Collaborative Culture

We are a team. We plan together in grade levels, observe and analyze each other’s lessons, collaborate with our instructional coaches and site leaders, partner with our families, and make decisions about our school site instructional programs and budgets.


PLCs and Grade Level Teams

Grade level teams meet weekly to develop curriculum, plan units and lessons, and analyze various forms of academic data. PLCs meet regularly to engage in inquiry, learn new practices, and refine their current practices. Some PLCs engage in lesson study, watching and analyzing videos of team members’ instruction. Others choose to read and discuss current research on effective teaching practices, or use protocols to analyze student work.

Summer Planning

Coaches support teams of teachers to develop and/or enhance integrated units of instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards and grounded in the Understanding by Design framework.

Peer Observation

At EFC, we learn from each other. Teachers observe peers at their own site and at other schools within and outside of our organization and observe demonstration lessons by our instructional coaches. At some EFC sites teachers engage in collaborative lesson study cycles.

Support from Instructional Coaches and Administrators

Our instructional coaches and site administrators support each teacher’s professional growth, working with both individual and school-selected focus areas. While coaching looks different depending on the teacher and the school, every teacher, no matter what his/her level of experience, is coached by an administrator and/or an instructional coach.

Family Partnerships

We work collaboratively with our families to support the whole child. We engage with families about academics, social emotional learning, health, and policy decisions through family-teacher conferences, Family Resource Center workshops, instructional coach-led Family Math and ELA University Nights, and Family Leadership Council meetings.

Distributed Leadership

At EFC, we collaborate as site teams to analyze the effectiveness of our practices and programs, research promising new strategies, and make data-driven instructional and budgetary decisions. Teachers, parents, and instructional leaders participate in formal structures to make decisions together at both the site and organizational level.

Community Partnerships

We engage in deep collaborative relationships with a variety of community partners in order to ensure that we meet the needs of our students. Partners such as Seneca, the East Bay Agency for Children, the Unity Council, La Clinica de la Raza, and the Oakland Leaf Foundation provide critical services to our children and their families.