Case Study: District Turnaround


When Southbridge Public Schools was identified as one of the state’s lowest-performing school districts, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided a state-assigned plan manager from SchoolWorks to build the district leadership’s capacity to meet the goals of the accelerated improvement plan (AIP).

The Challenge
  • Create a data-driven culture to monitor student achievement
  • Provide high-quality professional development to improve instruction
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Work with district leadership to establish measurable benchmarks and outcomes to monitor and assess progress
  • Help the district design a template to display assessment and observation data to inform planning at the classroom, school and district levels
  • Work with district leadership to refocus administrative team meetings to make them more collaborative and employ protocols to improve communication
  • Provide professional development to school leaders, calibrating their collective understanding of the new expectations and strengthening their ability to provide specific and timely feedback to teachers
  • Establish procedures to effectively focus common planning time on the continuous improvement of instruction
  • Conduct co-observations with principals to support them and ensure fidelity of implementation
The Results
  • Regular classroom visits by administration revealed improved communication and a keen district focus on AIP objectives
Dates: 2012-2014


"People began to realize that an individual school within a district can’t sustain their turnaround efforts alone. The district plays a crucial role in providing stability and aligning efficient process and procedures among schools."
- SchoolWorks Project Manager


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