Page created by James Mitchell


Executive Summary                                                         3

Market Opportunity                                                        7

The Plan                                                                  8

School Model                                                             11

Organizational Model                                                     18

       Focus on Results                                                  24
       Responsibilities of Green Dot Corporate and Individual Schools    25

Driving Systematic Change                                                27

Competition                                                              30

       Management                                                        31
       Founding Principals                                               33
       Board of Directors                                                34
       Advisors                                                          37

Financials                                                               38

       A. Parent and Student Testimonials                                44
       B. Animo Leadership 2003 – 2004 Curriculum                        45


Strategy for Transforming Los Angeles Secondary Public Education
Green Dot Public Schools is a non-profit charter school developer that is transforming
education in Los Angeles by opening 100 exceptional small, charter high schools in LA’s
highest need areas. Green Dot’s has already opened three schools that are substantially
outperforming comparable public schools and proving that schools in Los Angeles can do
a far better job of educating students if they are small and operated more effectively.
Green Dot’s efforts will influence LAUSD to implement a small schools model for all
schools in the district and raise the public's awareness about the need for high quality,
small public high schools. Ultimately, Green Dot’s success will help ensure that all young
adults in California receive the education they deserve to prepare themselves for college,
leadership and life.

New School Model for Urban High Schools
Every Green Dot school will graduate young adults that are life-long learners, prepared
for college, responsible, and culturally aware. To ensure great results, all schools are
opened and operated using Green Dot’s proven school model:

• Small Schools: 500 - 525 student schools with target student/teacher ratios of 21:1.
• College Preparatory Curriculum: Demanding college prep education aligned to
  University of California A-G requirements for all students. Strong support programs
  in place to enable all students to master challenging curriculum.
• Substantial Family Involvement: Parents/Guardians are integrated into the
  management of schools and must participate actively in their children’s education.
• Empower Principal and Teachers: Principals and teachers are empowered in decisions
  related to curriculum and school culture. Principals are viewed as school CEOs.
• Talented and Passionate Employees: Educators with strong skill sets and alignment to
  Green Dot’s vision lead each school. Constant professional development is provided.
• Students as Leaders: Students are held responsible for their schools and given
  influence in shaping them (create extracurricular activities, help with hiring, etc.).
• Focus on Results: Results and accountability are demanded from all schools and
  employees. Data is relied on heavily for decision-making.
• Commitment to Green Dot Core Values: 1) Unwavering belief in all students’
  potential, 2) Passion for excellence, 3) Personal responsibility, 4) Respect for others
  and community, 5) All stakeholders are critical in the education process.

Proven Results Serving High-Need Student Populations
Green Dot is the only organization that has opened three charter high schools in the Los
Angeles area (Animo Leadership: Fall 2000, Animo Inglewood: Fall 2002, and Oscar De
La Hoya Animo: Fall 2003). All three schools are successfully serving students who
have traditionally struggled in the public school system and are achieving far greater
results than comparable schools on all key performance metrics.

API Scores: 2002 – 2003 School Year
                                             Base API       State Rank                                        Similar Schools Rank
                         Animo Leadership         649             5                                                    10 a
                         Animo Inglewood          622             4                                                     10
                         Hawthorne High           528             1                                                      4
                         Inglewood High           526             1                                                      4
                         Roosevelt                523             1                                                      4
                        (a) Animo Leadership’s similar schools rank calculated using the 2002-2003 API scores of its 2001-2002 similar schools. Due to a
                        data entry error, Animo Leadership did not receive an accurate similar schools rank from the CDE for the 2002-2003 school year.

                                                          Gains in Reading Proficiency, From 8th to 9th Grade
                                                               (Class of 2006, Matched Student Scores)

'02 Linked 8th SAT9 vs. '03 9th CAT6

      Mean NCE Gain (Decline)




                                                                                                                                                     Valley Union*
                                                                                                                 Los Angeles





                                                                                                                 (3.8)             (3.9)

                        Green Dot's early successes have already accelerated systemic change:
                           • LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer stated that Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter
                              High School is the model school for future LAUSD high schools.
                           • The Lennox School District, which chartered Animo Leadership, opened its own
                              charter school in August 2003 that was designed after Animo Leadership.

                        Home Office Enables Creation of 100 High Quality Schools
                        Green Dot Public Schools consists of its individual schools and a central “Home Office.”
                        The Home Office is focused on continually improving its small school model and on
                        building new schools. Green Dot’s Home Office: a) brings standard methodologies,
                        processes and systems in the areas of curriculum and school management to each school
                        it opens, b) provides a number of services to support each school, c) governs each school
                        and drives results, d) shares experiences and best practices across all its schools, and e)
                        works with LAUSD and the State government to drive small school education reform.
                        Support services provided by the Home Office include recruiting, facilities development,

financing, purchasing, back office management, governance, curriculum development,
professional development, government relations and public relations.

The Right Team to Lead Public High School Reform
 • Steve Barr, founder and CEO: Appointee, Charter School Advisory Commission;
    Founder, Rock The Vote; led successful efforts to pass Motor Voter law.
 • Marshall Tuck, COO: General Manager, Model N; Salomon Brothers; Bain & Co;
    and volunteer teacher in Zimbabwe and Thailand.
 • Dr. Larry Freeman, New Schools Mentor, is a veteran urban high school reformer
    and former principal at both Inglewood and Compton High Schools.

Board includes:
 • Marco Petruzzi: Partner, Bain & Co.
 • Jeff Shell: CEO, TV Guide, Former President & CEO of Fox Cable Networks Group
 • Oscar De La Hoya: Professional Boxer, Philanthropist and Businessman
 • Shane Martin: Associate Dean, Loyola Marymount University School of Education
 • Glenn Dryfoos: Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Telemundo

Funders include:
 • NewSchools Venture Fund: venture philanthropy firm working to transform
   education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs
 • Pisces Foundation: leading California based foundation focused on education reform

Strong Partnerships Drive Future Success
 • LAUSD: Green Dot has established a unique, collaborative relationship with
    LAUSD at the Board, Superintendent and Staff levels which helps Green Dot grow
    within the district and influence the district to rapidly implement “LAUSD’s small
    schools” initiative.
 • Oscar De La Hoya Foundation: Green Dot has partnered with Oscar De La Hoya to
    open its third school in East Los Angeles. Manifesting his belief in public education,
    Mr. De La Hoya joined the Green Dot Board and donated both land and money to
    promote small school education reform.

Working with Teachers Union to Drive Change:
As part of a comprehensive strategy to drive change, Green Dot is practicing union
reform with its teachers in hopes that it will help provide an example of cooperation in
public education. Teachers at Green Dot’s schools have organized as the Asociacion de
Maestros Unidos, which is its own bargaining unit, but an affiliate of the CTA. Green
Dot management and the Asociacion signed a three year contract that is a clear example
of union reform. Key reforms written into the contract and agreed to by the union were:
no tenure, teacher performance evaluations, professional work days (no defined minutes)
and flexibility to adjust the contract over time.

Critical Need for New High Schools in Los Angeles
Right now there is an enormous opportunity to build new high schools in Los Angeles
given the large number of overcrowded and underperforming schools in LAUSD and the

public’s hunger for education alternatives. LAUSD is short over 180,000 seats and it has
stated that high schools are its top priority for new schools.

Financial Strategy Supports Long-Term, Sustainable Growth
Green Dot opened its first three schools using State and Federal Funds and to date has
used private fundraising only to fund the growth of its Home Office. The key factors that
have allowed Green Dot’s schools to be self-sustaining on public funds are: a) high
student attendance rates, b) low number of classified employees, c) greater utilization of
all employees, d) low non-classroom based operating expenses, e) State Planning Grants
accessed to fund start-up costs and f) leasing facilities at below market rates.

Green Dot expects to open 2 new schools in Fiscal 2005, 4 new schools in Fiscals 2006
and 2007 and 6 new schools each year thereafter. Given its current assumptions, Green
Dot projects that after 10 years, it will be a self-funded organization and will not need to
raise any additional philanthropy to maintain its schools and open 6 new schools
annually. The total philanthropy required over that ten year period is $26.5 million
dollars. Since its inception, Green Dot has raised over $14.5 million in private donations
and State grants. The organization is confident that it will raise the additional $26.5
million needed to achieve sustainability.


Current Situation – Los Angeles High Schools 1
Public high schools in Los Angeles are not delivering on their mission of educating and
developing young adults. Instead of fostering a highly educated and empowered group of
young adults, their output is a large number of dropouts, truants and graduating classes
that perform consistently below the rest of the country on standardized tests. 25% of Los
Angeles adults have not completed high school. 75% of LAUSD’s ninth graders failed to
beat the national average in Reading on the most recent CAT6 test.

The reasons behind the failure of Los Angeles’s public high schools are numerous and
include the following:
    • Schools are too big. 22 high schools in LAUSD serve over 3,000 students each
       with 11 serving over 4,000.
    • Classrooms are severely overcrowded. 180,000 students in LAUSD are in
       schools with multi-track systems or bused from their neighborhoods to other
    • Principals do not have autonomy to manage their schools.
    • Teachers are disenchanted with their jobs and teacher retention rates are low.
    • Parents are not actively involved in their children’s education.
    • The majority of the students entering the ninth grade are lacking in basic skills
       and test at below basic levels in Math and English
    • Little accountability at individual schools and throughout LAUSD.

Potential for Reform
A huge opportunity exists to substantively transform Los Angeles’ high schools by
opening a network of small charter schools throughout LAUSD. Charter schools are
public schools that operate outside of the control of traditional school districts. They
have much greater flexibility than traditional public schools to try new educational and
operational models but are held to a higher accountability standard.

LAUSD’s substantial overcrowding problems and its large number of overcrowded high
schools make it the ideal district within which to open charter high schools in LA.
LAUSD’s Superintendent views new, high quality charter schools as an asset and the
district has a stated goal to have 15 – 20 charter schools opened within the district
annually over the next five years to accommodate 20,000 to 40,000 students. High
schools have been identified as the number one priority because they represent the largest
area of need.

    Statistics from Alliance for Student Achievement website, CDE website.


Green Dot is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in California in 1999 to
create a network of exceptional, small charter high schools and transform secondary
education in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Green Dot will drive substantive change
in Los Angeles’ high schools to help ensure that all young adults in LA receive the high
school educations they deserve to prepare them for success in college, leadership and life.
In carrying out its mission, Green Dot will alter the landscape of secondary education
throughout California as successful reform in Los Angeles will influence major changes
in other school districts throughout the State.

Green Dot will open 100 successful charter high schools in areas of Los Angeles that
currently have high concentrations of underperforming and overcrowded schools. Each
new school will be opened following Green Dot’s proven school model and will greatly
outperform the existing public schools in the area. New schools will be built in clusters
of 4-6 in target locations throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area to maximize
operational efficiencies and allow students to receive a wider variety of courses and
extracurricular activities than they would receive if the schools were isolated. The
success of Green Dot’s schools will prove that public schools in Los Angeles can do a far
better job of educating students if those schools are small and managed more effectively.

Within 5 years, Green Dot will be educating approximately 6,000 students in LAUSD
and within 10 years it will be educating over 20,000 students in the district. Such a
substantial presence of small successful high schools in the market will put significant
pressure on LAUSD to accelerate its small school efforts. In addition to pressuring
LAUSD from the outside, Green Dot will continue to proactively collaborate with
LAUSD to influence the district to transform its large existing (and future) high schools
into groups of small learning academies. Green Dot will aggressively publicize its
successes to develop the political will required to compel LAUSD to take a small schools
approach to all of its schools. With a large number of successful schools in Los Angeles
and a proactive effort to drive small school education reform, Green Dot can trigger a
domino effect throughout the State for creating high quality, small public high schools.

