Thursday, February 5, 2015

W.K.Kellogg Foundation awards SLI $900,000 grant to work with struggling Chicago schools

Strategic Learning Initiatives Partners with Struggling Chicago School
Transforming Student Achievement Rapidly at Low Cost
Accelerating & Sustaining Student, Teacher and Parent Learning
      Offering a Proven Way to Transform Schools on a Scale that Matters

Chicago, IL - Strategic Learning Initiative’s new project will continue to scale the transformation results that once struggling schools have achieved across the country.  

The project is funded by $900,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.   

 Chicago’s Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, the Children’s Literacy Initiative, and New Legacy Partnerships are partnering to accelerate and evaluate student achievement. They are implementing a 3-year project, demonstrating SLI’s innovative, low-cost, and nationally recognized systemic model for school transformation.   

This model utilizes existing school staff and curricula. It is based on the values of trust, open communication, integrity and respect.  Two schools, in one of Chicago’s lowest income neighborhoods, will implement SLI’s process for transforming student, staff and parent learning. SLI’s success is a result of integrating the systemic research from high performance schools and businesses plus on-site coaching. It is uniquely qualified for the work.  

Classroom effort for Elementary and High schools centers on SLI’s Focused Instruction Process which enables teams of teachers, students, administrators and parents to utilize a continuous and sustainable quality improvement process. Staff of the two schools will receive on-site coaching and training, networking with each other and with future schools.  SLI Staff also support parents in learning the Common Core Standards and social emotional skills to help their children with homework and relationships.

The SLI process integrates:  Rigorous Instruction, Shared Leadership, Professional Capacity Building, Family Engagement, Networking among Neighborhood Schools, a School Culture of Respect, and Collaboration, plus Systemic Problem Solving.   

The project’s goal is to support schools in their plan to accelerate and sustain the rate of improvement of adult, student, and organizational learning by applying their nationally recognized transformation model including the 8-Step Focused Instruction Process.  If the school leadership and grade level teams implement the model with fidelity, SLI guarantees significant improvement in the school culture and student achievement.
The project offers, on scale that matters, a proven way for district leaders to rapidly transform neighborhood networks of struggling schools.
“The results achieved by the Focused Instruction Process exceeded my expectations. Our partnership with Strategic Learning empowered staff and parents to innovate, plan, implement and assess student learning continuously.  The partnership established benchmarks at every grade level.  These goals are then shared by colleagues to help everyone grow in the same direction.” (Chicago Principal). 

About Strategic Learning Initiatives

Strategic Learning Initiatives is a 23-year old Chicago nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the lowest income communities of learners using research-based, high performance strategies. With schools in five states, their systemic approach without removing staff is affordable, scalable, and sustainable. It has a validated record of proven achievement.  For more information, visit       

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is  among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans, Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit