What is PAHSCI? PDF Print E-mail
The Pennsylvania High School Coaching Initiative (PAHSCI) is a distinctive school reform design – centered on “instructional coaching and mentoring” -- developed to improve student achievement and to spark effective education reform nationwide.  Formed in 2005 as a partnership between The Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, PAHSCI represents a $31 million, three-year investment in high school instructional coaching and mentoring. The initiative places one literacy and one math coach for every 600 students in 24 high-need high schools located in 15 school districts across Pennsylvania, with a total enrollment of over 32,000 students.  The PAHSCI model is the nation’s only multi-tiered teacher coaching initiative - providing trained teacher-leaders, called coaches, to schools and school districts; coaches and school principals, in turn, receive professional and program support from the initiative’s team of mentors and facilitators.  


To build capacity within school districts to more effectively and positively impact instruction, student learning, and attitudes through collaborative whole school reform practices that embrace collegial networking, coaching, and embedded professional development across curricula.

  • Improve student achievement at participating high schools
  • Build teacher capacity in schools by developing professional learning communities in schools, within districts, and across districts
  • Prepare students for the workforce through literacy development
  • Research the development of an effective job-embedded instructional coaching model
  • Sustain and expand this instructional coaching model


The model operates through services provided by PAHSCI and four additional partner organizations that provide program support, fiscal administration, and research and evaluation:  Foundations, Inc., Penn Literacy Network from the University of Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Foundation, and Research for Action. Additional research support is provided by The Center for Data Driven Reform in Education from the Johns Hopkins University and by MPR Associates, Inc.  The following are key components of the initiative: 
  • Onsite, job-embedded professional development for teachers and administrators
  • Specially trained coaches, who are teachers drawn from participating schools
  • Improved classroom instruction through content-based professional development
  • Over-the-shoulder classroom support for teachers, including help in identifying academic needs of students; determining which evidence-based practices will bridge learning gaps; and planning for and debriefing on specific lessons  
  • Sustainability through creation of professional, collaborative learning communities created within schools and districts
  • Support for district administrators and coaches through onsite mentors
  • Research and development of the model through ongoing documentation, assessment and reflection