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“Breakthrough” charter school network founded by Alliant alum receives $150,000 grant to increase college readiness in California

New charter middle school network Alpha Public Schools is the recipient of a $150,000 grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) to further develop and implement its blended learning school model in high-poverty communities. Alpha was one of only five grantees selected by the competitive NGLC program’s investment initiative, entitled “Breakthrough School Models for College Readiness.”

Alpha Public Schools’ founder and CEO is John Glover, an alumnus of the Hufstedler School of Education at Alliant International University. Glover earned his preliminary multiple subject credential from the school’s San Francisco campus and its intern teaching credential program in 2007. He previously served as a teacher, director and chief operations officer for the AIM Schools in Oakland, where he oversaw the rise of AIM’s two middle schools to become California’s top performers.

Established in 2011, Alpha Public Schools is a network of public charter secondary schools in the San Francisco Bay Area that will serve students in grades six through eight in high-poverty communities. Using a blend of technology and teacher-led instruction, Alpha’s schools deliver rigorous personalized instruction, eliminate the achievement gap, and prepare students to succeed in college and career. This fall, Alpha will welcome students to its first campus, Alpha Middle School, in the Alum Rock neighborhood of San Jose, California.

Alpha’s students will rotate within the classroom between computer-based activities and small-group live instruction. This blended learning model allows students to engage in personalized learning that directly addresses students’ needs, interests, learning styles and pace; it also empowers teachers with high-quality curriculum and real-time data that allows them to target their own support accordingly. Alpha’s unique self-contained classrooms – with one teacher delivering instruction in all core areas and the same set of peers throughout the day – will strengthen teachers’ ability to provide customized support and instruction to each student, and foster deeper collaboration between students.

“For too long, our public schools have failed to provide low-income and minority students with the kind of education they need to succeed in college – let alone what they need to achieve their potential as citizens and as leaders,” said Glover.

“By creating schools that recognize and address the unique needs of each individual student, Alpha will change the educational and economic trajectory of these students’ lives – and of their surrounding communities.”

The NGLC program seeks to identify and support fundamentally redesigned and scalable learning models that effectively use technology to increase college readiness and completion while maintaining affordability to students and to the education system. Grantees must clearly demonstrate that their instructional models incorporate technology to personalize students’ learning experiences and their business models can support sustainable expansion or adoption plans.

For more information about the Hufstedler School of Education at Alliant International University, visit www.alliant.edu/hufstedler.