Green Dot’s current strategy is to focus exclusively on high schools and collaborate with
other charter school networks and LAUSD at the middle school and elementary school
levels. Green Dot may expand its strategy to include opening middle schools, however,
if the number of high performing middle schools in the district does not increase in the
near future.

Geographic Focus
Green Dot opens all of its high schools exclusively in the greater Los Angeles area.
Green Dot built its first two high schools in Inglewood, CA, a small suburb bordering
Los Angeles and home to some of the lowest performing high schools in the State.
Starting in a smaller city allowed Green Dot to more easily develop the support from

community members and local politicians that it needed to open up two schools quickly.
It also provided Green Dot with a higher profile because it was “the only game in town”.
Green Dot opened its first school within the area served by LAUSD in fall 2003 when it
opened the Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School in the Boyle Heights
community. Green Dot plans to open all future schools within LAUSD and is currently
targeting Boyle Heights, Downtown, South LA and the Southeastern cities as the most
immediate targets for new school clusters.

Growth Plans
Green Dot plans to open 2 new high schools in Fiscal 2005, 4 in both Fiscal 2006 and
Fiscal 2007, and 6 schools annually each year thereafter until LAUSD substantially
improves its high schools and commits to transforming its schools into smaller learning
academies. Green Dot schools are opened with just a 9th grade in their first year of
operation and a new grade is added each year until they are full 9th-12th grade high
schools in their fourth year of operation.

Green Dot is the only organization that has opened three charter high schools in the Los
Angeles area (Animo Leadership High School – Fall 2000, Animo Inglewood High
School – Fall 2002, Oscar De La Hoya Animo High School – Fall 2003). All of Green
Dot’s schools serve high need students with a large percentage of English Language
Learners. The successes at Green Dot’s first three schools prove that Green Dot’s
educational and operational models for small urban public high schools work.

Green Dot’s existing schools have achieved far greater results than other schools in the
local area on all key performance metrics while serving comparable student populations.

API Scores: 2002 – 2003 School Year
                     Base API       State Rank                     Similar Schools Rank
 Animo Leadership         649             5                                 10 a
 Animo Inglewood          622             4                                  10
 Hawthorne High           528             1                                   4
 Inglewood High           526             1                                   4
 Roosevelt                523             1                                   4
(a) Animo Leadership’s similar schools rank calculated using the 2002-2003 API scores of its 2001-2002
similar schools. Due to a data entry error, Animo Leadership did not receive an accurate similar schools
rank from the CDE for the 2002-2003 school year.
Note: Hawthorne High (Centinela Valley District), Inglewood High (Inglewood Unified) and Roosevelt
(LAUSD) are the schools that students from Animo Leadership, Animo Inglewood and Oscar De La Hoya
Animo respectively, would have most likely attended if they did not attend a Green Dot school.

Graph 1:

                                                                           Performance on 2003 California High School Exit Exam
                                                                                             (Class of 2006)

                                                                79%              78%
                                                          70%                                                                  65%
                              Percent of Class Passing

                                                          60%         57%
                                                                                                                                                                     Percent Passed
                                                          40%                                                                                               36%
                                                                                                                                                                     Percent Passed
                                                                                                                                     29%                             (Math)



                                                                  Animo          Statew ide          Los Angeles               Inglew ood      Centinela Valley
                                                                Leadership                             Unified                   Unified            Union

Graph 2:

                                                                               Gains in Reading Proficiency, From 8th to 9th Grade
                                                                                    (Class of 2006, Matched Student Scores)

 '02 Linked 8th SAT9 vs. '03 9th CAT6
       Mean NCE Gain (Decline)




                                                                                                                                                                                                  Valley Union*

                                                                                                                                                                  Los Angeles






                                                                                                                                                                  (3.8)               (3.9)

* Centinela Valley Union High School district 8th grade scores computed using a weighted average of
  scores from feeder elementary school districts and are for comparative purposes only.

Other Key Performance Results:
   • Student Attendance: Average daily attendance at all three Green Dot schools is at
       or above 96%.
   • Family Involvement: 80% of parents at Animo Leadership and Animo Inglewood
       completed their volunteer hours last year.
   • Waiting Lists: Each school has over 100 students on their waiting lists (Animo
       Leadership - 175, Animo Inglewood – 125, Oscar De La Hoya Animo – 118)
   • Financial Management: Animo Leadership and Animo Inglewood both achieved
       their results operating on available State and Federal funds. In only three years,
       Animo Leadership has built up a cash reserve of greater than $500,000.

Green Dot's early successes have already accelerated systemic change:
   • LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer stated that Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter
      High School is the model school for future LAUSD high schools.
   • The Lennox School District, which chartered Animo Leadership, opened its own
      charter school in August 2003 that was designed after Animo Leadership.

                                   SCHOOL MODEL

Green Dot has developed a model for opening and operating high schools that enables
students to receive the educations they deserve to be prepared for college, leadership and
life. Each Green Dot student will graduate from high school with the following skills and

•   Responsible: A developed sense of personal accountability and the ability to act and
    learn without guidance or superior authority. Able to make rational decisions on
    her/his own.
•   Prepared for College: All curriculum requirements to enter a four-year college
    completed. Possesses the skills necessary to succeed in college including
    independent learning, cooperative learning and time management.
•   Life-long Learners: Possesses the social maturity, passion for personal interests,
    effective communication skills and responsibility necessary to help her/him continue
    learning and growing throughout life.
•   Culturally Aware: Able to make connections and comparisons between different
    cultures and engage with diverse communities. Has an appreciation for diversity.
•   Community Leaders: Understands the value of participating in her/his community and
    the political process, and knows the basic skills for organizing around different issues.

Small Schools and Class Sizes
Green Dot schools will be small (approximately 500 - 525 students when fully
developed), giving each student the best chance of success. A 500 – 525 student school
ensures that no students fall through the cracks and allows students to receive the
personalized attention they need to learn effectively. Students can be held accountable
for all of their actions and the administrators and teachers can develop personal

relationships with each student and their families. Smaller high schools are also safer and
decrease the security risks inherent in urban schools as potential problems can be
recognized early and mitigated.

A 21:1 student to teacher ratio is targeted to provide individual attention to students and
help teachers instruct effectively in classes that typically have students at varying
proficiency levels.

College Preparatory Curriculum
Green Dot’s education model is designed to give every Green Dot student the chance to
go to college. All students will be enrolled in classes meeting the UC A-G requirements
and courses are aligned with State Content Standards. It is our goal to provide all
students with the opportunity to attend a UC, CSU or other four-year university. The
curriculum at Green Dot schools will be challenging and teachers will maintain high
expectations for all students and work with students to achieve these goals. All students
are required to successfully complete 190 core curriculum credits upon graduation.

All schools provide a number of opportunities for academic and personal support to
students to help students conquer Green Dot’s challenging college preparatory
curriculum. The following classes and support programs are offered at Green Dot’s
existing schools:

•   Reading and Math Intervention Programs: Reading and Math intervention programs
    are provided to ninth and tenth grade students that are performing below grade level
    to ensure that they become proficient in these two critical subjects.
•   Study Skills: a class for ninth graders focused on helping students develop the skills
    critical for academic success such as time management, note taking, planning and
•   College Readiness: a class for tenth graders to help them better understand college,
    the differences amongst colleges, what it takes to get into college, the application and
    financial aid processes, and other key elements related to attending college.
•   Advisory groups: Meet once a week to discuss issues related to the pressures of being
    a young adult in high school. Students remain in the same advisory groups with the
    same teacher for all four years to maintain a tighter sense of community.
•   Guided Study: All students who do not complete their homework or struggle with it
    are required to attend Guided Study at lunch where a teacher helps them with their
    work. All assignments must be turned in the following day.
•   Homework Club: Students who are struggling with a particular class or simply want
    more work in a subject are assigned to attend homework club, which is offered for an
    hour every day after school and run by a credentialed teacher and college interns.

Appendix B includes a table of the courses that are currently offered at Animo
Leadership Charter High School. Animo Inglewood and Oscar De La Hoya Animo offer
similar courses in the grades they serve. Future Green Dot schools will likely offer most
of these courses as well, but will make adjustments in certain areas to meet the specific
needs of their students.

Books utilized for each course at Green Dot schools are chosen through a collaborative
effort between school principals, founding teachers and Green Dot’s Home Office.
Green Dot’s education team has developed a list of recommended textbooks and teaching
strategies for each course offered at Green Dot schools. There is less variety on the
Green Dot recommended list in the core subjects of Math, English, Science and History
than in elective courses to ensure an appropriate level of consistency in curriculum in
core subjects. From the recommended list, the principals and teachers of each Green Dot
school determine which textbooks and strategies are most relevant for their particular
schools. Principals and teachers do have the flexibility to use books or strategies that are
not on Green Dot’s recommended list, but are only able to do so after receiving approval
from the Green Dot Home Office education team.

Substantial Family Involvement
Family involvement in a student’s education is one of the most important ingredients to
student success and Green Dot is committed to actively integrating parents/guardians into
all aspects of their students’ education experiences. Green Dot uses a number of
mechanisms to develop strong relationships with the families of each student and ensure
that every parent/guardian has a vested, active interest in their children’s educational

   •   Adult Support Agreement: Each parent, guardian or sponsoring adult must sign an
       Adult Support Agreement, which commits that person to be a part of the Green
       Dot community and to perform 35 hours of volunteer service at the school each
       year. Green Dot measures completion of parent/guardian volunteer hours and
       reaches out to parents that are not on target to meet their commitments. 80% of
       the parents at Green Dot’s existing schools completed their volunteer hours last
   •   Access to Teachers and Administrators: Parents/guardians have open access to all
       teachers and administrators and are encouraged to use it. Parents are given
       employees’ cell phone numbers and can set up meetings with teachers and
       administrators at any time. “Office hours” are held weekly for parents, formal
       parent conferences are held twice a year and social events for families are held at
       least once each semester.
   •   Parent Input to School Policy: Parents form committees in order to be able to
       provide valuable input to Green Dot Schools in a number of key areas. Founding
       parents form a school leadership team with teachers and administrators to guide
       the development of school policy and culture. Some of the decisions this
       leadership team makes may include: uniform’s design, fundraising for school
       activities, school schedule, course offerings, feedback loops that can measure
       school success, and so on.
   •   Outreach for Struggling Students: If a student shows signs of struggling, is not
       doing homework or receives detention, phone calls are placed immediately to the
       student’s parent/guardian. If the problems persist, face-to-face meetings are set
       up quickly.

•   PowerSchool: Green Dot schools use PowerSchool, a student information system
       from Apple that gives parents/guardians real time access to grades, attendance
       records and other key information required to track student progress. This tool
       enables parents to play a critical role in the student accountability process.

Empower Principals and Teachers
Green Dot has designed its school model to give principals and teachers a significant
amount of influence over decisions related to curriculum and school culture. Green Dot
provides the leadership of each new school with best practices for curriculum based on
experiences of Green Dot schools to date as well as on leading educational research.
These best practices include recommendations of appropriate curriculum and teaching
strategies for each grade level and subject. Principals, in collaboration with teachers, will
have the flexibility to use these best practices or to adjust them in order to determine the
most appropriate curriculum for their schools.

