School Turnaround AmeriCorps
The School Turnaround AmeriCorps program is a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to support the placement of a dedicated cadre of AmeriCorps members from CNCS in persistently underachieving schools across the country. These AmeriCorps members will be serving in schools implementing school turnaround interventions as required by ED’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program or as required through Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility.
Members will help keep students on track to graduate by working to increase student academic achievement, attendance and high school graduation rates; improve college and career readiness; and provide college enrollment assistance and advisement.
The program supports organizations that serve low-performing schools around the country, including those in rural areas.
Each year more than 500 School Turnaround AmeriCorps members participating in the initiative will support a variety of intervention efforts aimed at addressing the unique needs of each SIG, Priority and focus school. In 2016 CNCS awarded its second three-year cohort of School Turnaround AmeriCorps programs. The 7 awardees will place members in approximately 90 SIG/priority schools in urban and rural communities across the country to support turnaround interventions in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The School Turnaround AmeriCorps partnership reflects ED and CNCS’ commitment to increasing opportunities for students in disadvantaged communities by providing a high-quality education.
School Turnaround AmeriCorps will be supported through an anticipated investment of $15 million in public funds from both agencies and leverage an anticipated $15 million in grantee match funding during the 2016-2018 program years. In addition, AmeriCorps members who successfully complete their service in the program will qualify for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which could total $1.5 million a year for all participants.
2016 School Turnaround AmeriCorps Grantees
Berea College (Kentucky) AmeriCorps members serving in Partners for Education at Berea College will serve high school students in Clay, Knox and Perry Counties in rural Kentucky. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for increasing attendance of high school students.
City Year AmeriCorps members will partner with schools in Chicago (IL), Jacksonville (FL), Little Rock (AR), Tulsa (OK), New York City (NY), and the District of Columbia (DC) to provide academic and youth development services to students. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing whole school services to benefit 15,100 students, whole class support for 8,700 students and enrollment based services to 2,658 students, which will improve academic skills in English and/or math for 825 students, improve attendance rates for 234 students, and improve social-emotional skills for 400 students.
Jefferson County Public Schools (Kentucky) AmeriCorps members will mentor disadvantaged students at priority and focus schools in Jefferson County, Kentucky to improve the academic engagement and attendance of participating students. Members will also leverage 432 volunteers who will be involved in tutoring, parent and community engagement activities and school-based service projects.
LearningWorks (Maine) AmeriCorps members will provide extended day learning and targeted instructional support, and coordinate community/family/parent engagement activities to students. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for increasing the academic achievement of each school’s lowest performing students in accordance with the state-mandated objectives. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 120 volunteers who will be engaged in targeted instructional support activities with students.
Minnesota Alliance with Youth (Minnesota) AmeriCorps members will implement a data-driven, evidence-based model that uses a multi-tiered system of supports approach to address the early warning indicators of disengagement from school: attendance, behavior, and course performance. At the end of the program year, the AmeriCorps Members will be responsible for engaging 600 youth in grades 6-10 in priority and focus schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul to get back on-track for on-time high school graduation. In addition, the AmeriCorps Members will leverage an additional 100 volunteers who will be engaged in informal mentoring, academic support, attendance coaching and support for service and leadership opportunities.
ReNEW Schools Achieving College Readiness through School Turnaround Support (Louisiana) AmeriCorps members will provide direct tutoring in reading and math in six high-poverty, high-minority, priority schools in New Orleans. At the end of the first program year, AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping 512 at-risk students increase academic achievement in reading or math. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 50 volunteers, who will engage at-risk students in tutoring.
The Springfield College School Turnaround Initiative (Massachusetts) AmeriCorps members will serve as Student Support Specialists in sixteen Level 4 public schools in the City of Springfield, an economically disadvantaged urban center in Western Massachusetts. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving educational and behavioral outcomes for 500 public school students in low-achieving elementary, middle, magnet, and high schools.