The decision to become a member of the League of Innovative Schools is made by the participating schools—membership is entirely voluntary.
Before joining, interested schools will be asked to carefully review the vision, mission, and goals of the New England Secondary School Consortium and to make a commitment to completing a Global Best Practices self-assessment process. Once a school becomes a member, the Consortium will ask for a formal letter of commitment signed by the district superintendent, principal, leadership team, and school board chair. When the letter is received, full member status is granted whether the school has been engaged in an improvement program for years or is just beginning the process.
Member schools already engaged in a preexisting school-improvement process supported by grant funding, state programs, or other means will make the same commitment as other member schools while also continuing to fulfill any preexisting obligations.
The League of Innovative Schools believes in educator-driven improvement, research-based best practices, and professional self-accountability that is ground in shared commitment and ongoing collaboration.
Benefits of membership include:
- Participation in a regional professional learning community designed to harness the talents, expertise, and resources of secondary schools and educators across five states.
- Assistance coordinating and scheduling site visits to other schools to learn about innovative programs and improvement work.
- Regularly scheduled professional dialogue and support sessions with colleagues in other member schools.
- Professional development opportunities organized by individual schools, participating programs, and the Consortium, including conferences, workshops, and webinars.
- Funding, school coaching, leadership training, and other support opportunities as resources and capacity allow. (*NOTE: The New England Secondary School Consortium is currently seeking funding to support the activities of the League of Innovative Schools, and new benefits will be announced to members as resources become available. Available support may vary by state or community. As a goal-driven initiative, the Consortium encourages schools to join because they want to improve and collaborate with colleagues—not because they are in search of funding.)
After joining the League, participating principals and leadership teams will coordinate the membership activities described below:
- Conduct a self-assessment using Global Best Practices: Rather than give school leaders and teachers a simple list of recommended improvement strategies, Global Best Practices is a practical, step-by-step process that schools can use to assess their relative performance in key areas and shape their school-improvement plans based on clearly identified needs. The self-assessment process is designed to include teachers, school administrators, superintendents, school boards, parents, and other members of a school community. A Global Best Practices self-assessment will typically be conducted during the initial year of membership to identify strengths and potential areas for improvement. Click HERE to download the tool, a summary of background research, and a facilitator’s guide.
- Develop or refine an action plan: The League will help schools create effective action plans, establish school-improvement goals, and identify research-based strategies. Participating schools will also support one another as an extension of membership.
- Participate in League opportunities and professional development: Member schools will be able to participate in state-supported professional development opportunities, regional programs conducted by the New England Secondary School Consortium, and other local and regional learning experiences provided by League schools and partners. Efforts will be made to design these activities in response to the specific needs of member schools.
- Host and participate in school visits: Member schools will participate in school visits to further their own learning and support the work of other League members. The League will ask schools to conduct at least one site visit during the first two years of membership, although interested schools can schedule additional visits at any time. While participating schools may not be called upon to host a visiting team each year, members will agree to host at least one site visit annually. The Consortium will help schools identify suitable matches and provide sample agendas, norms, and facilitation protocols for use in planning and structuring the site visits.
- Contribute to action research: The League promotes evidence-based school improvement. The Consortium will provide resources to facilitate the collection and analysis of data, and may ask schools to share information and insights about their work. Participating schools may also be asked to participate in annual surveys, interviews, or case-study research focused on capturing innovative practices.