Through a comprehensive human capital strategy, teams of teachers have the freedom, professional development, and resources to perfect their craft

The result of this strategy is an innovative school culture

WATch some magic

Learn about Drew’s execution on classroom technology, which is just one manifestation of their human capital strategy.

Teacher teams with freedom: what it means and How we get there

Combination of autonomy and collaboration

Teachers collaborate on curriculum, while having the autonomy to teach in the way that is best for each teacher's students.

  • Drew’s administration explicitly encourages risk-taking and innovation, allowing teachers to develop their unique style, target challenging and authentic content, and apply research-based teaching methods within and beyond their classrooms.

  • Grade-level curriculum mapping discussions help teachers draw connections across interdisciplinary content and invite appropriate partners to complement classroom instruction.

  • The school provides additional intensive Tier 3 interventions to students outside of the classroom, complementing classroom instruction and ensuring teachers have the resources to close critical achievement gaps.

  • Culture-based rather than discipline-based approach to student behavior gives teachers maximum flexibility within their classrooms to focus nearly exclusively on high-quality lessons and academic outcomes.

Deep investments in professional development 

Drew provides a diverse set of professional development opportunities for teachers, including a combination of on-staff, partner, and external professional development opportunities.

  • All teachers receive 75 minutes of PD daily which can include collaboration time, and real-time use of student data. 

  • The Director of Literacy and the Director of Project-Based Learning each meet with teachers during their planning period at least once every two weeks.

  • Through the Westminster Center For Teaching, Drew has access to a wide variety of external professional development to support the model.

  • Drew teachers have the opportunity to participate in faculty cohorts with colleagues from the Westminster Schools through the Center for Teaching. These cohorts accumulate more than 100 contact hours per year and engage in ongoing, classroom embedded learning about research-based best practices in teaching.

  • Drew teachers are encouraged and financially-supported to pursue external professional development that is aligned strategically with the Drew mission. Additionally, substitute coverage is provided when a conference during the school year is an appropriate way to further a teacher’s professional development. 

  • Ongoing investment in teacher-leaders allows Drew faculty to become experts in specific areas in order to share best practices and create sustainable, teacher-led professional development opportunities 

The Result: Recruiting and retaining the best talent

There are a number of other dimensions distinguishing Drew’s human capital strategy - however, these dimensions are better seen as outcomes of executing effectively on the above philosophy. They include:

  • Attracting experienced, award-winning teachers: The opportunity for teachers to perfect their craft within a framework of resources attracts top-notch teachers - generally experienced and often recipients of “teacher of the year awards" – to Drew’s classrooms. 

  • Attracting a diverse staff: Drew attracts teachers from all backgrounds including both traditional public schools and alternative certification programs. Additionally, the approach outlined above naturally results in teachers from a variety of racial and socio-economic backgrounds to feel at home in Drew’s culture, resulting in students having role models from a spectrum of backgrounds. 

  • Developing a deep understanding of standards: Drew’s model relies heavily on teachers deeply understanding their content areas and the weight attached to each standard within the curriculum. Drew not only naturally attracts teachers who are passionate about the content they teach, but also gives the appropriate amount of support to teachers as they deepen their understanding of their content. 

  • Earning recognition for their expertise: Drew’s staff is increasingly featured at local and national conferences to present on their innovative and research-based teaching strategies. 

Partners and resources

The Westminster Schools Center for Teaching and Learning is the main gateway for professional development at Drew. In addition to connecting Drew to external professional development partners, the Center For Teaching also creates a yearly collaborative cohort of public and private school teachers who meet bimonthly in a mutually beneficial learning environment where they focus on best practices in teaching.

The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School helps develop a curriculum for strong language and literacy skills before kindergarten and provides teachers with individual mentoring, in-class observation and feedback, coaching conversations, and planning support

The Georgia State University School of Music designs professional development for teachers in arts and technology integration, and provides a curriculum through which students can create original music through tools such as iPad2 and music notation software
Georgia Tech hosts supplemental tutoring sessions for students in math and reading after school, on Saturdays and during the summer and provides STEAM professional development for teachers


contact us

Purpose Built Schools is a partner organization to Charles R. Drew Charter School and grew out of the work done by Purpose Built Communities to share the East Lake neighborhood revitalization model around the country. Reach out to us at