Principals are considered the CEOs of their schools and are responsible for the academic
and financial results their schools achieve. Because they are held accountable for results,
principals have the flexibility to determine their school’s curriculum, to steer its culture
and to hire and develop teachers.

Teachers are integral school policy makers and are active participants in such areas as the
hiring process, evaluation process, and curriculum development for the school. Teachers
are held accountable to the principal, one another, parents, and students. This system of
principal and teacher empowerment and accountability assures a culture of trust,
innovation, professionalism and a focus on continuous school improvement. Green Dot’s
model for empowering principals and teachers has proven extremely successful to date as
key programs related to student intervention, school safety and school operations that
were developed by principals and teachers at Animo Leadership and Animo Inglewood
are being integrated into the program for all Green Dot schools.

Talented and Passionate Employees
Green Dot is committed to attracting employees that are talented, passionate and
dedicated to Green Dot’s vision. All new employees go through an extensive interview
process that includes interviews with principals, teachers, parents and students to ensure
that the candidates are the best fit for the organization. As part of this hiring process,
potential teachers must give lesson plans to a classroom full of students and parents.
Expectations are laid out clearly to new employees and Green Dot’s vision is presented
explicitly to ensure that all hired candidates align with the school’s culture and have the
dedication necessary to succeed. All new employees will go through several rounds of

Ongoing Development for Employees
Green Dot makes a commitment to develop its principals and teachers throughout their
careers. New principals are hired early in order to be mentored at Green Dot’s existing
schools. Principals also spend at least one day each year shadowing principals at other

schools. Monthly meetings are held between Green Dot management and the principals
to work on development areas critical to managing a school.

Green Dot’s Home Office and the principals collaborate to manage teacher staff
development. A comprehensive teacher development strategy is developed for each
Green Dot school and individualized plans are generated for specific teachers. 10 – 12
days are set aside each year specifically for staff development purposes and teachers
attend at least one conference annually. New teachers are paired with experienced
teachers throughout the year and teaching mentors are provided to struggling teachers by
the Green Dot Home Office. Teacher development is also entrenched in the weekly
program as each school has a late start on Wednesdays to allow for ninety-minute staff
development meetings.

Students as Leaders
Green Dot students take responsibility for their schools and are positive contributors to
the school community. They are given real power in the management of their schools
and thus develop a greater sense of responsibility for their education and a heightened
excitement for learning. The following programs and processes are implemented at each
site to include students in major decisions at their respective schools:

   •   Ownership of Clubs: Students decide what clubs they will have at their schools.
       Students must develop plans and get petition signatures for clubs to be created.
   •   Influence over Sports Teams: Students vote on what sports teams or other
       extracurricular activities they will have at their schools. The student vote is
       combined with analysis by the staff of the school budget and overall program to
       make final decisions.
   •   Participate in Hiring New Teachers: Teaching candidates must give a lesson to a
       class of students. Student feedback on candidates is an integral part of the hiring
   •   Serve as Counselors / Mentors: Existing students are assigned as mentors for
       incoming ninth graders.

Green Dot also actively incorporates leadership into the curriculum of its schools. A
leadership program is offered through a variety of classes, clubs and special projects over
four-years. Leadership is built into the curriculum and students engage in activities such
as “Get Out the Vote” precinct walking and voter registration campaigns. The
culmination of the leadership program is a legacy project that must be completed by the
graduating class of each Green Dot school. At Animo Leadership this year, the seniors
have decided to establish a tutoring program with elementary school students as their
legacy project. This is a program that has been developed entirely by the students for
their community.

Focus on Results - Student Assessment and Goal Setting
Green Dot schools have rigorous assessment and goal setting programs to measure
students’ proficiency levels and ensure that each student is making progress toward
becoming a responsible, well-educated adult. Students are assessed regularly from the

time they enter the school through graduation and teachers monitor their progress closely.
The following assessments are currently used at Green Dot’s three existing schools:

   •   Placement exams: All freshman and new students are given placement exams in
       order to determine their proficiency levels in core subjects. Comparable tests are
       given at the end of the year to measure progress.
   •   State Required Tests: All state required tests are given and analyzed closely
       (STAR, CAHSEE, etc.). 8th grade scores for incoming freshman are gathered so
       that growth can be compared between Green Dot schools and the district schools.
   •   Other Standardized Tests: PSAT annually beginning in 9th grade, AP tests, etc.
   •   Traditional Classroom Assessments: Quizzes, essays, projects and exams are
       delivered regularly in classes.
   •   Students are also measured regularly in non-curriculum areas such as class
       attendance and discipline.

Scores from all student assessments can be uploaded into Green Dot’s information
management system (PowerSchool) so that students’ progress within particular subjects
and across all subjects can be monitored at any given time. Teachers critically analyze
student data, identify strengths and opportunity areas and develop individualized learning
plans and defined goals for their students. Goals, and student progress towards those
goals, are clearly communicated to students and parents on a regular basis. Regular
assessments and analysis help administrators manage their schools more effectively as
they can clearly identify problem areas for certain students or subjects and allocate
resources to fix those areas.

Ambitious goals are set for all Green Dot schools. Short term goals are set through
collaborative efforts between the principals and the Green Dot Home office, while long-
term goals are set by the Home Office and are consistent across all Green Dot schools.
Below are the long-term goals for each Green Dot school:

   •   100% of all students attending a Green Dot school for at least four years will
       graduate from High School and 75% will complete college

   •   80% of students will score in at least the 50th percentile on the total reading, total
       math, and total language batteries of the STAR Tests or any test used to measure
       growth against the California Content Standards.

   •   All students will pass the California High School Exit Exam

   •   Each Green Dot School will receive at least 8 out of 10 Similar School API score
       and at least 6 out of 10 State Rank API score.

