Schools are increasingly customizing their instruction to improve student success. Strengthened by research and data, they are moving beyond traditional teaching models to tailor instruction to their students’ individual strengths and social-emotional needs. Yet most schools lack the expertise and capacity to develop personalized learning programs that work for their communities.
That’s where Transcend comes in. The nonprofit organization designs innovative learning models, then helps schools adopt and build on these models to enhance student achievement. By partnering with school leaders to develop, refine, and test their models in the classroom, Transcend identifies the most promising approaches for other schools to replicate. This makes it possible for more teachers to deliver custom instruction and social-emotional learning while improving student outcomes. Social-emotional learning includes building skills like problem-solving, adaptability, and collaboration.
The photo above is courtesy of Concourse Village Elementary in New York City.
How it Helps
Transcend works alongside school and community leaders to translate learning science into new teaching approaches that help more students excel. The organization focuses not just on classroom teaching but on a school’s entire education ecosystem, including its culture, curriculum, schedule, and facilities. Its projects range from supporting high school students to engage in learning around their passions and skills, to enhancing students’ personal agency alongside traditional academic skills.
For example, at Van Ness Elementary, a racially and economically diverse school in Washington, DC, Transcend is partnering to test a holistic and customized approach to social-emotional learning — and then roll it out to students in several other area schools. Through the program, students discover that their social and emotional health is just as important as reading and writing skills.
Transcend works with schools at all stages of implementation, from building new teaching models, to expanding models to new school sites, to onboarding potential adopters from other schools and districts. In many cases, Transcend lends its own staff full time to lead and manage projects with the schools, ensuring that its programs match the school’s needs.
By drawing on the latest research in learning science and using data on its personalized learning models, Transcend is helping schools identify what works best to meet their students’ needs in the classroom. By sharing its learnings broadly, Transcend makes it easier for educators to reimagine schooling and to provide stronger classroom experiences for all of their students.