Creating Opportunities for Educators to Innovate
Core to Salesforce’s investment in Oakland is expanding opportunities for educators to innovate. The Principal’s Innovation Fund (PIF) is a $100,000 plus grant-within-a-grant given to each principal serving the middle grades to use as they see fit. The PIF grant acts as “seed funding,” enabling principals to leverage their unique positions as school leaders to identify and implement innovative solutions to their school community’s unique challenges.
Since the start of the partnership, $18 million in PIF funds have been leveraged by 21 Oakland schools to support student achievement, social-emotional learning, teacher professional development and retention strategies, family engagement, campus improvements focused on STEM, and more.
Principal Claire Fisher in her time at Urban Promise Academy brought on a Literacy Intervention Specialist to customize and re-develop a Literacy acceleration curriculum designed to support sixth grade students. As a result of their work, 21.4% of sixth grade students reading at a third, fourth or fifth grade level improved their reading by at least two years.
Principal Amy Carozza from Coliseum College Prep Academy (CCPA) has utilized the power of CCPA alumni who are now enrolled in college to mentor current CCPA students in English Language Arts to promote reading and improve student literacy.
Middle school students at Hillcrest Elementary are engaged in a project based learning curriculum developed in partnership with the Chabot Space and Science Center. Once a week, the Space and Science Center serves as a satellite classroom where Hillcrest middle schoolers learn science and engineering concepts that incorporate the history of science, mathematical applications, writing in the content area, art and physical education.
Principal Neha Ummat from West Oakland Middle School (WOMS) has partnered with Achievement Network and The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching to develop WOMS teacher’s instructional capacity by further aligning curriculum to Common Core Standards and increasing student engagement through culturally relevant teaching practices.
Ninety-two percent of Claremont Middle School teachers participating in ongoing coaching returned to Claremont for the 2019-20 school year, up from 65 percent in previous years. This is the result of Principal Jonathan Mayer’s concerted effort to leverage PIF funding to address teacher efficacy and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.