United to Learn’s expanded partnership with an additional 26 Dallas ISD elementary schools

United to Learn Doubles Down with 53 Campuses

United to Learn Elementary Campuses
Mapped by Feeder Pattern and Cohort

We are pleased to share the news of United to Learn’s expanded partnership with an additional 26 Dallas ISD elementary schools. The new schools double the number of campuses benefiting from United to Learn’s work, which aims to eliminate resource gaps and accelerate student achievement—now across  53 Dallas ISD elementary schools.

With a mission of changing lives by transforming the relationship between schools and community, United to Learn has proven its model for mobilizing community partners to support Dallas public schools. Beyond the 53 Dallas ISD elementary schools, the United to Learn network includes over 25 community partners, including private schools, faith-based organizations, and businesses working together to accelerate student achievement, develop purposeful leaders and create a united and thriving community.

“United to Learn’s unique approach serves as an outstanding model in how to best support our students and schools,” said Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD superintendent. “The way United to Learn staff mobilize volunteers, businesses and community partners boosts student achievement and helps improve campuses in a way that aligns with our district vision and priorities.”

From 2013-2020, United to Learn has partnered with 27 Dallas ISD elementary schools across the Northwest Cluster of Dallas ISD.

“United to Learn’s original partnerships have ignited substantial investment in student resources, teacher trainings, and campus improvement,” said Abigail Williams, Founder and CEO of United to Learn. “I am most encouraged by the progress in student achievement made by our campuses. But perhaps equally important, I am excited the partnerships galvanized significant private sector volunteer engagement and thus the building of a more informed community (young and adult) empowered to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for ALL our students.”

United to Learn’s unique program model focuses on four research-driven and Dallas ISD-aligned pillars: 1) improve elementary schools’ social emotional health, 2) create more aspirational campus environments, 3) support greater literacy student achievement, and 4) develop an informed community empowered to advocate for educational equity from a culturally competent perspective.

Through smart, equitable investment and impactful volunteer engagement, literacy achievement across U2L’s original supported schools is outpacing district, county, and state averages. Increasing elementary reading achievement is at the heart of United to Learn’s vision of ensuring every student is positioned for long-term success as research demonstrates students reading on grade level by 3rd grade are three times more likely to go on to college.

“After continued requests from Executive Directors to the Superintendent’s office across the District, our team embarked on a strategic plan to evaluate the possibility of expanding our efforts,” said Dave Monaco, board chair of United to Learn. “Thanks to general encouragement from the broader community, I am pleased that United to Learn will be expanding our campus partnerships citywide.”

Twelve of the new campuses are part of the ACE 3.0 and 4.0 program under the leadership of Roshonda Clayton-Brown, and the remaining 13 are part of the Lincoln, Madison, Roosevelt, Carter Feeder Pattern led by Dr. Sheryl Wilson.

“Working with United to Learn over the last few years, I witnessed their impact in meeting school needs that would otherwise go unfulfilled,” said Roshonda Clayton-Brown, Dallas ISD Executive Director. “Their commitment to cultivating relationships while tackling resource gaps is why I am so excited to work alongside them to accelerate learning for thousands more Dallas ISD students.”

The United to Learn model hinges on first learning and understanding the vision for student achievement campus by campus. Conversations with both Ms. Brown and Dr. Wilson and several of their principals are on-going, while United to Learn is also visiting with community members as all collectively plan initiatives into the 2020-2021 school year.

“Our team will continue to take direction from District and school leadership as we build our partnership plans with each of the 26 new schools,” said Williams. “Among the trusted voices we thank for guiding us in this next phase of our work are new members to our Board of Directors, Dr. Pamela Lear and Miguel Solis, and Advisory Council, Dr. Joan Hill, Sophia Johnson, Ben Leal, Byron Sanders, Dottie Smith, Dawne Tribolet.”

Community members and businesses wanting to get more involved with neighborhood schools should contact United to Learn founder and CEO, Abigail Williams, (469) 848-7420.

United to Learn Campus Demographics Summary
Source: Commit Partnership, June 2020

As summarized above, adding an additional 26 campuses educating over 10,400 students will broaden our reach to 53 schools and approximately 28,500 of our district’s youngest learners.

ACE Campuses

As detailed on Dallas ISD’s website, the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) initiative was launched in 2015.  The ACE initiative, evolving as it matures, works to ensure that effective leadership teams and teachers are in the classrooms where they are most needed by incentivizing top teachers and principals to relocate and work at some of the district’s lowest-performing schools.  Under the leadership of Ms. Roshonda Clayton-Brown, an experienced United to Learn champion through her role as former Executive Director of the W.T White and Hillcrest elementary feeder clusters, this group of highest-need campuses utilizes additional district resources supporting effective instruction, additional class time, social and academic skill-building and parent engagement provided within a culture of high expectations to guide students toward graduation and college readiness.

The ACE cluster of 13 schools is a natural fit for U2L partnership. In addition, our prior experience working with the Executive Director provides clarity in expectations and relationship development. Although these schools receive additional support through educator stipends and an additional campus leadership team member, data showing 3rd grade reading and achievement gaps and our conversations with Dallas ISD leadership indicate commensurate need for the additional resources and tailored solutions that United to Learn develops with its partner schools to build a strong school culture and accelerate ongoing student achievement.

Lincoln, Madison, Roosevelt and Carter Campuses

The six elementary schools remaining in the Lincoln, Madison and Roosevelt cluster and the six elementary schools which feed into Carter High School, all of which are under the leadership of its Executive Director, Dr. Sheryl Wilson, are also an exceptional fit in our second cohort of United to Learn Schools.

In addition to the strong interest expressed by Dr. Wilson, her vision and plans for the schools squarely align with United to Learn’s partnership model.  Further support for expansion to these campuses developed based on exploratory conversations with existing and potential community partners.

United to Learn Ecosystem

United to Learn’s collaborative programming model focuses on four research-driven and Dallas ISD-aligned key pillars, including:

  • strengthening the social and emotional health of students and faculty, shown to result in an 11% increase in student achievement
  • creating positive, aspirational campus environments, as students surmise their long-term potential by 5th grade
  • accelerating student achievement in literacy because students reading on grade level by 3rd grade are three times more likely to go on to college
  • activating an informed community equipped to promote opportunities for all students to learn and lead.

The United to Learn ecosystem below illustrates all of the participating Dallas ISD schools and community organizations, including businesses, independent schools, faith-based organizations and individuals working together and actively engaged within our four key program pillars to advance student achievement.

United to Learn Ecosystem of Program Pillars and Partners