   •   All Green Dot Schools score above the interim Statewide Performance Target of
       800 by the end of their fifth operating school year.

   •   90% of all parents complete their required service hours annually.

•    Average annual student retention rate of 95%

Emphasis on Technology
Technology is tightly integrated into the curriculum at Green Dot schools to drive higher
levels of achievement and prepare students for the information driven economy of the
21st Century. It is also used as a critical tool for gathering data for school management.
At each of its schools, Green Dot invests in technology in the following areas:

     •    All Green Dots schools are networked and laptops are made available to students
          to use at school or at home.
     •    Each teacher is provided with a laptop and given training on effectively using
          technology in the classroom.
     •    Courses often include Web based research projects and assignments.
     •    A technology class is offered in the ninth grade to train students on computers and
          different software programs.
     •    A web based student information and school management system (PowerSchool)
          is implemented at each school.
     •    Cell phones / walki-talkies are provided to all employees to provide greater
          accessibility for parents and ensure rapid responses to incidences on campus.

Utilizing technology effectively can help deliver exceptional student results that couldn’t
be achieved otherwise. Through the use of technology, students can learn basic skills
better and faster, get more excited about learning, show a higher level of comprehension
and take more pride in their work.2

Special Education
Green Dot schools provide services to special education students through partnerships
with local district SELPAs or by contracting directly with special education teachers /
experts. Animo Leadership and Animo Inglewood are both members of the Southwest
SELPA. This strong working relationship has proven to be been both effective and
affordable for the two schools. Due to capacity constraints at the LAUSD SELPA, Oscar
De La Hoya Animo has hired a special education teacher who will manage all special
education efforts. Green Dot is investigating other alternatives for managing special
education (including an all charter SELPA, etc.), in order to ensure that it is able to cost
effectively provide the required services.

Reliance on Best Practices
Best practices in areas such as curriculum development, teaching strategies, professional
development and school management are shared across all Green Dot schools. Green
Dot’s best practices are developed through the experiences of each of its schools and
extensive analysis of what is working at comparable schools throughout the rest of the

  “The Impact of Technology on Student Achievement: A Summary of Research Findings on Technology’s Impact in the Classroom”,
Apple Computer, 2002.

Unique Look and Feel
Despite being built with the same school model and following many of the same best
practices, each Green Dot school still maintains its own unique look and feel. Principals
and teachers are encouraged and empowered to mold school cultures and adjust
curriculum to make them most relevant to each schools unique student population and
community. Particularly in areas such as electives, clubs and other extracurricular
activities, Green Dot schools have several differences.

Commitment to Green Dot Core Values
Ubiquitous throughout Green Dot’s school model are its core values, which serve as the
cornerstone for Green Dot’s culture and the culture of each of its schools. All
stakeholders in Green Dot’s schools (student, teachers, administrators, parents and Green
Dot management) share a firm commitment to these core values and use them as guiding
principles in carrying out their responsibilities.

• Unwavering belief in all students potential – All young adults can be successful
  learners if they are provided with an excellent academic environment and the
  necessary tools.
• Passion for excellence – Strive for excellence in all endeavors. Challenges can be
  overcome through commitment and passion.
• Personal responsibility – Take responsibility and initiative in our lives and encourage
  accountability for our actions.
• Respect for others and community – Respect others in our daily interactions and be
  positive impacts on our communities.
• All stakeholders are critical in the education process – Young adults will receive the
  best educations when all stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents,
  management) make a genuine effort to participate in the education process.

Green Dot highlights its core values in personnel interviews and professional
development sessions, during assemblies, at parent meetings and at other activities
throughout the year to reinforce them to all Green Dot stakeholders. Green Dot is in the
process of developing a performance metric to allow it to measure how well the
organization is aligning its actions with its core values.

                            ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL

Green Dot is building a central, Home Office organization that will serve as the engine
for opening 100 new schools and will ensure quality results at those schools. Green
Dot’s Home Office will replicate the school model used for its existing schools and
continually improve on that model in order to open new high schools that will change the
landscape of secondary education in Los Angeles. Green Dot’s Home Office will: a)
bring standard methodologies, processes and systems in the areas of curriculum and
school management to each new school it opens, b) provide a number of services to
support each school, c) govern each school and drive results, d) share experiences and

best practices across all its schools, and e) work with LAUSD to influence the district to
aggressively adopt the small schools model for all of its schools.

Green Dot’s Home Office is different from a traditional school district in the following

   •   Far more autonomy is given to each school site, particularly on decisions related
       to curriculum.
   •   The Home Office is very lean and will maintain a higher total employee to “Home
       Office (district) employee” ratio than districts.
   •   Innovation is encouraged relentlessly.
   •   Home Office employees interact more frequently with all school stakeholders.
   •   Green Dot adopts best practices and methodologies from the private sector more
   •   Schools will be required to deliver results and employees at the school sites as
       well as the Home Office will be held accountable for their results.

Key services the Green Dot Home Office will provide to open and support each school
are described in detail below:

Green Dot prioritizes recruiting and the Home Office focuses on it year round. Green
Dot engages in the following activities to ensure it has access to the largest pool of great
principal and teacher candidates:

   •   Information Sessions and Formal Recruiting: Information sessions, events and
       formal recruiting at top graduate schools and credentialing programs such as
       LMU and UCLA.
   •   Work Study Programs: Work-study students serve as teaching assistants at Green
       Dot schools. During their employment, many students generate interest in
       permanent employment at Green Dot, while enabling school site administrators an
       extended “interview” period.
   •   Advertising: Green Dot allocates funds to advertise at graduate schools, in
       periodicals such as Education Week, with unions and other trade organizations,
       on job boards, etc.
   •   Partnerships: Green Dot has developed partnerships with placement groups such
       as RISE that have a strong base of potential teachers.

