Transformation Zone Program
The Transformation Zone Program is to assist districts and other local educational leaders to plan and design a Transformation Zone. Transformation Zones group multiple campuses that are low-performing together, provide these campuses with autonomy over people, time, money, and academic programs, and utilize a range of interventions or actions to transform the campuses. These interventions could include, but are not limited to, partnering with an open-enrollment charter school to operate a campus or campuses, redesigning the school in partnership with a design partner, or other similar efforts.
To support local educational agencies (LEAs) in developing Transformation Zones, the Division of System Support and Innovation is creating new competitive grant opportunities.
2018 -2019 Transformation Zone Planning Grant
It is anticipated that in January 2018 approximately eight planning grants will be awarded in amounts from $250,000 to $450,000. Of the approximately eight grants, at least four will be awarded to applicants that clearly articulates an intent and provides evidence that they intend to design a zone that includes partnerships with high quality charter management organizations (s) to operate at least one campus in the zone. At least one grant will be awarded to an applicant that clearly articulates an intent to and provides evidence that they intend to design a zone that includes a focus on teacher evaluation, development, and compensation strategies to ensure that high quality principals and teachers work in the zone. Following this planning grant program, it is anticipated that approximately five implementation grants of significantly more resources will be awarded.
Eligibility: TEA will seek applications from the following districts, which include:
- LEAs that have two or more campuses identified as a 2017 - 2018 Title I priority schools and one or more campuses identified as a 2017 - 2018 Title I focus schools; or
- independent school districts classified as "rural" for the 2015-2016 school year with two or more campuses identified as a 2017 - 2018 Title I priority or a 2017 - 2018 Title I focus school.
- For a list of eligible districts, use this webpage: Click Here
The entitlement of other school improvement grants may terminate as of the date of award of the 2018 - 2019 Transformation Zone Planning Grant, for any campuses selected for funding from this competition.
Approved Zone Design Planning Partners
Planning grant recipients will be matched, by TEA, to an approved Transformation Zone Design Partner.
The list of approved Zone Design Partners is below. Districts are free to reach out to Zone Design Partners, though they should refrain from naming a specific Zone Design Partner in their application. TEA will, upon awarding of grants, work to match grant recipients with Zone Design Partners.
- Empower Schools Inc.
- Kitamba Inc.
- Mass Insight Education
- Safal Partners
- School Empowerment Network, Inc.
- UVA - Partnership for Leaders in Education
The Zone Design Partner will support the grant recipient to:
- Identify the specific campuses to be included in the TZ and conduct an evaluation or analysis of those campuses and the needs of the neighborhoods they serve.
- Determine the governance structure of the zone. The plan will articulate if the zone will be governed by the LEA or by a third-party governance structure.
- Identify the ways in which the campuses in the TX can be ensured significant autonomy over people, academic and cultural programs, resources, and time.
- Develop a dedicated Zone Management or support structure that clearly articulates the role of zone support and leadership teams, clarifies the relationship between the zone team and other LEA organizational structures, and ensures a regular process of evaluating progress and making necessary adjustments to zone strategy and tactics.
- Develop a strategy that clearly articulates the actions during the next three years that will be taken to support, improve, or transform campuses in the zone. This strategy could include actions such as:
- Identifying and partnering with high quality charter management organizations to operate campuses in the zone.
- Identifying and matching campuses in the zone, in partnership with external organizations that specialize in school design, to provide a better set of education options.
- Redesigning the campuses in the zone, in partnership with external organizations that specialize in school design, to provide a better set of educational options.
- Developing a method of ensuring the highest quality teachers and leaders work in the campuses in the zone.
- Other locally developed and evidence based strategies.
- Develop a clear strategy to ensure that the zone has a dedicated talent pipeline strategy for campus leaders and teachers.
- Set clear and ambitious goals for student success, including metrics described in the Performance Measures section that are shared publicly with and supported by community stakeholders.
Transformation Zone Program Overview Webinar:
Additional information about the Transformation Zone Program is presented in this recorded webinar. The webinar is led by Division of System Support and Innovation Director Joe Siedlecki and includes an introduction to the theory of action for this work and the parameters involved in a Transformation Zone. Also included as presenters are LEA leaders from around the country who are leading zones in their communities.
A second webinar about the Transformation Zone Program is also provided. The webinar is led by Division of System Support and Innovation Director Joe Siedlecki and includes an overview on the program guidelines and expectations for the Transformation Zone.