New Schools Strategy

Creating new schools or phasing out failing schools with ones better suited to serve the community can be a critical step toward improving school options for a community. In addition to our Charter Leadership Fellowship Program (Link to Charter Leader Fellowship), School Empowerment Network works with districts to create new schools built to succeed both in the short and long term by:

  • Consulting with leadership on the best model to implement including turnaround schools, new small schools, or small learning communities within an existing school
  • Building foundational pieces of infrastructure for the new schools including consultation on school assessments and governance
  • Establishing the four core work streams critical to new schools: recruitment and selection, preparation and development of new leaders, community engagement, and on-going support of new schools
  • Increasing the capacity of district leadership to eventually oversee the new schools


Leadership and Design Institutes

School Empowerment Network partners with schools and districts to create and maintain internal leadership and design programs. Such institutes help school districts and charter networks train its educators to establish effective school models. We do this by:

  • Recruiting and training potential institute participants from outside and inside of the district
  • Working with selected leaders to develop the personal leadership skills that research shows is instrumental in school turnaround work
  • Providing ongoing support to ensure reset plans are being implemented effectively  

Turnaround Teams

School leaders are positioned for stronger impact when they have aligned teams to help them drive the work. Turnaround teams enable principals to distribute leadership, generate greater buy-in for new initiatives and provide frequent and consistent feedback to teachers. SEN works with partners to create turnaround teams by:

  • Consulting with district and school leaders on policy and structures to enable team turnaround efforts
  • Recruiting educators to join turnaround teams 
  • Training team members in change management, team dynamics, and classroom, school culture, and instructional leadership best practices

Career Ladders

The establishment of career ladders is vital in resetting struggling schools and districts. They attract, recognize and reward effective and ambitious teachers by creating clear paths toward leadership roles such as lead teachers or deans. 

SEN works with partners to establish and sustain an effective career ladder by:

  • Consulting with district and network leaders on the design of structure and policies to support it
  • Training teachers in classroom and instructional leadership best practices
  • Providing individual, on-site coaching to teacher leaders