Challenge AcademiesChallenge Projects -- The Power of the Network

Challenge Academies are driven by you and your work, and provide the flexible support you need.

Schools and students benefit from Challenge Academies, as participants pursue a yearlong, results-focused project of their choice with the support of peers, A+ coaches, and district leaders.

By sharing our work publicly, we will provide a clear window into the daily struggles, learning, and triumphs that go hand-in-hand with all school improvement and transformation efforts.  

Our work will become stronger, our network broader, and our professional roles as educators more powerful as we share the stories of how our professional learning has impacted students, through our Challenge Projects.

How It Works

  1. In your Academy application, you will be asked to think about the dilemmas you are facing currently in your professional work. Any of these could be potential topics for your personal Challenge Project. A+ also will use this feedback to ensure academy participants are grouped into cohorts with similar learning interests and needs.

  2. Once you’re selected for an Academy, your A+ Coach will contact you to learn more about your specific needs and help further develop ideas and topics for your year-long action research project.

  3. In mid-September, A+ will hold a meet-and-greet to introduce all educators from across the region who are participating in Challenge Academies. During this event, participants will have a chance to meet in small groups with their cohort.

  4. At your first Challenge Academy meeting in late September, we will continue to refine your project ideas, goals and time-based outcomes through protocol-driven discussions with your peer network.

  5. Throughout the year, your monthly Academy meetings will provide a framework for continued feedback, ideas, and support from your peers and A+ as you share your progress, dilemmas and new learning related to your unfolding Challenge Project.

  6. In the spring, you will be asked to share your learning publicly.  A+ will help Academy members summarize their Challenge Projects into short videos documenting lessons learned, as well as outcomes and impact on educators and students at your school.

  7. In the fall of 2015, awards will be given to educators and their schools for the most compelling demonstrations of impact, based on a blend of crowdsourced feedback, online voting, and committee evaluation of Challenge Projects from all academies.

Ready to get started? Enroll in an A+ Academy today, and join us!