The Fresh Start Schools program is a unique partnership between the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union. Its purpose is to increase school autonomy and group decision-making through the development of instructional leadership teams. It provides assistance for academic success through external partnerships that would enable schools to meet No Child Left Behind academic gains. The program is inclusive of not only improving students learning but in maintaining and retaining quality teachers through its peer mentoring and evaluation component.
- Improve academic achievement in the lowest performing schools
- Develop a process to examine performance data in determining the need to provide greater flexibility and school accountability for performance
- Increase staff participation in management and planning
- Implement a peer teacher mentoring and evaluation program to help maintain and retain quality teachers
- Each school has the same level of autonomy as Chicago Public Schools Performance Schools in terms of budgeting, staffing, curriculum design, instructional practice, and Area Instructional Office management
- Operate under a five-year Performance Agreement requiring academic gains which will be reviewed annually to evaluate a school’s progress academically and professionally
- Fresh Start Schools may receive additional funding to support school improvement activities as deemed appropriate within the terms of the Fresh Start Agreement
Fresh Start Schools are provided with many opportunities and funding to help support both academic and social success. Each school works with a series of external partnerships to help foster a positive collaborative learning environment. The resources available to each Fresh Start School vary. Each school is afforded the opportunity to select unique external partnerships to help support the implementation of their school improvement goals.