Hendy Avenue: Fall 2020 Update


Dear colleagues and friends,

We’re sending all of you our very best today, knowing this time has been challenging in so many ways. We hope you and your families are healthy, safe, and energized to make change. Please know we’re right here with you and are happy to help however we can. And for all the parents and educators heading back to school this week, we’ve got this!

To kick off our annual update, we have big news to share: The Hendy Avenue Consulting has added another awesome member to our team! Please join us in welcoming Erica Murphy, former Chief Curriculum and Instruction Officer at Ascend Public Charter Schools. Erica’s experience as an excellent school leader and fearless academic leader allows us to provide even more comprehensive support to our partners. Please see Erica’s full bio below and on our About page and reach out to discuss how we can help – particularly as school systems are rewriting the playbook for both instruction and talent. We’d love to work with you!

We also want to share our deep appreciation for our colleague and dear friend, Grant Newman. Grant was the first person hired by Sarah to join the Hendy team and over the past 5.5 years, he has been an invaluable partner in building Hendy and has deeply impacted many, many clients. This summer, Grant transitioned to New Leaders as the Senior Executive Director of Program Strategy and Operations. We wish Grant the very best of luck and know he’ll always be a part of the Hendy family! 

This has truly been an extraordinary and unpredictable year. As both parents and educators, we’ve struggled to navigate these unchartered waters. But we’ve found strength in our team and sought to support school systems in new and important ways. Looking back on the past year, our proudest moments include: 

  • Renewed Partnerships: 100% of our current client partners are returning partners. We build strong relationships, do great work, build leader capacity, and make an impact. As a result, we’re proud to say that all of our current partners are those that we have worked with before and have chosen to continue with us into a new phase of a project, or to partner on a completely new project. We truly value those opportunities to have a meaningful and long-term impact and are so grateful for the incredible leaders who have chosen to work with us. Please read below to learn more about our current work with the Delaware Department of Education, KIPP Texas Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, Hebrew Public Schools, Breakthrough Public Schools, and The Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
  • Covid Response: In the early months of the pandemic, we supported our clients to adjust course and rethink their priorities. Now we are continuing those partnerships with a new focus on revising talent practices to ensure that teachers and leaders feel safe, valued, and supported through this challenging year. It has become abundantly clear that school systems who achieve that goal will be successful and those who fail to respond to the needs of their educators will not be able to serve their students effectively. From revising teacher evaluation systems to articulating reopening talent policies to training school leaders to manage in this new environment, we have responded to the needs of our partners and continued to walk hand-in-hand with them. We’ve also practiced what we’ve preached. As a team, we’ve been flexible to each other’s needs, jumped in to help each other out, and shown appreciation for the commitment and perseverance of the Hendy team.
  • CTO Cohort: Established in 2018 by Hendy Avenue Consulting, the NYC Chief Talent Officer braintrust functions as a collaborative cohort for senior talent leaders of high-impact school management organizations to share best practices, problem-solve and leverage community to improve outcomes for students. Since inception, the braintrust has met monthly, establishing a valued space to collaborate with others wrestling with similar challenges. In the face of crisis and uncertainty this spring, the group began meeting weekly, maximizing the value of what has become a tight-knit community and trusted soundboard. As a result, 100% of our cohort members would recommend the cohort to other talents leaders.
    • We are thrilled to announce our 2020-2021 cohort with CTOs from Achievement First, Brooklyn Prospect, Coney Island Prep, Democracy Prep, DREAM, Explore, Hebrew Public, and Public Prep and can’t wait to kick off the year with these incredible leaders! Given both the success of the cohort and the need for collaboration during times of uncertainty, we are also actively looking to expand the program. If you’re interested in learning more, please check out our new Cohorts website page.
  • Anti-Racist Work: We have taken a close look at ourselves, our support to others, and the tools and policies we create to identify racist and white dominant actions and beliefs and shift toward become an overtly anti-racist organization. We recognize that the talent systems we create have a profound impact on real people and are reviewing them through a critical lens. We’ve added new measures of success for our work, identified more proactive ways to address racial inequities with our clients, are actively looking for ways to elevate the voices of black and brown leaders, and are identifying more opportunities to partner with organizations led by people of color. We’d love to hear about resources you’ve found helpful on your own journey to be an anti-racist organization.
  • Teacher Evaluation in 20-21: In searching for talent tools for the coming year, we identified a lack of information about how to approach teacher evaluation in a remote or hybrid environment. We decided to publish recommendations and planning tools and shared them during a recent webinar. Most importantly, we brought leaders together to share their ideas and as a result, a group formed to continue the collaboration on an on-going basis. Looking ahead, we’re planning a new session on Wednesday, October 14th on Effective Coaching in a Remote Learning Environment. Follow us on LinkedIn for more information soon!
  • Academic Supports: Through our many partners, we see the power of academics and talent working together. As a result, we’ve recently begun work to help bridge that gap, focusing on talent development through academic program strategy, professional development on curriculum and instruction, and the building of academic tools to support excellence in teaching. Through our partnership with Hebrew Public Schools, we are reviewing their current mathematics program and supporting them to create and execute a new strategic direction. Both Jeremy and Erica bring strong academic as well as talent backgrounds to our team, and we are excited to integrate both the academic and talent lenses for stronger support to schools. 

Please let us know how we can help you meet your goals.We are proud that over the past six years, 100% of our clients have indicated on our annual survey that they would refer us to others; and we would love to discuss partnering with you.Please also check out our blog, follow us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter

Thank you for your continued support. Please reach out if we can help.


Current Projects

  • Delaware Department of Education: Having partnered with the Delaware Dept of Education in various capacities since 2013, we’re currently leading the multi-year, statewide initiative to improve Delaware’s teacher observation and evaluation rubric and process. Our team is working closely with teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders to design, pilot and implement a new rubric and evaluation process that will support fair and accurate evaluations of teacher practice and will guide ongoing teacher development.
  • KIPP Texas Public Schools: We began working with KIPP Austin in 2015, then KIPP Houston beginning in 2017, and we’re now supporting the integration of the KIPP Texas Public Schools’ aligned talent development strategy across the Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas-Ft. Worth regions. We’re also leading a new project to identify effective development and retention strategies for new teachers.
  • Chicago Public Schools: Our team is partnering with Chicago Public Schools to strengthen school administrators as talent leaders in their buildings through the development of training modules on key talent practices. We’re working across multiple departments to ensure alignment of vision for practices such as recruitment, selection, induction, leadership development and retention. Our project has been renewed for a second year for a total of 12 learning modules and continued cross-department alignment and collaboration. 
  • Hebrew Public Schools: We’re currently supporting Hebrew Public’s Chief Schools Officer and network team in determining priorities and methods for improving math teaching and learning across their four schools. In addition, we are facilitating professional development sessions for mathematics teachers and their coaches. Looking ahead, we plan to continue to support the successful implementation of the mathematics program in the new school year.
  • Breakthrough Public Schools: We’re supporting the Cleveland charter network to prepare for school reopening by providing human capital expertise and capacity and articulating talent policies and practices for different learning environments. We recently also supported Breakthrough Public Schools Chief Academic Officer to strategically plan for the network’s reorganization and supported the network to identify a Chief Community Officer. 
  • The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy: The team is supporting The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy through partnering directly with the executive director to engage all levels of stakeholders in the collaborative generation of a 5-year strategic plan to deepen The Academy’s impact. 

Erica Murphy joined Hendy Avenue Consulting because she believes that effective teacher development programs and high quality observation and feedback cycles are essential to supporting and growing our nation’s teachers. Before joining Hendy, Erica served as the Chief Curriculum and Instruction Officer at Ascend Public Charter Schools. In that role, Erica managed the design and implementation of Ascend’s unique liberal arts curriculum and supervised the professional development of all instructional leaders, principals and principal managers. Prior to assuming this role, Erica served as school director of Brownsville Ascend Lower School for five years. During that time, her school’s proficiency rates increased 30 percentage points in English language arts and 34 percentage points in mathematics. In school year 2016-17, Erica’s school achieved the second-highest score improvement among New York City charter schools. Erica joined the Ascend network as a second-grade teacher, team leader, and instructional coach at Brooklyn Ascend Lower School where she consistently posted the highest math results in the network. Before joining Ascend, she was a research associate at the New York City Department of Education’s Research and Policy Support Group, and she spent several years as an elementary school teacher in a NYC Department of Education school in the South Bronx. She holds a master’s of public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; a master’s in elementary education from Lehman College; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Washington University in Saint Louis.