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Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership Artifacts

Empowering Principals to Successfully Lead School Turnaround

Click the links below to access tangible materials—such as templates and tools—that leaders in Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership created to guide their work.

These artifacts are organized around the three parts of Springfield's theory of action:

  1. Support principals to link scheduling, staffing, and budgeting decisions to their schools' academic priorities and to evaluate the impacts of those decisions.
  2. Redesign the school planning process to ensure that academic priorities drive decisions around resource use.
  3. Provide school leadership teams with the data and tools needed to consider various school design options and optimize decision-making processes.

*Note: Not all theory of action components have accompanying artifacts. 


Background materials

#1: The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership

What is this? Progressive Policy wrote this case study in 2017 explaining why and how Springfield Public Schools and its partners started the Springfield Empowerment Zone.

How can you use it? To learn background information about the recent history of SEZP that isn’t covered in the case study. 

#2: On the Right Path–Best Practice Guide for High-Quality Schools

What is this? Zone leaders use this rubric, based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s research on turnaround schools, to prioritize their work. 

How can you use it? Gather ideas for schoolwide qualitative measures of improvement.


Support principals to link scheduling, staffing, and budgeting decisions to their schools’ academic priorities and to evaluate the impacts of those decisions.


Redesign the school planning process to ensure that academic priorities drive resource-use decisions.

#3: School Quality Review Sample Executive Summary 

What is this? SEZP principals receive qualitative feedback like this in addition to their students’ test scores and student and teacher survey data to help set school goals. 

How can you use it? Consider whether detailed qualitative feedback like this would be useful to school leaders in your district.

#4: Sample School Operational Plan

What is this? This plan includes a principal’s goals for school improvement in the coming year and a list of strategies for achieving those goals.

How can you use it? Use as an example for how principals might translate zone-wide or district-wide goals into specific actions at their schools.

#5: School Planning Timeline Overview

What is this? SEZP leaders summarized the changes to principals' annual school planning timeline and described the updated process for goal setting, staffing, scheduling, and budgeting. 

How can you use it? Compare to the stages of the school planning process in your district; consider whether organizing stages differently could help principals better set goals and monitor progress.

#6: Sample Teacher Working Conditions (See Page 4)

What is this? Teacher working conditions, including the length of the school day and year, approved by the school’s teacher leadership team.

How can you use it? Use as an example for how teacher teams and principals might design teachers’ days to help meet school goals.


Provide school leadership teams with the data and tools needed to consider various school design options and optimize decision-making processes.


Explore all case studies in the District at Work series

About This Series

The Districts at Work series of case studies shares specific examples of districts around the country that struggle with the same challenges as many urban systems—but are taking new approaches to school support and seeing exciting results.

Explore the Series

Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership Artifacts
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