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Moving the Needle with California Partnership Academies

The grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation supports development of innovative strategies to improve implementation in three critical areas: School-within-a-School Structure, Integration of Academic and CTE curriculum, and Industry Partnerships.

The first Summer Institute in June 2017 used the Design Thinking approach. During the first week 15 teacher leaders participated in a three-day training to learn about Design Thinking, and worked with staff from CDE, CCASN, and OCDE to solve problems related to the success of a CPA. The following week these teacher leaders met with teams from ten academies, taking them through the Design Thinking process and helping them develop a strategic plan for improvement to be implemented during this school year.

In October 2017, the Facilitators will meet again to refine their Design Thinking expertise and train the 16 Lighthouse Academies in this practice. CCASN staff will be supporting their efforts and providing specific professional development to the ten CPAs with site visits and workshops on A – G courses and master scheduling.

MDRC, the organization that completed the earlier longitudinal evaluation of CPAs (, has recruited 20 CPAs and will be conducting a new study of CPAs to begin in spring of 2018. These academies will participate in Summer Institute 2018.

Would you like to learn more about how you and your team can use Design Thinking to improve your academy? Would you like to be part of the next Moving the Needle Summer Institute in June 2018? If so, please contact Jerry Winthrop at