The BARR Center (BARR) aims to create equitable schools so that every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status has access to a high-quality education where adults know them, recognize their strengths, and help them succeed. The BARR model is a time-bound transformation that equips schools to build deep relationships among teachers, staff, and students and to harness the power of data to increase academic, social, and emotional outcomes for all students
Why We Invested
BARR is a proven school transformation model backed by numerous randomized controlled trials that demonstrated significant positive impacts on 9th grade academics and student and teacher engagement. The organization has partnered with more than 200 schools nationally with plans to continue scaling, with Chicago and Illinois being priority areas for growth. BARR has had an impressive impact in its three Chicago partner high schools: Chicago Collegiate, North Lawndale College Prep – Christiana, and North Lawndale College Prep – Collins. We are enthusiastic about BARR expanding to an elementary school in Chicago for the first time at Carroll–Rosenwald this year, as well as its expansion to middle–school grade levels at Chicago Collegiate. BARR’s leadership and operations are strong, and the team is focused on building the organization’s brand through strategic marketing and public relations.
Over the last decade, BARR has expanded from one school in Minnesota to more than 200 schools across the country. The organization partners with four schools in Chicago and has grown from supporting 759 students in 2019 to 1,118 in 2021. BARR was recently awarded a multi-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to drastically expand high-school programming on a national scale. Chicago Collegiate Charter School was selected as one of the anchor schools for this expansion project. The organization continues to prioritize building out elementary school program implementation, strengthening its communications and school recruitment strategy to support long-term growth.
Investment launched in March 2019. Management support to begin at a later date.