Build stronger teachers

Learn from the best

At the National Summer School Initiative, partner teachers from around the country hone their craft guided by expert mentors—watching their moves and making them their own.

The heart of our model is an intensive investment in professional development. Before the program launches, every participating teacher will benefit from a three-day Institute that deeply prepares them in the specific pedagogies, curricula, and teaching methods. Then, each week, teachers will join their peers across the country for a professional development session led by their mentor teacher.

The emphasis is not on academic procedures but rather meaning-making—preparing to incite students' curiosity. Looking ahead at the week's specific lessons, each session focuses on the two essential levers of great instruction: intellectual preparation and student work analysis.

Transformative teacher training

"The most helpful professional development I've ever experienced."

Feedback from partners on NSSI’s summer 2023 pre-service training is glowing! 88% of teachers and 95% of administrators agreed or strongly agreed that NSSI's training prepared them for their roles this summer. One seventh-grade literature teacher shared:

NSSI's pre-service training "is the most helpful professional development I've ever experienced because it was hands-on and dynamic. I hope I get to do this again next year!"

NSSI is proudly upending expectations for what’s possible in the realm of professional development. Equipped and inspired by NSSI’s award-winning mentor teachers, they were ready to aim high—and watch their students soar.

Learn more about our uniquely effective approach to teacher development and accelerating learning.

Growing together

A professional learning community

In our program, teachers meet colleagues from across the country and are welcomed into a dynamic new community of educators.

Intellectual preparation

In intellectual preparation, teachers have the time to go deep in the novels, texts, and mathematical problems they will be exploring with their students the next week.

They master the next week's texts or math problems (and generate a love for it), anticipate student misconceptions, and develop the "roadmap of questions" that will guide students to making meaning—without taking away from them the intellectual work.

Student work analysis

In student work analysis, teachers look closely at what their students are actually producing. Teachers ask themselves, what can the work tell me about my students' conceptions? And how should I adjust my course?

It works.

This past summer, students were given 30-minute pre-tests in both literature and math on the first day of the program, and post-tests as the program ended, both constructed of released state exam items. In just five weeks, students made major gains in proficiency across grades and subjects. On average, math students with NSSI improved more than 15 percentage points (from pre-test to post-test), and literature students improved 10 percentage points.

Our academic results

© National Summer School Initiative 2024