Empower Schools partnership model

Supported by Empower Schools, districts create empowered zones within their boundaries for some schools to have autonomy in budget, staffing, scheduling, curriculum, and culture. Many of these teams become teacher-powered schools, sharing the autonomy amongst the collective teams. These zones are managed by a Partnership Team rather than the district office and are accountable to a community-led board. The board acts as an advisory council.

Schools with this arrangement

Van Sickle Academy

VSA is a small learning community focused on rigorous core instruction and personalized learning intervention for students in grades 6-8. It embraces the tenets of personal growth, academic success, and character development.

Springfield Realization Academy

One of just two dual language middle schools in the state, Realization Academy centers on bilingualism, biculturalism, and biliteracy in Spanish and English.Staffed by a majority of bilingual educators — several of whom are from Columbia and Spain — the school provides an enriching learning environment, enhanced by technology integration and the infusion of 21st-century learning skills. It was established …

Springfield Legacy Academy

One of just two dual language middle schools in the state, Legacy Academy centers on bilingualism, biculturalism, and biliteracy in Spanish and English.Staffed by over 60% bilingual educators — several of whom are from Argentina, Columbia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Spain — the school implements the only public school sports education model in Massachusetts, built on the framework of the Fugees …

Springfield Honors Academy

With a mission to prepare students for graduation from competitive four-year colleges, SHA graduated its first class in 2020. It focuses on developing the intellectual curiosity and emotional maturity of its students, strategically supporting them in their quest for becoming their best selves.

Rise Academy and Rise Prep

Rise Academy Middle School provides all students access to a high-quality, rigorous curriculum. The school focuses on supporting accelerated growth for students through high expectations for teaching, learning, and behavior. Partnership with families is a cornerstone of the Rise community, which learns in a joyful, inclusive environment. Rise Prep High School provides a career and college prep experience with high …

Kiley Prep

Redesigned in 2019 as part of a small school initiative, Kiley Prep promotes authentic learning focused on three dimensions of success: mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work.Robust and deep community partnerships extend the school day and year for students.

John F. Kennedy Middle School

The Kennedy Habits of Scholarship — respect, responsibility, quality, and perseverance — guide interactions for all Kennedy students and staff, and help to form positive relationships and school culture. The school introduced new leadership and design in 2019.

Impact Prep

Impact Prep ensures equitable instruction for all learners, grounded in rigorous, standards-aligned curriculum; robust access to personalized intervention; and a one-of-a-kind restorative practices approach, which replaces the traditional punitive system with one focused on repairing any harm done to oneself and the community. Its values of respect, empowerment, accountability, and interconnectedness make Impact a safe place for all community members …

High School of Commerce

Through its unique “pathways” program, Commerce prepares scholars for careers in the fields of Information Technology (IT), Health and Human Services, and Engineering. “College is not an option” is the motto that ensures ALL Commerce scholars will graduate with 1 or more college classes. In addition, scholars can earn up to an Associate Degree – at no cost. The unique …

Forest Park Middle School

Redesigned in 2021 to create a smaller, more personalized learning experience for students in grades 6-8, Forest Park fosters an environment where students can be focused, prepared, motivated, and safe. Beyond the school day and year, Forest Park offers engaging co-curricular opportunities for students to expand their learning.

Emergence Academy

Designed for students with interrupted formal education who are new to the U.S., Emergence opened in 2021 and is SEZP’s most rapidly growing school. By celebrating and growing the individual and collective strengths of its students — and rooting its program in anti-racism, equity, and liberation — Emergence accelerates students’ English language development as well as their academic, social, and …

Duggan Academy

Duggan Academy is an Expeditionary Learning community dedicated to upholding high academic expectations through authentic learning experiences. Its students, grades 6-12, attain academic success and demonstrate exemplary character. Duggan Middle School provides two hours per week of embedded enrichment with community partners as well as robust varsity and junior varsity athletic programs. Duggan High School offers a variety of internships, …

Chestnut TAG Middle School

The selective Chestnut TAG provides a rigorous, standards-based instructional program that accelerates all students’ learning. TAG values the importance of equity through a culturally responsive curriculum that affirms all aspects of student and staff identities.Students must meet entrance criteria and provide recommendations for admission.

Discovery High School

Through its distinct wall-to-wall early college model, Discovery provides students the opportunity to live out their college, career, and wage potential in the region. In partnership with Worcester State University, Quinsigamond Community College, Holyoke Community College, and Westfield State University, students can earn at least three-to-six college credits per semester, beginning in their freshman year — and they can choose …

Academy at Kiley

Established in 2019 as part of a small school initiative, The Academy at Kiley is home to a community of learners in grades 6-8. It provides a rigorous academic program that fosters character-building, inquiry, reflection, and a mastery of learning. Beyond the school day, Kiley offers a variety of clubs, activities, and sports for students to expand their learning.