Instruction Partners is a nonprofit organization working alongside Louisiana school leaders to support great teaching and accelerate student learning.
All students deserve challenging and supportive daily instruction that helps them reach their full potential.
About Instruction Partners
Instruction Partners is a nonprofit organization dedicated to excellent instruction for all students. We work shoulder to shoulder with school, system, and state leaders to catalyze instructional improvement and accelerate student learning, organizing our efforts around the following questions:
- Are students showing up?
- Are students connecting?
- Are students given worthy work?
- Are students doing the work?
- Are students learning?
Before COVID-19, we helped school and system leadership teams strengthen instruction and accelerate student learning through side-by-side observation of practice, academic strategy consulting, and teacher and leader capacity-building. Since the pandemic, we have worked to orient leaders to the current context, clarify priorities and goals, reorganize their work to operate in light of new demands, determine how to measure success, build and execute a plan, monitor progress, and continuously improve the effectiveness of the work through capacity-building. Examples of recent efforts include:
- We released the Continuous Improvement Toolkit, which offers educators practical resources for supporting improvement efforts this year. We are working on a Reconstruction Framework to be released in 2021.
- We published guidelines for Effective Distance Learning Practices, offering actionable strategies educators can leverage to maintain high expectations for students while ensuring they have access to high-quality instruction during distance learning.
- We embarked on an interview series called Rethinking Intervention, where we speak with content experts, researchers, and leading practitioners about what does and does not works to intervene effectively and accelerate student learning
We help school leaders provide effective support for their teachers to improve instruction and student learning.
Given the substantial instructional and operational shifts necessitated by the pandemic, we work closely with partners to identify aspirations and goals that have relevancy and meaning during this time of unprecedented change. These aspirations serve as a clear focus for instruction and culture, responding to the core priority areas of 1) planning for the needs of priority groups of students, 2) supporting all students’ emotional needs and unfinished learning needs, and 3) advancing and preserving student learning no matter the scenario.
We work with leaders through cycles of improvement to observe teaching and learning, make a practical plan for improvement, develop teacher and leader capacity to carry out the plan, and support follow-through.
Instruction Partners is also the leader in leveraging the power of high-quality curriculum to drive instructional progress. In 2019, we launched the Curriculum Support Guide, an open-source, comprehensive framework and practical set of tools and resources to help systems avoid the pitfalls that can often come with new materials adoption.
Instruction Partners and Louisiana Schools
Instruction Partners has supported districts, CMOs, and individual schools across Louisiana since 2018, helping more than 320 schools take actionable steps towards improvement and leverage Tier 1 curricula to promote meaningful student growth. Our partnerships focus on teacher and leader professional learning and coaching to support effective use of curriculum.
- In 2019, we conducted state reviews for LDOE across 42 schools to deepen their understanding of the state of curriculum implementation and help leaders take curriculum-specific actions as a result of that data.
- For the past two years, we have led a cross-CMO, curriculum-specific professional learning series across New Orleans and Baton Rouge to help leaders and coaches in more than 70 schools plan units, internalize lessons, and strengthen the coaching and feedback they provide teachers.
- In 2018 and 2019, we partnered with New Schools for New Orleans to perform curriculum implementation reviews across 45 schools to understand the impact of their Instructional Quality Review Initiative.
- Algiers Charter School Association (New Orleans)
- Iberville Charter Academy (Iberville)
- Living School NOLA (New Orleans)
- University View Academy (Baton Rouge)
- Bricolage Academy (New Orleans)
- IDEA Southern Louisiana (Baton Rouge)
- MAX Charter School (Lafourche Parish)
- Warren Easton Charter High School (New Orleans)
- Einstein Charter Schools (New Orleans)
- InspireNOLA (New Orleans)
- Morris Jeff Community School (New Orleans)
- St. Charles Parish (St. Charles)
- Fannie C. Williams Charter School (New Orleans)
- Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School (Baton Rouge)
- Redesign Schools (Baton Rouge)
- Catahoula Parish Public Schools (Catahoula)
- GEO Academies – Greater Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge)
- Lake Charles College Prep (Calcasieu)
- Sophie B. Wright Charter School (New Orleans)
- Franklin Parish (Franklin)
Meet the Louisiana Team
Eliza Meinig, ELA Content Lead
Eliza has sixteen years of experience as an ELA and social studies teacher and coach. A former teacher leader and coach in two New Orleans charter networks, she led teacher development initiatives during Louisiana’s transition to the CCSS.
Golda Sharpe, Director of Instructional Support
Golda is a former school and district leader who served as a senior instructional coach to more than fifteen school districts across the states of Mississippi and Alabama. During her time as an educator, she increased math passing rate by 28% and students scoring proficient by 32%.
José Guadarrama, K–2 ELA Content Lead
José joined Instruction Partners from FirstLine Schools, a five charter management organization in New Orleans. He taught at FirstLine for seven years before serving as the Primary Literacy Content Leader for the network, designing effective curriculum-based professional learning for kindergarten through fourth-grade teachers.
Leigh Dekle, Associate Director of Instructional Support
Leigh taught ELA and social studies and served as the associate director of curriculum at CommonLit.org. She has developed literacy and inquiry-based curriculum for New Orleans charter schools.
Mia Dunlap, Director of Instructional Support
Mia has deep experience building structures that support students to thrive both academically and culturally by strengthening teacher and leader instructional leadership, schoolwide culture, and change management coherence. As the former director of student and adult experience at Achievement First, she partnered with leadership teams in middle and high schools to diagnose culture and instructional gaps while co-creating and developing instructional plans and school-wide culture revisions. She has also served as a school culture consultant working with high schools in the New York City Area.
Melissa Chipman, Math Content Lead
Melissa formerly taught middle school math and served as the math department chair for grades 5–12. She has created curricula for middle and high school math courses, as well as a program for all students to have access to AP Calculus by their senior year. As a teacher, her eighth-grade students were ranked first in the state of Massachusetts for growth on the end-of-year assessment.