2021 Grants Challenge

Crenshaw HS 3DE – Three Dimensional Education

LAUSD has approved JA SoCal to bring the 3DE curriculum model to Crenshaw public high school using real-life case studies that promote problem solving tied to CA core curriculum standards. The 3DE model helps students see connections between their knowledge, mindset and behaviors, and choices they will have in the future, increasing graduation rates. 3DE dramatically equalized educational disparities at other schools, showing increase of 4-year graduation rates from 62% to 92%, 38% reduction in absenteeism and 72% outperformance on state exams.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Data show that high school graduates are more likely to be employed and students who go on to graduate college are twice as likely to be employed as non-high-school graduates. High concentrations of young adults who did not complete high school result in fewer employable young adults, lower average incomes, higher unemployment rates, and deepening economic disparities that regularly disproportionally affect black and brown communities. Crenshaw HS dropout rates range from 15% to 17% recently, compared to LA averages of 9% to 11%. These high rates enable existing cycles of economic disparity and unequal opportunity to continue to deepen in the community. Kamarie Brown, a special student board member of LAUSD, from Crenshaw HS, posed the question, “Will we fully commit to creating schools that function as the keys to unlock a student’s limitless potential?” Students need to see school as key to their survival and success in the real world to electrify the motivation to make it through.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

This grant will support the LAUSD approved launch of the “Three Dimensional Education”, or “3DE” school model for incoming freshman at Crenshaw High School in the 21-22 school year. 3DE builds curriculum around real-world case-studies and practical problem solving, drastically improving students’ perceptions of the relevance of school and the importance of completing a high school degree. In a 3DE school, there are three national case study and three localized case study approaches to learning introduced into academic courses, while still maintaining CA core curriculum standards. Students progress through interdisciplinary critical thinking related to the real-life actual case study dilemmas that partner companies described to 3DE curriculum developers. Students’ natural, instinctive motivation to want to learn despite challenges and pressures is re-awakened. More students stay in school and experience increased opportunity of choices and equality as young adults. This grant will help fund the placement of two 3DE staff embedded at Crenshaw HS to train and support the regular public school administration and teachers in 3DE programming. It also funds the work of JA SoCal to secure community partnerships to provide local, inspirational and rigorous case study stories for the curriculum. 23 schools around the country have launched 3DE curriculum. Surveys show greater student interest in learning, including improvement of graduation rates at some schools from 62% to 92%.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 45

Indirect Impact: 118

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

3DE educational models have significantly improved disparities in educational outcomes in other major urban communities. We believe 3DE will achieve similar success at Crenshaw HS and later at additional LA schools brought into the model. 3DE data repeatedly show increases in attendance and decreases in dropout rates. Measures of success for the 1-year grant will include increases in freshman attendance rates, as compared to other recent freshman classes, and student surveys showing high rates of student motivation, interest, and intent to stay in school, regardless of socioeconomic background. The program will expand one grade per year. In its fourth year, the full student body will be 3DE, and success will be defined by improved 4-year graduation rates, improved attendance rates, academic performance indicators and positive student and parent surveys. Long-term, 3DE will reduce dropout rates and equalize opportunities available to LA youth, helping break down entrenched inequities.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This is a pilot effort to apply this educational model to the Los Angeles area, learning from the successful launches of 3DE in 23 public schools located in Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Washington D.C. and Houston. The program has been proven successful in participating schools thus far, showing 71% outperformance in state end-of-course assessments, 92% student retention rate and 42% reduction in chronic absenteeism, and 94% four-year graduation rates. Written evaluations by students reveal that 98% of students from previously high drop-out rate schools now feel excited about their futures. At this implementation at Crenshaw HS, student attendance will be monitored and compared to prior years. As the 21-22 incoming freshmen matriculate through the grade levels to the senior year, cohort 4-year graduation rates will be assessed. Students will be offered ongoing surveys to help assess students’ experiences of 3DE and understand the benefits they describe.

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

Crenshaw High School – Executes the 3DE curriculum for 9th grade in regular school operations. Principal, teachers and staff responsible for adopting the 3DE model based on training and support of 3DE staff. Teachers and staff at Crenshaw remain employees of the public school system and part of LAUSD. Crenshaw staff are dedicated experts in the needs of the students and families they have served for decades. 3DE by JA – the 3DE national partner – The 3DE model has been launched in 23 schools in other cities, and staff have the practical experience from these pilots. They understand the needs and expectations of teachers, students and community families. The embedded staff for the site are recruited from a variety of backgrounds and are trained extensively by 3DE national staff.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

High school graduation rates

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE