Last week, I attended an event in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood that celebrated the accomplishments and initiatives of Homewood Children’s Village (HCV). HCV supports the children, families, and community of Homewood by providing opportunities to help children succeed in different areas from birth through career. I left feeling inspired and proud that ISA Learning, Inc. plays a role in one of their early childhood programs. I also left reflecting on a very important message from an HCV staff member: everything they do at HCV is better because they do it together with their community and partners.
It made me think about ISA Learning, Inc., and how we, too, are better when we work together with our clients and partners. It is our clients and partners who have supported our vision and helped turn that vision into something tangible in the form of TeamBuilders 2.0. As a company that promotes collaboration, it would be remiss if we did not take time to acknowledge those who collaborate with us to make our product the best it can be.
ISA’s products are in more schools and districts throughout Pittsburgh than ever before, including Propel Schools, Hopewell Area School District, Penn Hills Charter School, Duquesne City, North Arlington, and New Kensington-Arnold. We can attribute a great deal of this success to our partners, who share the same collaborative vision that we do. Working with Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21), Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1),Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 (AIU8), Eduplanet 21, Participate, Achieva, and The Education Partnership (TEP) have made it possible for us to expand our reach and bring collaborative cultures to teachers and students nation wide.
Similar to the P21 framework, which was developed with input from educators, teachers, and other experts in the field, ISA’s products rely heavily on feedback we receive from clients and partners. Our mission to promote collaborative learning cultures is naturally aligned with P21’s mission to put 21st century skills at the center of learning. Through this partnership, we are able to more effectively advocate for collaboration’s place and importance in the classroom.
We have also partnered with two of Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Units, IU1 and AIU8, in effort to provide programs and support for teachers and students in their respective regions. Through our partnership with AIU8, we are working towards creating a customized professional development program focused around collaborative learning. In addition, we will also be collaborating with IU1 to pilot our TeamBuildersTM program in two of their special needs schools this upcoming fall.
Our partnerships with Eduplanet 21 and Participate are centered around their web-based resources and online platforms. We are using Eduplanet 21’s platform to provide TeamBuilder teachers with personalized online training, and we are working with Participate to create competency-based professional development focused on building collaborative leaders. The culmination of these two platforms will aid us in our goal of providing a professional learning network and support system for teachers and their peers. Professional Development (PD) is achieved largely through collaboration with other educators, and by providing an online platform, teachers can readily access resources to help them deliver quality instruction to their students.
Achieva and The Education Partnership are local partners that help us make an impact in our community. With Achieva, we have provided employment opportunities to disadvantaged and disabled individuals. With The Education Partnership, we provide STEM packets with activities for teachers so they have easy-to-use lessons at their fingertips to help develop STEM skills in early elementary classrooms.
Each of our unique partnerships contributes to the success of ISA Learning, Inc. We are a better company because of the opportunities we have to collaborate with each of them. With our partners, we strive to bring our common vision to fruition by providing teachers with the means to create collaborative cultures in their classrooms and schools.
Mary Arena is part of the Educational Support team at ISA Learning, Inc. She has a Masters Degree in Literacy and nine years teaching experience in early elementary.