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Fort Bend ISD introduces EDGE: An innovative, educational support model

EDGE offers unique instructional opportunities for students and staff, includes after-school learning and enrichment opportunities
 

FORT BEND ISD – Students at two Fort Bend ISD elementary campuses will benefit from a brand new learning experience, designed to result in academic innovation and improved student achievement. The EDGE (Educators Dedicated to Growing Excellence) instructional model consists of a holistic approach to student instruction and support, while also offering teachers the opportunity to grow professionally and develop as leaders while positively impacting the lives of students. 

 

Developed internally by a group of District leaders from 13 departments, the EDGE instructional model is aligned with the District’s Core Beliefs and Commitments and is designed to meet the needs of Fort Bend ISD’s most challenged students and campuses.

 

“Fort Bend ISD exists to inspire and equip all students to pursue a future beyond what they can imagine,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, FBISD Superintendent of Schools.

 

“To achieve this mission, we must take immediate, bold action to improve student outcomes at our schools with the highest needs.”

 

Conversations about addressing the unique needs at underperforming schools have been going on for several years in Fort Bend ISD, and intensified last fall, as the District worked with the Board of Trustees to develop targeted improvement plans for schools that didn’t meet state accountability standards. In January, a group of District leaders was tasked with addressing the needs of students and staff at campuses with the most needs. Working together, departments throughout Fort Bend ISD – including Curriculum, Accountability, Teacher Development, and School Leadership – created EDGE.

 

“We believe that EDGE has the potential to transform a school’s entire culture – offering students, staff, and parents the support they need to help our students achieve,” said Dupre.

 

Fort Bend ISD initially identified ten campuses that could potentially benefit from the EDGE model, and then selected two campuses, Briargate Elementary and Ridgemont Elementary, based on an analysis of various student data points and assessments. Both campuses are already receiving extra support as part of targeted improvement plans.

 

“Although EDGE will be implemented at these two campuses this fall, we believe components of this program could benefit elementary schools across Fort Bend ISD,” said Dupre.

 

As part of the EDGE instructional model, every student will have a team of highly qualified teachers, led by a Master Teacher, to meet their academic needs. The Master-level teacher will work with a grade-level team, also consisting of Mentor and EDGE teachers, to provide targeted instruction to groups of students based on their individual learning styles, content mastery, or interests. The Master-level teacher will teach students, as well as coach other teachers on the team, thus creating a new model of support and growth for their fellow teachers.

 

On Monday, March 7, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees approved stipend schedules for EDGE staff members, which includes $15,000 stipends for Master Teachers, $9,000 stipends for Mentor Teachers, and a $1,500 signing bonus and $500 dollar stipend for EDGE Teachers. The Board also approved the creation of seven new EDGE positions to support implementation at the two campuses. For 2016-17, the estimated EDGE costs at two schools will cost the District approximately $1 million dollars. An after-school component, called “Club EDGE,” would cost an additional $1 million, although Fort Bend ISD is seeking grants and other funding sources to cover those expenses.

 

Club EDGE would provide students the opportunity to participate in an after-school program with enrichment programs, daily physical activity, homework/tutorials and snacks/dinner served daily.

 

Administrators, counselors and teachers will focus on the needs of the whole child, including their mental, physical, and emotional needs.

 

Following the March 7 Board action, District leaders met with staff members to share information about implementation, including the hiring process for all EDGE positions. The EDGE positions will be open to both internal and external applicants, although the District has stressed that any staff member on the campuses that are not selected for an EDGE position – or choose not to apply – will be able to stay within the District. Meetings to introduce the EDGE model to parents and answer any questions they may have will be held later this month.

 

For more information, visit www.fortbendisd.com/edge.

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