Green Dot tries to hire all of its new principals approximately six months before the
opening of a new school and works with those principals to hire teachers from the
candidate pool that has been developed. Green Dot’s goal for all of its employees is to
either retain them at Green Dot throughout their careers or to help prepare them for other
careers within the education industry.

Leading up to the 2003-2004 school year, Green Dot successfully attracted over 40
applicants for its one Principal opening at Oscar de La Hoya Animo and also hired over
20 credentialed or emergency credentialed teachers for its schools.

The Home Office is responsible for securing facilities for each school and for all major
renovation projects. Given that Green Dot opens its schools a grade at a time, it is likely
that all schools will need to move at least once. Green Dot’s current model has each new
school moving into a temporary facility for its first two years before moving to a
permanent site (which will be either leased or purchased). Temporary facilities are
typically shared facilities (Universities, Junior Colleges, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.)
buildings that require minimal tenant improvements (such as churches with classrooms),
old private schools, similar use buildings or modular classrooms. Green Dot will find
one to two temporary facilities within the vicinity of a cluster of schools in order to reuse
those facilities for other Green Dot schools opened in that particular cluster and spread
tenant improvement costs of temporary schools across multiple schools.

Green Dot begins looking for a permanent facility for each school during the schools’
first year of operation with the goal of moving each school into a permanent site after its
second year of operation. Green Dot’s permanent sites will be smaller than district public
schools (likely 2 to 3 acres) and multi-story. Schools in the same Green Dot clusters will
share fields, assembly halls and other large spaces.

To identify properties, Green Dot works closely with leading real estate brokers such as
CB Richard Ellis and Cushman Wakefield and local brokers who can find properties and
facilities that are not listed on the market. Additionally, the Home Office works with the
City of Los Angeles, LAUSD, the LA Business Improvement District and other
organizations to identify potential locations for its schools.

Green Dot is in active discussions with LAUSD about the possibility of sharing space at
some of the district’s existing schools or occupying some of the district’s new schools
that will be opening over the next few years. Within the next two years, Green Dot
expects that at least one of its schools will operate in buildings owned by the District.

Below is a breakout of the facilities used at Green Dot’s existing schools:

      •   Animo Leadership Charter High School: Animo Leadership shares a facility
          with the West LA Law School. West LA Law School is a night school and
          thus Animo Leadership has access to the entire campus during the day. Animo
          Leadership recently received $10,000,000 allotment from the State of
          California (Proposition 47: half grant, half loan) to purchase a permanent
      •   Animo Inglewood Charter High School: Animo Inglewood is currently leasing
          classroom space from the First United Methodist Church in Inglewood. The
          Home Office is in the process of securing a permanent facility for next year.

•   Oscar De La Hoya Animo: Oscar De La Hoya Animo began operations in the
          Selesian Boys & Girls Club, using the facility in the morning while the Boys &
          Girls Club used it in the afternoon. The school moved to a site that was
          donated by the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation in November.

Facilities Financing
Green Dot’s Home Office is also responsible for acquiring the capital required to
purchase and lease facilities. With its first three schools, Green Dot has proven that it is
very effective at obtaining public funds or structuring creative deals to pay for facilities.
Green Dot employs the following strategy to overcome the significant challenge of
paying for property in a very expensive and crowded Los Angeles market.

    1.) Aggressively leverage all legislation / public funds available
       • Prop 39 / Measure K: Use Prop 39 to force the district to provide facilities for
          new schools at a reasonable cost or use it to enact concessions from the district
          such as co-signatures on loans or cash payments.
                o Result: Using Prop 39 as a negotiating tool, Green Dot secured a
                    commitment $120,000 from Centinela Valley District to be applied
                    to Leadership’s 2003-2004 facilities expense if the school does not
                    receive SB 740 funds.

       • Prop 47: Apply for Prop 47 funds for all schools.
               o Result: Green Dot secured $10,000,000 through Prop 47 to purchase
                   / build a new facility for Animo Leadership.

       • SB 740: Apply for SB 740 funds for all schools (as long as legislation exists).
              o Result: Green Dot received $75,000 for Animo Leadership in Fiscal
                  2003 through SB 740 and anticipates receiving close to $200,000 for
                  Animo Leadership and $100,000 for Animo Inglewood in Fiscal

    2.) Structure Creative Deals to Offset High Costs of Land
       • Engage in innovative deals and partnerships with LAUSD, New Schools
          Venture Funds REIT, non-profits, land developers, and other key organizations
          in order to lower the costs of facilities.
                 o Result: Green Dot entered into a partnership with the Oscar De La
                     Hoya Foundation in which it named Oscar De La Hoya Animo after
                     Mr. De La Hoya in exchange for free land on which the school
                     could be built.

    3.) Utilize attractive financing and leasing options
       • Develop close relationships with groups such as the Low Income Investment
          Fund (LIIF) and ExEd that have money set aside to provide low interest loans
          to charter schools.
                o Result: Green Dot received a letter of interest for $2.5 million from
                    LIIF to finance a new facility for Animo Inglewood.

4.) Influence additional legislation reform to help solve the facilities challenge
         • Collaborate with groups such as Edvoice to lobby for the creation of more
            legislation such as Prop 47 that ease the facilities financing burden.

As Green Dot has already proven, it is well positioned to take advantage of the above
strategies for finding and financing properties.

Curriculum Development
Green Dot’s Education team is developing a menu of curriculum options to be used by
each new Green Dot school. The recommended curriculum includes a variety of options
for courses (particularly electives), textbooks, and teaching strategies that Green Dot
believes will deliver the best student results. The education team works with principals
and lead teachers before the start of each new school to determine the most appropriate
curriculum for each school. The education team also meets with principals and teachers
regularly to further refine their curriculum and ensure that the curriculum is being
delivered effectively.

