Green Dot shares best practices with schools across the nation

April 2, 2015

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With 21 schools in Los Angeles, a new school in Tennessee this year, and one on tap to open in the state of Washington next school year; Green Dot Public Schools leaders know a thing or two about what works and is sharing this knowledge across the nation.

"We have spent the last seven years sharing with the U.S. Department of Education our lessons learned," said Dr. Cristina de Jesus, president and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools California.

The U.S. Department of Education identified Green Dot as a national leader in school turnarounds, which is the only charter school operator in the country to lead the turnaround of a 3,000-plus high school.

Green Dot leaders identified key levers necessary for the turnaround of schools and have shared this knowledge with schools across the nation. One of the biggest lessons learned was the need for a tiered approach to meet the social/emotional needs of students - an obstacle to learning for many students in underserved areas.

Green Dot Public Schools was founded in 1999 in response to the poor performance of public high schools in the Los Angeles area. Today, Green Dot serves more than 10,000 middle and high school students at 21 schools in the Los Angeles area, with a school in Memphis, Tennessee and another school set to open next school year in the state of Washington.

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Green Dot a $14 million grant through the Department's Charter Schools Program (CSP), designed to expand the number of high-quality charter schools in the nation. The five-year grant will help Green Dot expand and replicate high-performing community schools in underserved areas. In addition, the grant will support Green Dot's efforts to share best practices and lessons learned to fulfill its mission that all children can attend a high-quality school.

"We take our responsibility of sharing best practices seriously and spend a lot of time on the phone with schools across the nation," de Jesus said. "We are constantly looking for ways to share our experience and to learn from others."