Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Innovation Zone

 MNPS iZone News Release

Three pilot schools in the “iZone” will use the Opportunity Culture school models designed to reach more students with excellent teachers, for more pay, within regular budgets. The schools aim to reach at least 80 percent of students with excellent teachers in charge of their learning.

In Tennessee, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) created the “iZone” in the summer of 2011 to turn around low-performing schools by engaging in strategic redesign. The zone uses staff development, team leadership and collaboration, innovative programs and additional resources to develop diverse and personalized instructional programs, as well as providing a network of other services such as health and social services.

Public Impact is providing intensive design and implementation assistance to three iZone schools, which will implement new design models that extend their excellent teachers’ reach no later than fall 2013. Funding for Public Impact’s work with MNPS comes from federal School Improvement Grant funds provided to MNPS.

All three schools—Buena Vista Elementary, Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary and Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School—will implement the Multi-Classroom Leadership model. Under this model, an excellent teacher reaches more students with excellence by both teaching and leading a team of teachers who use the leader’s methods and tools. Accountable for the learning results of all the students in the “pod,” the teacher-leader earns more—through regular funding, not temporary grants.

The three schools may incorporate other models as well, such as Time-Technology Swaps, in which students learn basic material online for as little as an hour a day, giving the excellent teacher time to reach more students with personalized and higher-order learning, as well as to plan and collaborate with other teachers. All together, these schools intend to reach more than 1,400 students with excellent teaching. MNPS is exploring ways to expand this work substantially beyond the Innovation Zone schools.

Read the press release announcing MNPS iZone as an Opportunity Culture site.

Learn more about becoming a site in the Opportunity Culture initiative.