More than $27 million secured to initiate national expansion of model accelerating outcomes in urban school districts

Atlanta, GA – 3DE, the innovative school model provider, prepares for national expansion of concept proven to accelerate student engagement and academic outcomes in traditional urban high schools. 3DE launched in 2015 and has since expanded to six schools across four school districts. Building on the measurable impact of the initial pilot locations, 3DE will begin an expanded pilot to grow to 55 schools in seven strategic markets to demonstrate scale and innovation in public education is possible.

“Our goal was to develop a solution to catalyze transformation that would significantly drive economic opportunity and economic mobility in communities across the country,” said Jack Harris, President & CEO of 3DE. “With a majority of students enrolled in traditional public schools, we challenged ourselves to develop a model within the public education system so that we could reach a critical mass of students through learning that engages and prepares students for high growth careers.”

Graduates of the inaugural 3DE class at Banneker High School

Graduates of the inaugural 3DE class at Banneker High School

3DE by Junior Achievement was first piloted at Banneker High School, the highest-poverty and lowest-performing high school in Fulton County School District. The school-within-a-school model led to a 91 percent graduation rate, representing a 46 percent increase since the launch in 2015. There is now a total of six 3DE schools in four metro Atlanta districts - Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County School District, Fulton County School District, and Gwinnett County Public Schools - with every location demonstrating consistently positive outcomes among student engagement, academic gains, and development of transferable competencies. Results from the 2018/2019 school year include:

·       First graduating class from Banneker High School – 91% four-year cohort graduation rate, representing a 46% increase from the 2015 graduation rate when 3DE launched in the 9th grade at Banneker High School.

·       Consistent trajectory of positive academic outcomes among initial six schools - 100% outperformance on percentage of students scoring proficient or above on 2018 Georgia Milestones for all content areas compared to host school comparison.

·       Elevated levels of engagement and continued stability - 38% fewer chronically-absent students (based on scale of 10+ unexcused days) on average compared to host school peers, and a stability rate of 94.4% across all 3DE schools.  

“The initial pilot demonstrated the ability to re-engineer high school education to be more relevant and engaging, leading to measurable gains. As we look ahead, we have elevated our barometer for success. The learnings over the past four years allow us to streamline our focus on aspects of the instructional approach that will support higher levels of proficiency across our student cohorts,” said Harris.

This summer more than 150 teachers and instructional coaches are participating in training led by the 3DE Center of Excellence. While at the training teachers are getting to experience significant enhancements that will be launching at every 3DE school:  

·       National Signature Case Challenges: Inside every 3DE school teaching is centered around case method to create interdisciplinary learning environments that provide ongoing integration between the classroom and real-world experiences. Throughout the four-year high school experience students will engage with a diversity of industries through a combination of cases that are based on local and national businesses. National Case Partners include: Arby’s, AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, Jackson Healthcare, ReliaQuest, Spanx, SunTrust, and UPS.

·       Mindset Series: 3DE has partnered with Sara Blakely and The Spanx Foundation to develop a mindset series. The series is made up of insights that develop the inner skills needed to fulfill one’s greatest potential. The multi-week experience will launch at the beginning of each school year with reinforcing touchpoints integrated throughout the academic experience.

3DE will continue to build on the initial pilot by expanding over the next five years to 55 schools in 20 districts across seven states - setting the path towards the 10-year goal of 500 schools throughout the United States. This upcoming school year 3DE will more than double the number of schools with four opening in Georgia and three in Florida. Over those next five years, early markets are expected to include Washington D.C./Baltimore, Texas, California and Kentucky.

3DE has secured more than $27 million to launch the expanded pilot. Leading National Partners are Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation and The Marcus Foundation who both committed $5 million. Additional National Partners include The Goizueta Foundation, and Sara Blakely Foundation; as well as Arby's/Inspire Brands, AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, Jackson Healthcare, ReliaQuest, Spanx, SunTrust, and UPS. Regional Partners are Georgia Power, J.B. Fuqua Foundation, NCR, NewSchools Venture Fund, Primerica, Salesforce, Walton Family Foundation and WestRock.

“The investments of the funding community in Atlanta has been outstanding. They have experienced the indelible impact of 3DE and are now leaning in at levels beyond our expectations. As we look ahead to the next five years we are proud to have these partners by our side and are excited to add more as new markets experience the power of 3DE.”

Laura Stidham