Innovation Zones

Innovation Zones

SRSN organizes Innovation Zones to support the work of moving to a competency-based learning (CBL) system. The Innovation Zones provide a space where public school educators, partners and stakeholders engage in high quality professional learning. That learning is used locally to support school improvement efforts, and statewide to inform system design.

Participants in the 2022-2023 Innovation Zones will be guided by the study of three essential questions:

  1. What do students at all levels need to be empowered in their learning so they can develop understanding of the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workforce ready?

  2. What professional learning is foundational to designing and implementing a personalized, competency-based assessment for learning system (inclusive of federally mandated state assessments) that ensures students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career, and workplace ready?

  3. How can assessment for learning approaches be used to inform system improvement and creation of reimagined assessment and accreditation systems that support every student in being high school, college, career and workplace ready?

By design, the levels of System Design and and Innovative Learning Design Zones are intended to meet participants where they are in their journey, supporting them with high quality professional learning and a network of partners. It is important districts apply for the level they feel best aligns with their current reality.

The 2022-2023 school year is the start of the Success-Ready Students Network and the Innovation Zones. The goal is to expand membership through 2026-2027. The Innovation Zones Timeline lays out the sequence of professional learning events and other important dates. We encourage all districts, regardless of participation, to pay close attention to this important work.

System Design Zone

System Design Zone (SDZ)

This zone is for leading CBL districts (representative of the state) who desire to collaborate to improve local practice through professional learning and collectively support designing up a reimagined assessment for learning system (2022-2023) and an accreditation system (2023-2024). SDZ participants will also engage in study and research to deepen understanding of CBL practices and collaborate on state and federal waiver requests. Applications are due September 9, 2022, with superintendent notification of selection occurring by September 15, 2022. This zone will need to have a board resolution supporting this work, but this will be submitted after receiving notification of being selected.

Evidence of Practice

Districts wishing to participate in SDZ should have evidence the following practices are in place or are under construction in their system:

  • Use of competency-based learning (CBL) practices.

  • Use of data to inform system change and improvement.

  • Use of assessment for learning practices (especially formative, summative, interim assessments that demonstrate student growth).

  • Professional learning that supports implementation of CBL, including current or desired future use of real world learning opportunities for students done in collaboration with identified partners (e.g. businesses, industry, entrepreneurial opportunities, etc).

Commitments

Districts in the System Design Zone commit to the following:

  • Sharing examples of how a competency-based mind-set is used to create personalized learning experiences, digital (e.g. text, video, etc) examples of which can be used for professional learning by other districts.

  • Creating real world learning opportunities for students in collaboration with identified partners (e.g. businesses, industry, entrepreneurial opportunities, higher ed. etc.).

  • Participating fully in regularly scheduled meetings (e.g. virtual, hybrid).

  • Engaging in study and research (within approved and secure protocols) which inform instructional practice and system design that help identify important qualities of an assessment for learning and reimagined accreditation system.

  • Supporting development of and considering participation in group designed waiver request(s) to DESE (e.g MSIP 6, federal) that identify solutions to barriers currently impeding the goal of every student mastering the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workplace ready.

  • Using learning from the SDZ to support DESE in design work leading to creation of reimagined assessment and accreditation systems.

  • Serving as a site visit location for other Missouri educators and stakeholders.

Participating districts will be asked to secure from their Board of Education a resolution supporting participation in the System Design Zone. Ideally districts will pass this Board Resolution by Oct. 11th, but no later than Oct. 30. Sample resolutions:

Districts who believe they meet System Design Zone (SDZ) qualifications and can make the required commitments are encouraged to apply. Districts who apply for the (SDZ) but are not selected are automatically accepted into the Innovative Learning Design Zone (ILDZ).

Innovative Learning Design Zone

Innovative Learning Design Zone (ILDZ)

This zone is for emerging CBL districts, schools and/or teachers who have demonstrated application of competency-based learning (CBL) principles and who wish to join in professional learning with the SDZ. Applications are due September 16, 2022, with superintendent notification of selection occurring by September 23, 2022. Superintendent approval is required for participation in this zone.

Commitments

Districts, schools or teachers selected to participate in the Innovative Learning Design Zone (ILDZ) commit to the following:

  • Demonstrate a desire to grow in the use of competency-based learning (CBL) practices.

  • Engage in monthly statewide professional learning.

  • Support professional learning design and development of CBL related training materials as appropriate for use locally and/or statewide.

  • Support improvements in curriculum and assessment design.

  • Engage local stakeholder groups in using a CBL mind-set to support high school, college, career and workplace readiness.

  • Prepare for engagement in a future System Design Zone cohort.

  • Submission of an application serves as agreement to commit. In addition, a signed letter of support from the Superintendent is required.

It is anticipated that participating ILDZ districts will grow to the point where they are ready to participate in future SDZ cohorts.

Collaborative Network Zone

Collaborative Network Zone (CNZ)

The Collaborative Network Zone (CNZ) is a space designed to foster collaboration and coordination among state and regional educational organizations, including institutions of higher education, to design a personalized professional learning system for educators working both in the System Design Zone and the Innovative Learning Design Zone. The Collaborative Network Zone supports development of a statewide professional learning model that helps all educators effectively implement personalized competency-based learning (CBL) for the students they serve. Business leaders are also encouraged to support the work of the Innovation Zones by serving as experts on essential employability skills needed by students and helping educators make connections to Real World Learning opportunities.

Commitments

  • Demonstrate a desire to grow in the use of competency-based learning (CBL) practices.

  • Engage in monthly statewide professional learning.

  • Support state-wide and regional efforts to collaboratively create aligned structures and processes that support a competency-based learning mind-set. As one example, higher education institutions work together to ensure all preservice, new teachers and veteran educators have access to a continuum of quality professional learning.

  • Submission of an application serves as agreement to commit.

Application

The application process is designed to help public K-12, K-8 and charter school districts reflect on where they are in their journey of creating personalized, competency-based learning experiences that support every student in developing the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workplace ready. Please note that perfection is not the goal; rather, a realistic self assessment of where your school district’s system is at this point in time in relation to reasonable system-wide implementation of the components.

Applications for the SDZ and the ILDZ will be reviewed by the facilitation team. A member of the facilitation team may contact an applicant if additional information or clarification is needed.

Click the button to access the application that best suits your organization.