The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (SEZP) board met for the first time on Tuesday, February 10, reflecting an innovative governance structure that will allow for greater flexibilities and supports for the eight participating middle schools. More background on the SEZP is available here, along with more details here about the meeting itself. The Zone structure will provide new opportunities for individual school leaders to craft and implement turnaround strategies that have the potential to vastly improve outcomes for students.
Building on the successes they have had to date, educators and partners in Springfield will continue to drive student achievement on a daily basis and work with proven national partners to support their efforts, including a long-standing partnership with Achievement Network (see page 15). Teach for America launched recruitment efforts for a Western Massachusetts corps last fall. Leaders of the Zone and schools that are a part of it are building on the existing foundation by collaborating with highly-experienced and proven organizations such as TNTP and National Center on Time and Learning (NCTL). Over the next few months, experienced school leaders in Springfield will strategize specific activities to ensure all eight middle schools are prepared to offer their students an enhanced educational experience this fall.
With an unprecedented governance structure, support from the Springfield Education Association and the Springfield School Committee, exciting local and national partners, and conditions that empower educators to make the best decisions for their students, Springfield educators in the Zone may prove to be an example for other districts across the Commonwealth.