The Partner School Program

School change is complex, and especially so in the area of mathematics. When schools endeavor to make significant change to the level of the content and rigor in their classrooms, and are committed to using the number lab’s practices and the culture of learning that supports the content that we promote in our workshops and the Educators’ Collaboratory, the Partner Program is the next step.


Our Partner School Program is dedicated to helping schools and districts strategically facilitate thoughtful, significant revision of their math programs with a two year relationship that focuses on a small number of teacher-leaders. The goal is to create classrooms that are successfully employing the number lab approach and can ultimately serve as “lab sites” for other teachers within the school or district.

The philosophy of change underlying the Partner Program is antithetical to the philosophy most schools typically take. While it is is incredibly helpful to ensure a large portion of the school or district understands, appreciates, and is motivated to take on significant change, such as the change we advocate in our workshops and Educators’ Collaboratory, it is also absolutely necessary to invest in a number of teacher-leaders who can set a clearer path for how to reach toward that vision, how to shift long-held ways of planning and practicing, and how to successfully manage the many challenges that come with significant shifts within the classroom. With the decision of a school or district to commit to the Partner School Program, the goal is to effectively invest in a small group of teachers and to assist those teachers in moving years ahead of the other classrooms in the school or district, so as to serve to stimulate and anchor meaningful change over time across the district/school.

The Partner School Program extends over a period of two years, with each year having a specific focus.

Year 1 in the Partner School Program

In the first year, the number lab assists teachers in transforming their teaching through an understanding of the big ideas of mathematics – the fundamental, connecting threads that make mathematics the rich, coherent discipline that it is. With understanding of mathematical big ideas, teachers are able to view the curriculum standards from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on the coverage of each standard or objective as a discrete or isolated component of the curriculum, teachers seek to determine how the objectives link to forge a much broader concept. Teachers will have access to the number lab staff who will model for them the process of reviewing curriculum, identifying a central or key concept, and constructing a unit with specific lessons that aid in the development of the concept. Additionally in this first year, Partner School teachers will visit our micro-school to observe students in their math block. These “field study days” (punctuated by a pre-brief and post-brief session) will assist teachers in further understanding what a number lab classroom looks like in practice. 

Year 2 in the Partner School Program

In the year that follows, teachers give greater attention to skilled instruction and the development of a specific classroom culture. Teachers learn to deliver with fidelity Number Reasoning instruction, instruction that promotes a learning environment in which students experience mathematics in ways that are similar to the practices of professional mathematicians: robust discussion, keen observations that lead to reasonable conjectures, and debate requiring strong mathematical proof.  


Contact us to find out about openings within this program, pricing, and more specifics about both year 1 and year 2. 

Lisa Zapalac: