Mass IDEAS hosts its first School Model Design Studio

Mass IDEAS was excited to host seven incredible school design teams from across Massachusetts for our first ever School Model Design Studio in Sturbridge in July. The Studio is a three-day intensive hands-on working session for teams that want help to create innovative school models either through whole-school redesign or new school design. Our seven teams were:

  • Education Resources Consortium

  • Mahar Regional School (previous SDI participant)

  • McCormack Middle School (previous SDI participant)

  • Puzzle School

  • TNTP

  • Uncommon

  • Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project

Over our three days together, each team deepened and refined its thinking around such aspects of school as the student experience, the adult experience, and school culture with the support of a dedicated and experienced coach to offer guidance and expertise. Coaches were selected from across the country based on their proven records of innovative school design work and success, and represent such organizations as Map Academy Charter School in Plymouth, New Tech Network in California, and Chicago’s LEAP Innovations and Belmont-Cragin School. School design teams were matched with coaches whose background and experience aligned with their specific vision in order to maximize the impact of these incredible partnerships.  

Each team’s vision was tailored to address the needs of their unique school community as expressed by actual stakeholders in pre-work conducted by the team, and designed to meet the needs of all students, especially those who have been underserved or underrepresented by traditional school models. Some teams utilized the School Model Design Studio to prepare for Mass IDEAS’ planning grant opportunity, a competitive grant of up to $150,000 along with which teams from across the Commonwealth will be supported for more than a year with ongoing coaching, professional development, and a professional learning community while they fully plan their whole-school redesigned or new school models.

The result was a tapestry of unique ideas and innovative approaches to schooling across Massachusetts and a collaborative cohort of teams positioned to continue the work and the network they’d formed after the Studio concluded. Mass IDEAS congratulates these teams for their vision and dedication to the students of Massachusetts and offers our appreciation to the Barr and Nellie Mae Education Foundations for the funding that made the School Model Design Studio possible. We are pleased to support all seven teams in their efforts to create positive change across Massachusetts schools!   

Liza Veto