Our partners have transformed their approach to student literacy and writing. Since 2002, we have partnered with approximately 50 schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations. Each year our programs impact more than 12,000 students. Download the full list of WriteBoston’s historical partnerships.

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School

Partnership: 2016 – Present

How do we prepare students to meet the complex, industry-specific writing and reading demands of technical and vocational professions?

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, a Boston Public turn-around school, provides training in twenty technical vocational programs, including dental assisting, hospitality, culinary arts, automotive technology, carpentry, marketing, and broadcasting. The school serves 1000+ students, 35% of whom are English Language Learners.

Whether career or college bound, students need to be confident readers and writers: able to read dense technical manuals as an auto-mechanic or electrician, document patient outcomes as a medical assistant, or write compelling copy as a marketing professional. A WriteBoston instructional coach supports academic and vocational teachers as they build the literacy skills students need to succeed in their chosen fields.

Coaching support has impacted early career and veteran teachers alike. A first-year voc-tech teacher commented, “[WriteBoston coach] Kelly has been patient, clear, thorough, and engaging. She has provided me with strategies, guidance, observation, feedback, and resources. As a first-year teacher, Kelly was one of my mentors in the building, and I have grown as a teacher because of her guidance.”

A veteran teacher commented, “As an experienced educator, I really thought I didn’t need any assistance. Kelly has taught me different strategies on lesson plans, differentiated instruction, and assessments. [Coaching] allowed me to increase student achievement and instructional dialogue.”

Read more about the partnership.

Teacher in class at Madison Park High School

Chelsea Public Schools

Partnership: 2015 – 2020

“How do we build capacity to support all of our students in grappling with complex reading and writing?  What does this look like at every level of a school district: for teachers, coaches, and administrators?”

After six months with a WriteBoston coach supporting teachers at Wright Academy, the Chelsea Public Schools decided to think bigger. Why not transform literacy instruction across Chelsea’s three middle schools, so that every student has access to aligned and strong instruction?

District leaders knew it couldn’t happen overnight. More than that, transformation would require understanding and buy-in at every level. But together, the Chelsea Public Schools and WriteBoston designed a three-year plan to support students, teachers, coaches, administrators, and district leaders.

Initial feedback has been excellent. As one district coach wrote: “When I heard we had another trainer this year, I was less than thrilled. However, this is one training (and trainer) I actually learned from and walked away with immediate action steps, plans, ideas and resources to test out literally the next day. I look forward to more.”

Download the full partnership profile. (PDF)

City Year Boston

Partnership: 2015 – 2019

“What literacy tools, strategies, and knowledge do City Year corps members need to support school communities and impact the students they serve?”

Nearly 200 City Year corps members work in 20+ Boston Public schools — reaching over 1,000 students each year. Corps members, young and passionate, often have little prior experience in urban education. To help them navigate their complex work in schools, City Year provides ongoing, targeted training to every corps member. When literacy was identified as a central area of need, City Year Boston called WriteBoston’s Director of Programming and Training, Jessie Gerson.

Together, WriteBoston and City Year developed a series of workshops based on 1) core literacy practices and 2) feedback from Corps members on mission-critical areas. This has grown into a robust training curriculum focused on topics ranging from relationship building and classroom management to one-on-one conferring strategies that push student thinking.

Support doesn’t ended with workshops, however. To help corps members as they try out strategies in their own schools, WriteBoston conducts observations at school sites, hosts office hours for corps members, and provides thought partnering with City Year leadership.

Feedback from Corps Members has been glowing. Over nine training sessions, more than 99% of the over 130 responding volunteers rated the trainings as “excellent” or “good,” with a vast majority – four-fifths – giving the highest rating, “excellent.”

One corps member said, “I’m walking away from this feeling reinvigorated and inspired to do better for my students.”

Read more about the partnership.

Five District Partnership

Partnership: 2015 – 2018

“What does good “grade-level” writing look like? How do we assess it, and how does that assessment guide instruction? How do we scale and align great instruction happening in one classroom to multiple classrooms, schools, and districts?”

The Five District Partnership is an innovative joint education effort among the districts of Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere, and Winthrop to improve instruction and academic achievement. Born after research showed a high rate of mobility among students within the five districts, the collaborative has already made incredible progress.

WriteBoston’s relationship with the Five District Partnership (5DP) started small–with a series of summer workshops for teachers–but quickly expanded. To meet areas of critical need in literacy, the innovative collaborative is taking on big challenges.

As a result, WriteBoston and the 5DP have launched a two-year project to design, pilot, and bring to scale argument-based writing assessments in middle schools across all five districts.

Funded by the Cummings Foundation, this project will impact an estimated 10,000 students. The work is spearheaded by a WriteBoston facilitator and a working group of coaches and teacher leaders from across five districts, who will continue to shepherd this important work after the end of the two-year partnership.

Cove Davis, the 5DP’s Executive Administrator for Curriculum and Development, said of the partnership: “WriteBoston has been one of our key professional development partners. Facilitators from WriteBoston are dynamic, experienced, and responsive to the needs of teachers. We look forward to collaborating with WriteBoston in the future.”

Boston Community Leadership Academy

Partnership: 2002 – 2015

At Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA), teachers and administrators alike credit WriteBoston with helping to transform the school’s approach to professional development.

Kelly Knopf-Goldner, a WriteBoston coach, works on-site with teachers two days a week. BCLA educators say that Ms. Knopf-Goldner, or “Ms. K-G” as she is affectionately known, has brought coherence and focus to teachers’ professional growth and classroom instruction.

Said Headmaster Brett Dickens, “Before WriteBoston, I always found professional development to be discouraging for teachers – too many presenters with no credibility and no follow-up. Now, with Kelly, the professional development is institutionalized, planned, teacher-driven, and sustained.”

Download the full school profile (PDF)

Student and teacher practice new techniques

Greater Lawrence Technical School

Partnership: 2011 – 2014

Teachers at Greater Lawrence Technical School admit that they were somewhat skeptical at first about working with a WriteBoston coach. Many of them recalled frustrating past experiences with “expert consultants,” whose support was not tailored to their needs and rarely resulted in any meaningful change in their teaching practices. When Rebecca Steinitz began working with the faculty in the fall of 2011, she knew she had to deliver professional development that was relevant, customized, and actionable.

Two years later, teachers and administrators alike report that their work with WriteBoston has had a profound impact on teaching practice and on the overall culture of the school. Student writing has grown dramatically, in terms of both volume and quality. Teachers now hold students to high expectations for literacy, writing, and critical thinking, not only in English classes but increasingly in other academic subjects and in vocational classes as well.

Download the full school profile (PDF)