We partner with schools, districts, and CMOs that are committed to surrounding students with the best people, doing their best work.  Learn more by reading some of our partners’ stories below.

Our Partners


Atlanta public schools

Atlanta Public Schools wanted a coherent strategy for talent management and academics that would:

  • Define excellent teaching and leadership for APS

  • Strengthen APS’ approach to teacher and leader recruitment and selection

  • Strengthen teacher and leader on-boarding

  • Systematize teacher professional development processes - inclusive of Instructional Planning, Coaching, Data-Driven Instructional and PLCs

  • Expand APS’ Aspiring Assistant Principal and Principal programs

NorthStar is honored to have the opportunity to continue to work side-by-side with the Offices of Schools & Academics and Human Resources to to implement a multi-year, board-approved strategy for talent management and academic improvement.


noble network of charter schools

After years of extensive internal research and development, The Noble Network of Charter Schools wanted to launch a program to recognize and celebrate their highest-quality teachers.

NorthStar partnered with Noble to support the design of the Distinguished Teacher Program.  This signature program includes:

  • A comprehensive and rigorous process for identifying top teacher talent from all fields

  • Rewards, recognitions, pay increases and teacher-leader opportunities for selected teachers

  • A clear bar for excellence to fuel professional growth and development across the network

This Distinguished Teacher Program serves to recognize and retain top talent, identify and reward teachers that reach Noble’s unique definition of classroom excellence, and allow the network to codify and learn from the incredible teaching happening within their schools each day.

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kipp bay area (operations team)

The KIPP Bay Area Operations Team wanted to improve school site operations by focusing on the growth and development of school-based operations staff.

NorthStar worked with the KIPP Bay Area Operations Team to

  • Create a common definition of excellence for operations leaders, synthesizing national best practices with practices already in use by KBAS's operations staff members

  • Design a suite of aligned tools --from goal setting, to quarterly planning, to development and periodic evaluation cycles-- to support the growth of operations staff towards the common definition of excellence.

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kipp bay area (talent & Academics team)

The KIPP Bay Area Talent Team wanted to improve student achievement and teacher retention by strengthening the instructional culture in KIPP Bay Area schools.

NorthStar worked with the KIPP Bay Area Talent Team to develop and implement a comprehensive Talent Framework.  This included:

  • Creating a shared definition of teaching excellence

  • Designing a process for KBAS leaders to calibrate on the definition of excellence by viewing and rating video footage of KBAS teachers

  • Designing a comprehensive teacher coaching model, inclusive of coaching templates, a coaching platform (whetstone), protocols for school teams to analyze and respond to coaching trends

  • Aligning on a performance management cycle focused on teacher growth and development


The GLObe academy

After successfully completing its first five-year strategic plan, GLOBE wanted consulting support for its second five-year strategic plan.  Specifically, GLOBE sought to answer several strategic questions, including:

  • What are GLOBE’s current strengths and opportunities for growth in Academics, Talent, Culture, and Operations?

  • How can GLOBE integrate all parts of its academic model (inclusive of dual-language immersion, commitment to developing globally-minded citizens and the workshop model) into a cohesive curriculum with appropriate supports for teachers?

  • What steps must GLOBE take to ensure equity and inclusion for all of its students?

NorthStar is currently working with a diverse coalition of GLOBE staff members to tackle these questions and others via:

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of GLOBE’s current model, through conducting focus groups, administering surveys and analyzing existing data

  • Facilitating design meetings to unpack data and identify trends

  • Coordinating teacher, community, board and stakeholder communications throughout the strategic planning process

  • Developing a synthesized strategic plan that clarifies key priorities, initiatives, and a well-defined path forward for implementing the strategic plan


Freire charter schools

Freire charter schools wanted to create a shared vision for excellent instruction across their schools to serve as the foundation for teacher hiring, professional development and talent initiatives. In addition, they sought ways to expand their recruitment initiatives to better attract teacher talent within the highly competitive teacher hiring landscape in the North East.

NorthStar worked with the Freire Team to:

  • Bring forth multiple examples of teacher observation rubrics used by high performing districts and CMOs

  • Facilitate a process to select an observation framework that aligned with Freire’s core values and instructional strategy

  • Design an observation rubric that reflected Freire’s unique instructional philosophy

In addition, NorthStar worked with Freire to launch multiple teacher-leader roles to drive recruitment efforts.  These “teacher ambassadors” were responsible for driving a referral campaign, cultivating top teacher prospects and participating in other initiatives to increase the number of highly qualified teacher candidates applying for open teaching roles.

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KIPP Philadelphia

Faced with an increasingly challenging talent environment, KIPP Philadelphia wanted support designing a comprehensive approach to teacher and leader talent management.  

NorthStar partnered with the KIPP Philadelphia team to:

  • Develop a comprehensive multi-year talent management strategy that gained board and staff buy-in

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities of key academic leadership positions - including principals, assistant principals and operations staff

  • Strengthen teacher residency and pipeline programs

  • Align teacher on-boarding and on-going development efforts

  • Identify strategies to retain top teachers

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KIPP Memphis collegiate schools

To accelerate its impact on student achievement and focus efforts for its regional and school-based staff, KIPP Memphis engaged NorthStar to develop a 2020 strategic plan.

NorthStar facilitated a strategic planning process with a diverse team of KIPP Memphis staff that resulted in:

  • Honing 2020 regional and school goals

  • Identifying 5 strategic regional priorities in the areas of Academics, Talent Management, Leader Development, Student Retention and Student Services

  • Clarifying the “enabling systems” required to ensure the successful execution of the strategic plan, inclusive of clearer organizational roles and responsibilities, strengthening community partnerships and streamlining key organizational systems


Mindworks collaborative

Matrice Gandy, founder of Mindworks Collaborative, wanted support determining how to structure a fellowship program aimed at training special education leaders of color.

Through support from New Schools Venture Fund, NorthStar partnered with Martrice and Mindworks’ team to:

  • Share national best practices for leadership development and preparation

  • Create a Fellowship “micro pilot” to allow the Mindworks team to launch and learn from a fellowship targeting 20 founding fellows


BLACK Teacher Collaborative

Hiewet Senghor, founder of the Black Teacher Collaborative, sought support honing her theory of change and programmatic model for her innovative start-up.

NorthStar was thrilled to have the opportunity to help Hiewet bring her vision to life by:

  • Facilitating the development of a Theory of Action that linked Hiewet’s vision to programmatic outcomes

  • Collecting and organizing examples of organizations with similar missions to hone BTC’s programmatic model

  • Providing support to create a framework to clarify the vision for teaching excellence for BTC classrooms

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teach for america - school system leadership team

Teach For America’s School System Leadership team faced an important question in their work: how do we accelerate the impact of our alumni into school system leadership roles?

In partnership with consultants Morgan Ripski and Melea Nalli, NorthStar supported TFA’s team to:

  • Assess current strengths and opportunities for growth of the existing fellowship program

  • Conduct analyses of other high-performing fellowship programs nationally (Chiefs for Change, Pahara, Aspen, etc.)

  • Hone TFA’s vision and goals for School System Leadership

  • Develop a series of strategic recommendations along with cost and staffing implications to accelerate TFA alumni impact