Conditions for Learning

Engaging, Responsive, Inspiring

DAVIS, CA   |  conditionsforlearning.com

Mission

Our mission is to help educators create engaging, responsive, and inspiring classrooms. We position schools as vibrant centers of learning and social change for students, families, and communities.

Ruling year info

2017

Executive Director

Jason Knighton

Main address

3683 EL SEGUNDO AVE

DAVIS, CA 95618 USA

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EIN

36-4720339

NTEE code info

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Charter Schools (B29)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Classrooms are complex ecosystems that are immune to quick fix mandates. Some of the unique challenges in urban school settings stem from the incredibly high attrition rates of teachers. It is estimated that fifty percent of teachers in urban schools leave the profession in the first three to five years of teaching. Teachers who leave the profession cite reasons such as "poor working conditions" or the "lack of support". As chronic teacher turnover rates persist, underachievement and epidemic dropout levels of African American and Latino students will continue. The cycle of teacher attrition leads to unstable and ineffective environments for teaching and learning. An overwhelming majority of teachers enter the profession to make a difference in the lives of children and in society. The enthusiasm for teaching becomes extinguished when educators encounter seemingly overwhelming challenges of teaching. To reverse this trend, we must provide effective support for educators.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conditions For Learning

Conditions For Learning is a nonprofit educational organization that coaches teachers and administrators to create schools where at-risk-youth can be academically and socially successful.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Conditions For Learning provides effective teaching methodologies, strategies, and practices that support teacher quality as well as improved academic and social emotional outcomes for students. Our long term goal is to expand our reach by sharing our practices through our website, ensuring it as an open-source for educators to provide the instructional methodologies and strategies that improve teaching and learning.

Intended targets for support includes current educators working in urban settings as well as pre-service educators working on their teaching credentials who wish to work in urban schools. Because the attrition rates of educators in urban settings is so high (up to 50% in the first three to five years) it is imperative that educators, working in these settings, are equipped with effective approaches to transform classrooms, and by extension, schools.

We understand poor working conditions and lack of support to mean the difficulties that emerge with challenging student behavior, low student achievement, and the insufficient support to address these challenges. Without a clear, systematic, consistent and just approach to address student misbehavior and low academic performance, day-to-day challenges become overwhelming for teachers, thus leading to high rates of attrition.

Teachers who leave urban schools cite "poor working conditions" or "lack of support" as reasons for moving to other schools or into other professions. By sharing our resources, we can provide an effective road map and address the inconsistent approaches that result in low academic achievement as well as the disparities in disciplinary practices that have adverse impacts on African American and Latino students.

As a result, our website includes approaches for how schools can effectively implement practices that support teachers, administrators, students, and coaches to create optimal learning environments for all students. Additionally, our approach emphasizes how to address specific academic needs of students and the underlying, school wide approaches for how to support all learners. We argue that high teacher attrition, low academic achievement, and inconsistent disciplinary practices are interrelated elements of the same challenge.

Finally, we believe the cycle of teacher turnover can be mitigated when teacher preparation programs, teachers, administrators, and coaches are focused on clear, coherent, engaging practices that support students' motivation for learning. An open source resource with available, ready to view demonstrations and support materials can create the necessary alignment of educational practices, priorities, and support educators say they need to provide powerful, rigorous, engaging instruction.

Improving academic and social emotional outcomes for students and schools is our first priority. While teachers cite "poor working conditions" as the primary reason for high attrition rates, we offer an approach that supports effective teaching and learning practices to facilitate the turnaround of the most challenging schools.

Longterm, our goal is to make our content widely available through the Conditions For Learning website. Teachers, administrators, coaches, teacher preparation programs, youth development programs, and parents, will have access to all of our teaching strategies and approaches through our open source.

Conditions For Learning offers a pedagogical approach that organizes teaching and learning into three areas: Engaging Instruction that helps educators create effective classroom environments as measured by academic and school climate data. Responsive Classroom design that guides teachers in developing formative assessment practices and enables differentiated structures to support students at every academic level. And finally, Inspiring Curriculum plans that train teachers to create a project-based and service-learning curriculum for student projects.

Our taxonomy of offerings allows for school systems to set specific school-wide priorities around teaching and learning. It is also important to keep in mind that teachers need different types of support at different times. According to a research study supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Teachers Know Best,” “A set of innovative products is emerging that have the potential to personalize learning for teachers and streamline their work flow. These include online platforms that address teachers’ need for content sharing, video, and self-reflection.” The Internet has been a powerful tool for sharing resources and materials throughout schools and across district and state lines.

