P.O. Box 802508
Chicago IL 60680-2508
(888) 809-9762

School Levels:

SchoolRise®  serves all levels of learners including pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, after-school programs, community programming, and adult learning programs. 

Associated Costs:

SchoolRise® provides customized consulting for each of their clients. Please contact the office at (888) 809-9762 to discuss pricing.

Previous Partners:

SchoolRise® has a long list of previous partners and current partners. Here is a sample of some of our national partners: 

  • Baldwin Community Schools
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Dolton Riverdale District 148, Illinois
  • Beaver Island Community Schools
  • Knapp Elementary School, Michigan City, IN
  • Chicago Arts Institutes
  • Country Club Schools, Chicago, IL 
  • Pearl City High School, Hawaii
  • Franklinville Elementary, New York
  • Waipahui HS, Hawaii

SchoolRise LLC

SchoolRise® was established by Kathryn H. Au, Ph.D. and Taffy E. Raphael, Ph.D., award-winning literacy researchers and members of the Reading Hall of Fame. The company’s origins are grounded in nearly twenty years of research across the United States. Au and Raphael began their careers at the famed Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Both are internationally recognized for research on curriculum and instruction, culturally responsive instruction, comprehension strategies, and whole school change processes. SchoolRise was founded on their clear and systematic evidence-based approaches that bring students of all backgrounds to high levels of achievement. 

SchoolRise consultants boost the expertise of teachers and leaders alike. They are experienced presenters and teacher educators – professors, curriculum leaders, principals – who know the needs of schools, community organizations, and classroom teachers, as well as current research. With a team of 40 consultants nationwide, SchoolRise has served over 150 schools throughout the United States in the following areas of service:

  • Seven Levels to Success provides short-term and long-term support for school turnarounds and systemic improvement efforts.
  • Solutions Mini-Courses are research-based professional development packages designed with systems-based approaches.
  • Community Engagement is an area of service provided for nonprofits and businesses to support educational efforts.
  • Program Evaluation is provided using research-based approaches to monitor progress.
  • T-Obs© Instructional Coaching Tool is a research-based coaching tool (iOS app) to support effective instruction.

Summary of Services and Products being offered:

Seven Levels to Success provides customized short-term and long-term support to schools to raise student achievement -- and keep results strong through sustainability.

  • Solutions Mini-Courses are customized research-based professional development packages designed with systems-based approaches to improve instruction. Sample Solutions Mini-Course topics:
    • Effective instruction
    • Disciplinary literacy
    • Close reading
    • Argumentation
    • Question-answer relationships (QAR)
    • Math problem solving
    • Differentiated Instruction
    • RTI/MTSS Implementation
  • Community Engagement is an area of service provided for nonprofits and businesses to support educational efforts such as after-school programming.
  • Program Evaluation is provided using research-based approaches to monitor progress and to evaluate the effectiveness of a wide range of projects.
  • T-Obs© Instructional Coaching Tool is a research-based coaching tool (iOS app) that streamlines support for effective instruction. The framework is based on the research of Barbara Taylor. T-Obs can be used across key roles: principal, teacher, teacher partners, lead teachers, curriculum leaders, university instructors, and so forth. Some T-Obs features: 
    • Captures teachers' strengths, immediate, and future goals
    • Easy to follow screens
    • Addresses content and processes of instruction
    • Summarizes feedback across 10 areas of effective instruction
    • Allows observer to pause observation and return later; type or dictate notes
    • Captures photo, video, and audio evidence
    • Easy coding through research based descriptors
    • Email summary of results 

Performance Outcomes to be Measured:

SchoolRise has an excellent team of consultants and national leaders who provide districts with the support and guidance needed to meet state and national assessment requirements.  SchoolRise customizes performance outcomes collaboratively with each individual client to ensure appropriate measures are used to evaluate program effectiveness. Consultants offer feedback on project implementation in both formative and summative ways so that adjustments may be made to better meet program goals. SchoolRise emphasizes evidence-based processes in gathering data, analyzing data, and collaborating with stakeholders to validate and check for reliability of outcomes.

Performance Outcomes that are typically measured include student achievement, targeted learning outcomes, student engagement, student attendance, graduation rates, teacher knowledge, application of best practices through performance-based observation tools, and client satisfaction for community programming.

Record of Effectivenesss:

SchoolRise’s key leaders, Taffy Raphael and Kathryn Au, have been engaged in school reform since 1997 with the Standards Network of Hawaii (Au, 2005) and Partnership READ (Raphael, 2010, 2011), building capacity and improving achievement in over 150 schools. 

We provide a few specific examples of previous schools that SchoolRise has served, substantiated with data that demonstrate successful work with academically underperforming schools: 

  • Example 1 in Arizona from 2012-2014:  An urban district in central Phoenix with 4 elementary schools and one middle school. All five schools in the district are Title 1 and serve primarily Latino students. The district began working with SchoolRise in the 2011-12 school year. After two years of implementation, standardized test scores increased across the district an average of 12%.
  • Example 2 in Illinois from 2006-2009:  Saylor, a school in a large urban district with PreK-8 students (1500+ students), primarily Latino and African American. Saylor worked with SchoolRise to transform school culture and bring coherence to the reading program to improve student achievement. Prior to working with SchoolRise, less than half (46.5%) ofSaylor’s students were meeting expectations. By 2006, they showed significant progress; 60% meeting or exceeding expectations. By 2009, over 80% of this same group of students were meeting or exceeding expectations.  
  • Example 3 in Hawaii from 2012-2013:  Waipahu Elementary School, suburban district, K-6 students (1,093 students), primarily Filipino, Samoan and Micronesian, Title 1, low income.   Between 2010 and 2013, with SchoolRise support, scores by subgroups show a consistent trend to improvement.

Considerations for Success:

An effective partnership begins by understanding a school’s history, strengths, challenges, and goals. SchoolRise conducts a comprehensive Needs Assessment that includes extensive data collection (e.g., artifacts, interviews, surveys) and analysis to provide a customized ‘roadmap’ for systematic improvement of student and teacher learning. SchoolRise’s goal is to help a school construct a stable infrastructure with knowledgeable administrators and teachers so that initiatives to improve teaching and learning can be enacted successfully and sustained over multiple years. Because of this, SchoolRise does not host a ‘one-shot’ workshop, but requires a minimum of three professional learning sessions with each school to develop a true partnership that is responsive to the specific needs of the school over time. 

SchoolRise uses the ‘roadmap’ as a guide for planning professional development that is responsive to the school’s needs. From the beginning, SchoolRise engages key leaders from the school (e.g., principal, teacher leaders, curriculum coordinator) to build capacity for long-term change. SchoolRise consultants support administrators and teacher leaders by providing leadership training and help with the planning of the content; however, the school has ownership of the process. Thus, professional development occurs in multiple contexts, including, but not limited to: principal meetings, leadership team meetings, grade level meetings, and whole-school events.

To ensure the partnership between SchoolRise and its partner school is effective, consultants provide the school with quarterly and end-of-year reports that delineate progress on each aspect of the ‘roadmap’. The reports also include recommendations for next steps and adjustments to long-term plans based on evidence throughout the partnership.