School Autonomy In Action: A Case Study of Two Massachusetts Innovation Schools

May 2018

High student growth scores. Low teacher turnover. Positive school climate. Strong community participation. The winners of the 2017 Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools—the Winter Hill Community Innovation School in Somerville, MA and the Paul Revere Innovation School in Revere, MA—excel in attending to the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of all students in the richly diverse communities they serve.

Leveraging autonomy to strengthen teacher collaboration and community engagement, these two Massachusetts innovation schools created powerful, child-centered learning environments. With staff united by a relentless focus on supporting the whole child, the Winter Hill and the Paul Revere underwent rapid school improvement by supporting students’ social, emotional, and intellectual needs. Working in collaboration with The Boston Foundation, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy produced this case study to describe the key practices the Winter Hill and Paul Revere schools used to meet student learning needs and the influence school-based decision-making can have on accelerating school improvement.

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