System of Great Schools
We help districts understand and deliver the schools their families want and need.
What is the System of Great Schools?
The Strategy: A System of Great Schools (SGS) Strategy is a district-level problem solving approach that:
- seeks to understand school performance and community demands and use that information to make decisions about expanding what works, replacing what doesn’t, and pursuing all possible options to create high-quality, best fit schools;
- requires systematic thinking and willingness to pursue all possible options, regardless of governance type, to create the set of school options that families want and deserve;
- empowers educators to design and lead campuses or networks of campuses around coherent, specialized school models; and
- empowers families to make choices that best fit the needs of their children.
The Network: Texas school districts who join the SGS Network participate in a 4-year program that provides district leaders with technical assistance, professional learning communities, and support in applying for grants and other financial resources. Eighteen districts, enrolling over 500,000 students, have participated in the SGS network since its establishment in 2017. These districts are united by the commitment to ensure every student has access to a high quality, best fit school. The first districts to join the SGS Network have increased the number of A- and B-rated campuses by 47 percent, and reduced the number of D- and F-rated campuses by 34 percent since joining the network. At the same time, 77 percent of districts have planned or executed bold School Actions designed to dramatically improve access to high quality schools.
What do SGS Network Districts do? Districts who join the SGS Network implement the SGS Strategy by:
- setting the right goal of providing all students access to a high-quality school that best fits their educational goals and individual needs;
- conducting an annual portfolio planning process that analyzes school performance, community needs, and parent feedback to inform action plans for all schools;
- taking bold action to expand great options by executing at least one School Action per year, which consists of creating a new school, restarting a low-performing school, or reassigning students to a higher performing school;
- empowering families by helping parents understand their child’s options, enroll in their desired program, and overcome logistical barriers to attendance; and
- creating organizational structures to drive new policies and practices that accelerate the success and sustainability of the System of Great Schools theory of action.
Executive Advisor (EA) firms guide SGS Districts in understanding, planning, and implementing the SGS strategy. The list of approved EA firms is available here.
A Call for Quality Schools refers to two things: a document that annually outlines the school needs of a district and a rigorous evaluation process for new school applications. A high-quality Call will clearly state the needs of the district and be open to all partner-managed and district-run applicants. The following districts have ongoing Calls: