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COTSEN Foundation




Hello, my name is Jennifer Kolb, and I have the privilege of being Jackie Robinson’s Cotsen Mentor. Mr. Lloyd Cotsen, former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Neutrogena Corporation, founded the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING in 2001 “with the idea that a strong, collaborative partnership between a mentor and a teacher would promote artful teaching”. In Spring 2014, Robinson was selected to partner with the Cotsen Foundation with the goal to “transform good teachers into great teachers”.


Robinson’s first 2-year cohort with Cotsen consisted of 5 teachers (Fellows) who focused in the areas of mathematics and reading. Through the support of the Foundation by providing professional development opportunities, Fellows began implementing the research-based practices of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) for mathematics, Balanced Literacy for reading, and Jr. Great Books for shared inquiry to support our Dolphins’ academic achievement.


Fellows participated in weekly coaching cycles with their Mentor to implement best practices, collect and analyze student data, reflect on teaching practices and student outcomes, and plan next steps based on formative assessment data. In addition to this weekly support, Fellows attended monthly Inquiry Meetings where we focused on two main questions:


  • How can quality questioning transform classrooms to advance thinking, learning, and achievement?

  • How can we become better questioners?


Because of the nature of the coaching cycle and my non-evaluative role as their Mentor, Fellows took risks by trying out new methods of instruction, pushed themselves to levels they hadn’t yet imagined and watched their students grow in their knowledge of themselves as readers, writers, and mathematicians.


In Spring 2016, Robinson had the great honor of being selected to participate in a second round of the Cotsen Fellowship with 7 new Fellows selected to participate for the next two years. We currently have at least one current or alumni Fellow in each grade from 1st to 6th! This rare opportunity allows Robinson to continue our valuable partnership with the Cotsen Foundation and continue to grow as a learning community.


Please do not hesitate to email me at should you have any questions.




Jennifer Kolb, Ed.D.


Cotsen Mentor

Jackie Robinson Academy

2750 Pine Avenue

Long Beach, CA 90806

W: 562-492-6003 F: 562-492-6013




Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI)

Jr. Great Books

Mathematical Mindsets

Balanced Literacy