The Mission of ULLC

The mission of the Urban Learning and Leadership Center (ULLC) is to build capacity of educators and increase student achievement by:
  1. Diagnosing the specific barriers to excellence within individual schools;
  2. Training district and school educators in research-based best practices; and
  3. Coaching staff to collaboratively develop and fully implement tailored, data-driven action plans that target the needs identified in our diagnostic process.  This process provides a pathway to equity and excellence for all students.
What Makes ULLC Programs Work?

At the heart of all interventions by ULLC is the S.A.M.E. Framework. S.A.M.E. stands for Social-Academic-Moral-Education. S.A.M.E. helps schools to meet the social-emotional needs of students and staff by using trauma-informed best practices and other strategies to create emotionally safe environments for teaching and learning. Working holistically, we are able to accomplish this while keeping academic achievement at the forefront of our efforts.

The S.A.M.E. Framework views schools as an integrated set of domains, Social, Academic, and Moral, which define the culture of the school community. The Social Domain defines how members of the school community behave.  The Academic Domain defines how members of the school community engage in teaching and learning.  The Moral Domain defines what members of the school community believe. Within each domain are clear roles and expectations for students and staff.

The Key to S.A.M.E. Success

These domains (Social-Academic-Moral) can only thrive in a culture of Distributed Leadership. This means that all stakeholders are united by a common mission and use data-driven plans and values that drive daily action.  Regardless of grade-levels or subject areas, all of the kids belong to all of us.

Using this framework to guide our work, we tailor interventions to meet academic and social-emotional needs of schools in (K-12) urban, suburban and rural districts throughout the United States.

Schools are complex systems, not just assemblages of components. Making real change — the kind that pays off in real improvement in learning — requires a comprehensive, far-reaching approach. The essential elements include: effective leadership, high-yield instructional strategies, and social-emotional support for students and staff.

Metrics used to guide our work are typically determined by the following:
  • Baseline Data Analysis
  • District and School Mission Statements
  • District, State and Federal Mandates
  • Specific School and District Needs Highlighted During our Diagnostic Process.

This is why our school support is specifically tailored for each project and each individual school.

Our Philosophy

The Urban Learning and Leadership Center offers personalized school improvement services to schools and districts. ULLC is dedicated to helping schools develop workable plans to achieve greatness – and to staying with them through the difficult work of putting those plans to work.

“One size fits all” solutions don’t work for all schools.”

That’s why the Urban Learning & Leadership Center’s services are custom-tailored to the unique challenges facing schools striving to become places where students and teachers succeed.

What do today’s urban schools need?

The challenge boils down to one thing: improving student learning. To meet that challenge, schools need solutions that reflect the realities of life in today’s cities. They need solutions that…

  • help close the achievement gap
  • work for diverse student bodies
  • take into account the array of social problems the society – especially cities – bring to their doors
  • acknowledge that the resources affluent and suburban schools take for granted – money, parental and community support – are hard to come by.

Across the nation there are rays of hope: Schools that prove that city schools and their students can be successful. The Urban Learning and Leadership Center helps other schools learn the real-world lessons behind these successes and put them to work for their students.

State and federal mandates have raised the stakes for all schools. Achievement standards focus our efforts on the very student groups many cities serve – disadvantaged, minority, limited English proficiency and special education students. The requirement that all students make progress – and the threat of sanctions if they don’t – requires data-driven planning and collaboration.  ULLC can deliver!