The Home Office learns from the experiences of each of its schools and shares those
experiences in order to improve results at all of its schools. Additionally, it learns from
leading research and best practices utilized outside of its network in order to ensure that
each of its schools are employing the most effective innovations in secondary curriculum.

Professional Development
Green Dot’s Home Office manages professional development for all principals.
Principals are hired at least three months before the start of the schools year so that they
can be mentored at Green Dot’s existing schools and by Green Dot’s CAO. Monthly
development meetings are held with principals throughout the year. Professional
development for teachers is managed collaboratively by the Home Office and the
individual school sites (led by the principals). The Home Office carries out development
relevant to all Green Dot teachers, while principals are responsible more specific teacher
professional development at each school site.

All major fundraising campaigns are managed through the Home Office. Individual
schools will be encouraged to engage in smaller, more local fundraising efforts.

Green Dot’s Home Office develops budgets for all of its schools with substantial input
from principals. The principals have the best visibility into where resources are needed
most at their schools and provide critical guidance to Green Dot in the budget creation
process. During the school year, principals are given the flexibility to allocate financial
resources as they see fit. Principals are expected to analyze trade-offs and make
decisions within the parameters of their budgets (by reallocating line-items). However,
principals are not allowed to increase the overall size of their budgets without

authorization from the Home Office. Additionally, any significant purchases that were
not originally budgeted for cannot be made without Green Dot authorization.

Green Dot is in the process of centralizing its purchasing to ensure that its schools receive
competitive prices and great service. Centralized purchasing with consolidated credit
lines makes it much easier to open new schools as Green Dot can utilize its established
lines of credit to purchase critical start-up goods without having to wait for allotments
from the State.

Back Office Management
All back office functions such as payroll, taxes and compliance are centralized at the
Home Office. Quick Books is used for accounting, however, Green Dot is likely to move
to a more robust software solution as it continues to grow.

Green Dot centralizes its technology purchasing, and employs an IT manager to manage
IT at its existing schools. It is in the process of centralizing its data center to minimize
costs and maximize efficiencies in areas such as security. Green Dot currently uses
PowerSchool at all of its schools to capture all data relevant to student and school
performance and uses that data to identify opportunities for improvement and ensure

Governance of Schools
Green Dot’s Board of Directors is the ultimate governing body for all Green Dot schools
and is responsible for the major strategic and policy decisions related to the entire Green
Dot organization. The Home Office directly governs each individual school and is
accountable to the Board. Below diagram of Green Dot’s governance structure:

                                                                                • Set Strategic Policy for Green Dot (growth
                                                   Green Dot Board of             plans, fundraising, education model, etc.)
                                                       Directors                • Fiscal responsibility for Green Dot
                                                                                • Governance for Green Dot and Ultimate
                                                                                  Responsibility for all Green Dot Schools

 Expertise                                                                    • Governance for individual schools (personnel
 • Education                                                                    policies, fiscal management, academic performance)
 • Business Operations                                                        • Provides services to schools (facilities, professional
                                                Green Dot Management
 • Politics                                                                     development, back office management, etc.)
 • Facilities & Real Estate                                                   • Provides best practices in curriculum, professional
 • Fundraising                                                                  development, etc.

            Advisory                 Advisory                      Advisory             Advisory             • Include principals,
             Board                    Board                         Board                Board                 teachers, parents,
                                                                                                               maybe students
                                                                                                             • Oversee tactical
                                                                                                               school site issues

                                                         Oscar De La Hoya
  Animo Leadership             Animo Inglewood
                                                              Animo              New Schools
  (opened Fall 2000)          (opened Fall 2002)
                                                         (opened Fall 2003)

Focus on Results
   Strong results are demanded from all Green Dot schools and employees. A rigorous
   system of measuring performance, analyzing results and developing action plans is being
   implemented to ensure that all school stakeholders are performing up to their potential.
   A number of metrics are used to measure each stakeholder and a Performance Scorecard,
   will be completed annually at all levels of the organization.

   Table 2: Summary of Green Dot Performance Scorecard
                                                                          Develop action plan and
                 Measure                     Analyze                      set goals
Students          • Graduation Rate          • Compare with similar        • Create plan for
                  • State Tests (CASHEE,       schools and to all             improvement in low
                    STAR, etc.)                California schools             performing areas
                  • Classroom projects       • Identify root causes of     • Set targets for next
                    and grades                 performance increases          academic year
                  • Attendance                 or decreases in each        • Improvement required
                  • Retention Rate             area                           annually (after first
                  • Disciplinary Actions                                      three years of school)
Teachers          • Teacher Performance       • Identify strengths &       • Create plan for
                    Evaluations                 opportunity areas for         improvement in low
                  • Student performance         each teacher                  performing areas
                    in individual classes     • Compare previous           • Set targets for next
                  • Teacher Satisfaction        scorecards                    academic year
                    surveys from students     • Analyze “life cycle of
                  • Teacher Retention           teachers” to identify
Parents           • Completion of             • Compare with               • Create plan for
                    Volunteer Hours             previous years and           improvement in low
                  • Attendance at PTA           across Green Dot             performing areas
                    Meetings                  • Identify internal and      • Set targets for next
                                                external forces              academic year
                                                effecting performance
Principals /      • Student performance       • Compare with               • Create plan for
Administration      Teacher performance         previous years, across       improvement in low
                  • Fiscal management           Green Dot & similar          performing areas
                  • Parent Satisfaction         schools                    • Set targets for next
                                                                             academic year
Green Dot         • Performance at            • Compare with               • Create plan for
Management          individual schools          previous years and           improvement in low
                  • Employee Retention          targets set by Board         performing areas
                  • New schools opened                                     • Set targets with Board
                  • Fiscal Management                                        for next academic year
                  • District / Systematic
                    change influenced

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