Matchbook Learning, a nonprofit charter school organization that specializes in school turnarounds, will be launching its groundbreaking Matchbook Accelerator in a new initiative with Orr Elementary School in Washington, DC.
Funded by a $50,000 initial grant from the CityBridge Foundation, which has the potential to grow to as much as $250,000, this partnership will build the capacity of Orr’s leadership and staff to create a new type of personalized learning environment with blended formats, using Matchbook’s Spark technology platform and training tools, which have been developed and refined in schools Matchbook has directly operated.
Similar to private sector accelerators, Orr’s principal will go through a six-month leadership intensive that will be offered on site at Orr and virtually with Matchbook’s Schools in Detroit, MI and in Newark, NJ.
The Matchbook Accelerator will be a unique approach in the education industry that ties leadership outcomes to return on investment for funders like CityBridge. As Orr builds its capacity to spread leadership acumen throughout its organization, the work with Matchbook will serve as a model for other funders, schools and districts to emulate.
CityBridge Executive Director Mieka Wick said: “As one of the early D.C. Public Schools to participate in CityBridge’s education innovation programs, Orr Elementary School continues to be a powerful example of how a commitment to innovation and school redesign can transform schools and communities. We are thrilled that Orr will be partnering with Matchbook Learning’s Accelerator as part of Breakthrough Schools: D.C. in order to build sustainable, scalable turnaround solutions for public schools.”
Matchbook Learning’s CEO, Sajan George, commented that: “The Matchbook Accelerator addresses a national imperative – building leadership and helping those leaders build teaching capacity for breakthrough student results and school turnarounds.”
The Matchbook Accelerator program is built around the Baldridge Badge concept, where Principal Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King and her team at Orr will receive “Badges” as certification of their performance in such areas as Leadership, Strategy, Customer Focus, Knowledge Management, Human Resources, Process and Results.
Dr. Jackson-King will complete portions of the badges in the six-month leadership intensive, and then complete further work in the following months to earn additional milestone funding from Citybridge. In addition to the leadership intensive, Dr. Jackson-King’s team will continue coaching sessions with Matchbook in the following year and be connected to Matchbook Learning’s SPARK platform community of turnaround cohorts in the years ahead to deepen the work.
Dr. Jackson-King commented, “First and foremost Matchbook is very authentic about equity and excellence and the challenges of getting there in the turnaround space. I look forward to this collaboration, because I know we’ll be designing the future of learning together and building great leaders to do the work in the process.”
Matchbook Learning’s Chief Design Officer Dr. Bryan Setser added: “Our process is unusual in that it focuses specifically on developing and building the entire leadership team’s capacity in personalized, blended and competency based badges. By anchoring our work in the Baldrige criteria, we’re offering pipeline development locally and via a model that can be sustained and scaled district wide or regionally through other configurations like a RESA or BOCE. If we are serious about impact at scale in this country, the Matchbook Accelerator can develop capacity rapidly for those organizations seeking to ensure a strong leadership pipeline for years to come.”
For additional details on the Accelerator, visit Matchbook’s website here and also sign up for the listserv on the accelerator process here. In addition, you can go to the summer design bootcamp page to fill out an initial screening protocol for Matchbook to reach out to your team.
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