Empower Schools prepared a case study last year about Lawrence Public Schools and their Open Architecture approach. One of the exciting things about the work happening there is that it resulted strong student gains in the first year and continues to show improvements for students.
Education Resource Strategies has just released their own interpretation of the reforms in Lawrence and how they are benefitting students. The Back from the Brink case study identifies many elements of the Open Systems model as key to maintaining and advancing the gains in Lawrence schools over the past three years. For example, continuing to invest in teachers with quality professional development and meaningful growth opportunities, as well as by recruiting strong new teachers, ensures that there is a wealth of human capital in the district. Adding time to the school day, lengthening the school year, and restructuring how people, time, and technology are allocated allows for a greater range of student needs to be met.
In Lawrence, using a flexible framework like Open Systems that allows for school leaders to make decisions based on their unique needs is allowing individual students to thrive. For more perspectives from students, teachers, and administrators about the improvements in Lawrence Public Schools over the past few years, read this article in Education Week.