Firstline Schools

Firstline Schools

FirstLine Schools believes in cycles of continuous improvement and that instructional needs should lead decision making. Each year they reflect on how technology has impacted instruction and student achievement.

State: Louisiana Number of Students: 3,150
School Type: Charter Management Organization Free and Reduced Lunch: 95.8%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: N/A

School Context

Preparing Students for Success: A major priority for FirstLine is to prepare every student for academic success in collegeby improving student achievement and building confidence.

Cultivating School Culture: FirstLine Schools believes that it is critical to provide students with experiences andopportunities that build character, citizenship and health. There is also a major focus on family and community involvementto promote success amongst students.

Supporting Teachers: FirstLine values their teachers and aims to provide extensive support so that teachers cancontinuously improve. This support includes providing weekly PD opportunities at each school, monthly PD opportunitiesacross schools, regular observations and feedback and school visits to successful schools in New Orleans and across thecountry.

State of Technology

Blended Past: FirstLine Schools began piloting blended learning fouryears ago as a way to improve student achievement through the use ofsupplemental digital content. When pilots first began in 2011 at ArthurAshe Charter School (K-8) and at Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School(9th grade only), students spent up to 20% of daily instructional timeusing English and math software in a lab setting. During this time teachersprovided academic intervention with individual students and small groupsof students. As of 2013, all FirstLine schools were engaging in some formof blended learning. Over the past four years the project has seen success,particularly in math achievement and with students with special needswho benefited from the additional small group work enabled by theflexible lab model.

Blended Present: FirstLine believes in cycles of continuous improvementand that instructional needs should lead decision making. Each yearthey reflect on how technology has impacted instruction and studentachievement. For the 2015-2016 school year, middle school students willstill have a lab block where teachers will pull flex group for intervention,but this year students will focus more on English and language arts as wellas math. In addition, the role of the lab coach is expanding to include a focus on developing a motivational culture, assisting students with goal-setting and data analysis as well as providing feedback.

Technology Ready: According to the 2015 Technology Footprintpublished by the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE), FirstLine hasa 3:1 device to student ratio. Desktop computers are mostly found incomputer labs. In K-2 classrooms laptops are used as a blended learningcenter for students during the literacy block. FirstLine also has carts fortheir Chromebook laptops. The network plans to replace aging desktopcomputers with Chromebooks as needed.

Career Prep: Through a partnership with the Delgado Community CollegeCity Park Campus, Clark Prep piloted a new pathway for students topursue a career after graduating high school during the 2013-2014 schoolyear. The program, called NOLA Career and Technical Academy (NOLATech), focuses on building career skills and character traits important inthe workplace. Students are able to get their high school diploma andsimultaneously earn a technical certificate in a specific field of work; insome cases, students can also earn college credits for the work they’vecompleted. Lastly, students can participate in apprenticeship programswhich allow them to gain real-work experience at job sites during theweek.

Tech Needs & Requirements

TFirstLine is interested in web-based products that runeffectively on Chromebooks. FirstLine is interested in finding software for student goal-setting and reflection that’s flexible enough to adapt to differentinstructional models.


Teacher Prep Day: During the 2015-2016 academic year, FirstLine will be adopting a new system of professionaldevelopment for teachers that includes one full-day of collaboration each week. Teachers of the same grade or contentarea are released on “Teacher Prep Day” to collaboratively plan and analyze data. These collaboration days are strategicallystaggered throughout the week to maintain a balanced schedule for students. When the lead teacher is released in K-2,the co-teacher becomes the lead for the day, providing math and literacy instruction as well as enrichment activities. Whencontent area teachers are released in 3rd-8th grade, students spend additional time in their core classes with their teacherswho are present as well as time in the blended learning lab block.

*Content From 2015

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