Our near term activities have been important building blocks to build a strong foundation for the promotion of our sound instructional practices. It is in school settings where we have set out to prove the effectiveness of our concept. Conditions Learning has worked with over 100 educators supporting 1500 students over the last dozen years.

Through our work in schools, we have identified several educators who we consider to be experts in their understanding and delivery of our approaches. Many of those educators have been featured on our website as Conditions For Learning ambassadors to demonstrate how to effectively implement our teaching and learning strategies. As we prepare to expand our video examples and accompanying content materials, we will continue to enlist teachers in the schools we support as the experts for these practices.

Conditions For Learning's promise for broadening the scope of our services to more schools lies in our deep commitment to improving educational outcomes for the neediest and most deserving students. Our potential for creating lasting change in a variety of educational settings is due to our internal and external capabillites.

The biggest strength of the Conditions For Learning's board is members’ extensive experience supporting the launch and growth of early-stage organizations like Conditions For Learning. Members have worked closely with start-ups, high-growth companies, and social entrepreneurs and have brought this expertise to building the operating processes, systems and strategies that are positioning Conditions For Learning for growth. Board members have been integrally involved in developing Conditions For Learning’s annual plans, performance metrics, budget, and financial management systems and processes. They are actively involved in supporting the ED in ongoing investment decisions and priority setting.

Another strength is the board’s passion for, belief in and commitment to the transformational methodologies that Conditions For Learning is building with teachers in classrooms and administrators in schools. The board has seen the transformation of academic performance, teacher retention and school climate at Conditions For Learning’s “lighthouse” schools and is deeply invested in growing Conditions For Learning’s mission to open source its tools, resources and insights for teachers in urban classrooms anywhere there is a need.

Externally, Conditions For Learning has a broad appeal to a variety of stakeholders and networks that have contracted with, integrated, and championed Conditions For Learning methodologies and strategies into their work with young people. Educators, administrators, paraprofessionals, students, as well as a variety of youth development programs have utilized our approaches to strengthen teaching and learning. Future external partnerships, as outlined in our annual plan, will include outreach to local and regional teacher preparation programs.

Since 2007, Conditions For Learning has successfully implemented its program at over 25 Northern California schools serving at-risk students that include high proportions of English Language Learners, minority students, and disabled students. Many of their teachers have adopted Conditions For Learning practices in their classrooms and schools and, as a result, have become expert implementers.

While working with Pueblo Vista Spanish Dual Immersion Science Magnet School in Napa, California, which serves a large at-risk population, Conditions For Learning helped develop comprehensive Units of Study in science. Student scores on standardized science tests climbed from 30% proficient in 2012 to 71% in 2015, and enrollment has steadily increased for this once under-performing school.

More recently, Conditions For Learning has provided coaching and strategy support at Leataata Floyd Elementary school in Sacramento, California. Teacher retention rates have remained above 90%, internal literacy scores continue to show growth from 6% reading at grade level to 25% of the school's students reading at grade level, and growth on standardized testing in English Language Arts continues, growing from 12% to 17% proficient over the last three years.

Our next priority is to strengthen our content availability to our current school sites. Website improvements that reflect the educational schema necessary for visitors to understand the over arching Conditions For Learning structure, underlying strategies, and the relationship between the strategies will be developed during the summer of 2020 and available for the fall school year.

Another priority includes diversifying our revenue stream through grants. Grant funding will be used for the cost of producing videos, including hiring a professional videographer and paying stipends to teacher presenters. Conditions For Learning’s goal is to leverage these teaching experts to provide more accessible content to educators throughout Northern California. The proposed web-based instructional content will allow Conditions for Learning to reach a larger audience of teachers and administrators in underserved areas who can use the strategies developed with our original partner school sites.

Grant funding will also be used to write, edit and manage accompanying online content, including blog posts and newsletters, that will initially be distributed to Conditions For Learning clients and teaching candidates at Sacramento State University and the University of California Davis. These resources can be easily shared among teachers, administrators, coaches, youth development programs, and families.

Financials

Conditions for Learning
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Conditions for Learning

Board of directors
as of 7/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gared Jones

Purposity

Term: 2017 - 2022

Richard Dean

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data