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What is SRSN?

The Success-Ready Students Network (SRSN) is a collaborative initiative that connects the Missouri public school community.

The SRSN’s goal is to build the capacity of these stakeholders to understand and use a competency-based mind-set to personalize learning in ways that ensure every student has the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workplace ready.

The SRSN equips classroom, school and district systems to put students at the center in using a competency-based mindset to design and build personalized learning experiences.

Scope of the Work

Five areas of focus create a system of local, state and federal supports that help students master the knowledge, skills and dispositions foundational to being high school, college, career and workplace ready.


The SRSN collaborates with the Missouri Department of Education to engage stakeholders in the following action-based learning activities:

  • Supporting redesigning and building reimagined assessment and accreditation systems.

  • Convening Innovation Zones.

  • Engaging the business community to support business to education partnerships (B2E) including creation of a B2E Blue Ribbon Commission of business leaders to energize CBL and real world learning opportunities for all Missouri public school students.

  • Establishing a Steering Committee to develop and recommend policy changes based on study and research from the Innovation Zones and B2E Blue Ribbon Commission.

How it Started

Success-Ready Students Work Group

In January 2022 Missouri Commissioner of Education Dr. Margie Vandeven formed the Success-Ready Students Work Group (SRSWG). In an introductory letter about the work group, Commissioner Vandeeven shared the following:

"As we work together to recover from the pandemic and the challenges it has presented for our schools, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine and reshape our education system in ways that provide better access to educational opportunities for all children. With this mission in mind, the Missouri State Board of Education tasked the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with exploring alternatives that replace the traditional time-based educational system with a competency-based system."

The creation of the work group was supported by the Missouri School Board Association, Missouri Association of School Administrators, Education Plus, Greater Ozark Cooperating School Districts, and Greater Kansas City Cooperating School Districts. These organizations, along with other statewide entities, helped recruit members from various stakeholder groups, including: students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, business persons and higher education. Care was taken to ensure that work group membership represented all eight DESE supervisory regions.

5 Essential Questions

The SRSWG work was guided by five essential questions:

  1. What is competency-based learning?

  2. What strategies, including professional development, are needed to support implementation of competency-based learning?

  3. What are barriers to competency based learning that need to be addressed locally and statewide with policy and practice?

  4. How can the assessment system (including MAP) be redesigned to support student mastery of priority standards ensuring high school, college, career, and workplace readiness and meets federal requirements?

  5. What is the framework and approval process for districts to voluntarily customize MSIP 6 requirements in order to implement CBL practices, including assessment evidence.

Study Phase

The study phase engaged work group participants in understanding learning gleaned from a decade of Missouri studies and reports that addressed topics contained in the essential questions. Significant time was also spent gaining a national perspective for competency-based learning as well as insights about work well underway in Missouri at the local, regional and state levels to implement innovative assessment and learning designs that support students being high school, college, career and workplace ready.

Planning Phase

The planning phase focused on using learning from the study phase to plan a course of action. Working from a systems thinking mind-set, the SRSWG identified five recommendations to support implementation of the CBL framework. These five recommendations with action steps connect by design to build a learning system intended to support every student in having the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workplace ready. They emphasize intentional collaboration across stakeholder groups and utilization of a strengths-based approach to inform changes in policy and practice that support competency-based learning design at the local, regional and state levels.

Resulting Recommendations

These recommendations recognize and build on the excellence in public education evidenced across the state.

#1 Develop policy that supports competency-based learning.

#2A Design/build a competency-based assessment for learning system (inclusive of federal requirements) that supports students developing the knowledge, skills and dispositions that support students being high school, college, career and workforce ready. (2022-2023)

#2B Design/build a reimagined accreditation system that supports students being success-ready.

#3 Launch Innovation Zone Cohort 1 in 2022-2023.

#4 Expand capacity for Missouri school districts to engage students in Business-to-Education (B2E) opportunities.

#5 In all engagement processes, model best practices in stakeholder engagement and effective communication.

Formation of SRSN

The 2022-2023 school year was the start of the Success-Ready Students Network and the Innovation Zones. The goal is to expand membership through 2026-2027. We encourage all districts, regardless of participation, to pay close attention to this important work.

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