Institute for Student Achievement Receives $18,000 Investment From the Long Island Community Foundation

-- Grant to Support Critical High School Transformation Effort at Hempstead

High School --

May 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Institute for Student Achievement

    LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute for
 Student Achievement (ISA), a leading school redesign partner, today
 announced an $18,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF)
 for the 2007-2008 school year. This grant will support ISA's partnership
 with Hempstead High School, where ISA is working to transform the school
 into four small, personalized and academically small learning communities
 that graduate students on time and college ready.
     The conversion of Hempstead High School brings together three
 institutions, ISA, Adelphi University and the Hempstead School District,
 that share a vision for the development of Hempstead High School into a
 school of academic excellence. This transformation represents a critical
 "first" for Long Island, as it is the most ambitious conversion of a large,
 comprehensive high school ever to be undertaken in the region. The
 conversion of the school, which serves approximately 1,800 students, will
 not be merely the downsizing of a large school. It will be a culture shift
 -- from a community characterized by low expectations, impersonal
 relationships and poor instruction -- to a school characterized by high
 expectations, high student academic achievement and a personalized learning
 environment that welcomes students and parents. This shift will result in
 an increased student attendance rate, an increased course passing rate and
 an increased graduation rate.
     Hempstead High School serves a traditionally underserved student
 population at risk of dropping out of school unprepared to meet the
 challenges of the twenty-first century. Forty percent of the students are
 newly arrived, Spanish speaking immigrants who are classified as English
 Language Learners. Ninety-nine percent are minority, and eighty percent
 qualify for free lunch. In spite of the many challenges faced each day, the
 school's future looks promising.
     Under the leadership of Principal, Mr. Reginald Stroughn, ISA and
 Adelphi University have already laid the groundwork to make the changes
 that will create a success educational environment. The school climate is
 safe and productive, and partners are currently entrenched in a year of
 intensive planning with staff developing a vision for their SLCs.
     Each SLC will serve a population of approximately 400 students,
 beginning with ninth grade and adding one grade per year until all students
 in the school are included in an SLC. Each SLC will provide students with
 intellectually rigorous and supportive learning environments that are
 designed to prepare them for high school graduation and success in college.
 In addition, each SLC will offer additional supports that fulfill the
 unique language and social needs of the school's burgeoning Hispanic and
 minority population.
     "Access to public school education for all Long Island children is an
 articulated critical issue in the LICF grantmaking guidelines," said Suzy
 D. Sonenberg, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation.
 "African American students and other children of color are often segregated
 into low-performing school districts that lack the resources to prepare
 these students for satisfying careers and productive lives. This LICF grant
 will help the Institute for Student Achievement bring a model that has
 worked in other communities to the Hempstead school district, and Long
 Island's future depends on the success of all of our children, in every
     "We believe that by providing Long Island students with a high-quality
 education, we can break down the educational inequity that has prevented
 many members of the African American and Hispanic communities from
 attending college and moving on to participate in our region's vibrant
 community, economic and political life," said Dr. N. Gerry House, president
 and CEO of ISA. "We are honored that the Long Island Community Foundation
 supports ISA's mission and has invested in our impassioned work to create
 academically rigorous and personalized small learning communities that
 improve academic performance, boost graduation rates and cultivate a
 college-going culture among Hempstead's students."
     Like all ISA partner schools, Hempstead High School's four SLCs will be
 designed and implemented based on The ISA Model, which is framed by Seven
 Principles: a college preparatory instructional program; Distributed
 Counseling(TM); a dedicated team of teachers and counselors; continuous
 professional development; extended school day and year; parent involvement;
 and continuous organizational improvement.
     ISA is currently working in 65 small schools and small learning
 communities in New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Louisiana serving
 approximately 10,000 public school students. Based in Lake Success, New
 York, ISA is a national leader with local Long Island roots. Since its
 inception, ISA has partnered with more than forty small schools and small
 learning communities in the New York region.
     The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) was established in 1978 by
 the New York Community Trust, the Nation's largest community foundation, to
 provide Nassau and Suffolk County residents with an economical alternative
 to a private foundation or a commercial gift fund. Like the other 650
 community foundations around the country, the LICF offers a dual service:
 for donors, an efficient and hassle-free way of giving; and for the region,
 a philanthropic institution to support and assist the nonprofit community.
     Institute for Student Achievement (ISA)
     Focusing on improving academic achievement, the Institute for Student
 Achievement (ISA) is a leading school redesign partner that facilitates the
 transformation of low-performing high schools into small learning
 communities and small schools designed to prepare all students for success
 in college and beyond. Founded in 1990, ISA partners with school
 administrators and teachers to create and sustain intellectually rigorous
 and caring, personalized learning environments. A set of Seven Principles
 defines and guides the ISA Model. Building upon these Seven Principles, the
 Institute for Student Achievement collaborates with schools to create
 comprehensive plans and implementation strategies for school redesign that
 are customized to meet the unique needs of schools and districts. For more
 information contact us at (516) 812-6700 or visit

SOURCE Institute for Student Achievement