improve student attendance, explains, “A collaborative approach is beneficial to both the teachers involved in the project and to the other teachers within our school.  Those who are a part of the team have the opportunity to be recognized for their leadership and share best practices with their colleagues.  The other teachers benefit because they hear about strategies that are working and can be implemented into their practice.  Collaboration allows for the swapping of ideas and building of a culture of learning from each other.”

The Teacher-Leader Grants Program builds from the success of School Leaders’ flagship program, the Neubauer Fellowship in Educational Leadership.  The Fellowship provides accomplished school principals with high-quality professional development, enabling them to lead their schools to higher levels of learning.

“Every effective principal knows that important accomplishments in schools don’t occur without the contributions of teacher-leaders,” School Leaders Executive Director Tim Matheney notes. “With this important initiative we seek to foster collaboration among all the leaders who make an impact on schools.  We’re excited about partnering with educators who are ‘going the extra mile’ to make a difference in students’ lives.”


 About the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders

The Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders seeks to improve student outcomes by investing in school leadership. To ensure the greatest impact, our programs focus on proven techniques that enable leaders to maximize scarce resources, delegate strategically, create deep-learning school cultures that drive student growth, and much more. School Leaders’ flagship program is the year-long Neubauer Fellowship in Educational Leadership. The Fellowship serves exceptional public, charter, and parochial principals with a proven track record of improving Philadelphia schools. Selected Fellows are exposed to high-quality professional development to enhance their own skills as leaders.

About the William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. The Foundation’s assets totaled approximately $2.3 billion as of December 31, 2015.