F
or years the Extra Mile Education Foundation has conducted independent evaluations of the operationally-supported schools. The recommendations made by past teams of evaluators have guided school efforts to improve achievement, and have led to the development of new programs.

Fall of 2018, St. Benedict the Moor, Sr. Thea Bowman Catholic Academy, and Northside Catholic Assumption Academy worked with a team from the Tri-State Area School Study Council of the University of Pittsburgh. The evaluation was led by Dr. Diane Kirk, Director of Tri-State, and her associates, Drs. Nick Bayat and Mary Ann Battaglia.

The evaluation focused on three areas: school climate, educational practices, and student performance. One member of the team worked specifically with one school, and did classroom visitations as well as interviews with faculty, staff, students and parents. Work was done in the schools during the months of December 2018 and January 2019, and the findings were reported to the Board of Directors of Extra Mile and to the schools in the spring.

It was noted that all schools provide a safe environment and students feel that teachers are supportive and encouraging, fostering positive relationships with students and family members.

Recommendations focused on alignment of curriculum across the three schools and offering additional professional development for faculty. The team from Tri-State has already begun to work with the faculties of the three schools to implement the recommendations. A three-year plan of curriculum management has been initiated with math curriculum the first area of focus, followed by language arts, and then the remaining subject areas.
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