In 2014, the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (SEZP) was created to turn around nine persistently low-performing middle schools. Principals were given autonomy over school design—but this autonomy wasn't enough without the information and support they needed to make the best decisions for their students.
The SEZP team collaborated with principals to strategically design an integrated system of supports, tools, and processes that armed principals with the information and guidance they needed to use their flexibilities to best support their teachers, students, and school communities.
Four years later, SEZP schools have dramatically improved school designs and instructional models. Student learning indicators are positive: Three schools increased their state percentile rank for student growth in ELA by 10 or more percentage points, and four schools have accomplished this same feat in math.
Access tangible materials—such as templates and tools—that leaders in Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership used to improve principal support.
Click the links below to explore other case studies in the Districts at Work series that accompany Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership: Empowering Principals to Successfully Lead School Turnaround by either audience role or by topic.
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School districts across the country struggle with systemic challenges, such as increasingly rigorous academic standards, more varied student needs, and persistent achievement gaps. The Districts at Work series of case studies shares specific examples from districts that are taking a new approach to these types of systemic challenges—and seeing exciting results.