Scott Frauenheim, COO of Distinctive Schools, talks about their school model, the student demographics, how they’re attempting to scale, and some of the challenges they face day to day that may be different from a traditional public school.
Scott Frauenheim has dedicated his career to building positive learning environments for students and educators, and is a recognized leader of transformational work in charter schools. His passion for strong leadership, coupled with his drive to promote quality education, allowed him to build strong relationships throughout Distinctive Schools. Through this work, Scott created shared vision, enabled leadership, and empowered teachers. These attributes supported schools through transformative change in implementing a nationally recognized personalized learning model over the past three years; a model that has helped close the achievement gap through exceptional student growth and achievement. His experiences with instructional and academic leadership, school operations, finance, technology, fundraising, and development efforts enhanced his ability to oversee a variety of important components within the Distinctive Schools model.
Since joining Distinctive in June 2011, Frauenheim has built upon the foundation laid by co-founders, Mary Stafford, David Sundstrom and Joseph Wise in implementing innovative teaching approaches with the support of grants from Breakthrough Schools-Chicago Next Generation Learning Challenges. For the past three years, Frauenheim has gained national recognition for the implementation of a personalized learning model at the CICS West Belden campus; a model that has helped close the achievement gap through exceptional student growth and achievement.
Most recently, Frauenheim was honored with the LEAP Innovations Leadership Innovator Award, and acknowledged by Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO, Forrest Claypool for his work with Chicago’s children. With Frauenheim’s leadership, Distinctive Schools will accelerate implementation of personalized learning in all of its schools.
Frauenheim comes with diverse experience in school management and instructional leadership including network leadership of student services, special education, and new school development.
(sources: distinctiveschools.org and ireach.prnewswire.com)
(02:22) Scott’s background
(05:00) It seems you had a normal, average upbringing. But I’m always curious as to the adversity and failure that we all kind of go through. And how we respond to that failure as we get into these positions of experience. Were there inflection points in your early years, whether middle school, high school or college that served as leverage points for your mindset today in education?
(06:54) Why don’t you give the listeners a sense for demographics at Distinctive Schools, the network itself. Just a little bit of background of what you’re working with.
(09:09) So you mentioned the personalized learning model. Why don’t you give us a sense of the student experience day in and day out with the personalized experience model, and how you’re executing on that.
(12:45) So when it comes to data, you were talking about the formative assessment, how often do the teachers get a chance to evaluate, analyze that data, to then rapidly inform what they do in the classroom everyday?
(15:37) The fact that you are a charter school as opposed to a traditional public school where you may have to change culture, you have the culture built in to your model, which is a fantastic thing. But, day to day, what would you say are the top 1 or 2 challenges that you face from an academic point of view, faculty point of view, administrative point of view that you’re constantly trying to work on?
(17:53) You said that Distinctive Schools is really trying to scale now. Obviously your position is in trying to make sure that student success and integrity remain intact while also maximizing impact. I’m just curious, how do you do that? How do you balance scale, and also each school’s student success metrics at the same time?
(20:43) Do you have any books that you can recommend to the audience, or a book that’s most influenced you?
(21:52) What about documentaries, do you watch them? And if so, do you have a favorite?
Waiting for Superman
(22:59) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?