Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Citizen Schools Friend,
We start the New Year excited about the opportunity to strengthen and grow our Expanded Learning Time (ELT) efforts in Texas. Our pioneering ELT site in Houston, Jane Long Middle School, has shown strong results in driving increased enrollment, attendance and grades in early measures.
As noted in a recent front page story in the Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7348147.html), Jane Long's partnership with Citizen Schools has reversed a trend of declining enrollment in the school. More kids are enrolling in Jane Long, their attendance is better, and, most importantly, their grades, particularly in math, appear to be on an upward swing, as well.
We are committed to closing the achievement gap in middle school for our kids and to ensuring that as we grow we are doing so in a manner that has that intended effect. To that end, Abt Associates, a nationally recognized research and evaluation firm, will be making its first visit to Jane Long this month to start a several years long process of measuring and evaluating ELT at the school to ensure that we obtain the results we desire for our kids.
We continue to meet with and evaluate other schools in Austin and Houston for ELT this next school year. While we, like everyone, face a challenging funding environment, we are encouraged by increasing support from a number of foundations and corporations across the state. Moreover, the partnership we have forged with Jane Long has served as a template for how we can make ELT happen - from programmatic, school partnership, community engagement, and funding perspectives - at other schools and in other communities across our state. And, thanks in large part to your continued interest and support, make it happen we will.
We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2011!