ACE Program Launched in RISD
On March 19, Dr. Stone was joined by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to officially announce that RISD is implementing the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program at four RISD campuses for the 2018-19 school year.
"This program is about equity for thousands of our students with substantial needs," said Dr. Stone at the ACE Launch event at Carolyn Bukhair Elementary. "We are introducing this successful program in RISD in an effort to match many of our top educators with the students, campuses and communities that need them the most."
The ACE program, being implemented at Carolyn Bukhair Elementary, Forest Lane Academy, RISD Academy and Thurgood Marshall Elementary, has operated successfully in Dallas ISD as a way to help students in high poverty and underachieving schools experience consistent educational success. Under the ACE model, the formal school day is extended, as are before and after school programs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided to students, along with small group tutoring, school uniforms, clubs and enrichment opportunities, and other academic supports. All programming is provided to families at no cost.
A major aspect of the ACE model includes the reconstitution of school professional and educational staff, meaning all positions will be re-opened and financial incentives are offered to high-achieving teachers and educators from across RISD to apply to an ACE campus. One community concern that has been expressed is that popular teachers may be taken from other RISD schools. Dr. Stone stressed that "every teacher who moves to an ACE campus will make that decision on his or her own. While an incentive will be offered, the choice to transfer to an ACE campus will be an individual decision made by our professional educators." In addition, there will be a limit to the number of educators permitted to transfer from any one campus to an ACE campus.
"The additional compensation is one welcome facet of the program," Stone continued. "But the real attraction for high-achieving teachers and administrators is the prospect of working with an elite team of colleagues in an environment that is set up to completely support students and remove the non-academic barriers that many students must otherwise overcome before consistently effective learning can occur. This program is a bold step, and will be a game-changer for these students and schools."