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Impact Florida, school superintendents launch ‘Districts for Impact’

The initiative will help school districts statewide share best practices

Education nonprofit Impact Florida and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents are launching an initiative that will help educators across the state to share instructional practice ideas with each other.

“When we launched Impact Florida earlier this year, one of our primary goals was to design opportunities for districts to learn from each other,” Impact Florida Executive Director Mandy Clark said.

“School districts across the state are doing amazing work to improve the quality of instruction for all students, and Districts for Impact will create a structured approach for them to share practices and successes with each other in a meaningful way.”

Five county school districts are in the Districts for Impact starting lineup: Collier, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Palm Beach, and Pasco.

“I am excited about the learning outcomes of this partnership between FADSS and Impact Florida,” said FADSS President and Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning.

“The best practices resulting from this initiative will provide a blueprint for all districts as we collectively work to close the opportunity gap throughout our state and deliver on our promise of providing access to a world-class education for every student.”

Compiling those best practices will take a “Learning Walk.”

From October through March 2020, education leaders from the initial cohort of counties will take part in will travel to other districts and observe the practices helping other districts improve student outcomes.

“Creating opportunities for education leaders to learn about practices that have a positive impact in classrooms and student learning strengthens the ability of district leaders to identify and apply excellent instructional practices in their school systems,” said Okaloosa Schools Superintendent Debra Pace.

“Providing space for district leaders to also be learners not only accelerates instructional improvement at the local level, it can also help drive systemic change across the state.”

After the six-month observational period, the educators will group up and synthesize their findings. The results will be presented at Impact Florida’s 2020 Education Summit and at school district staff meetings.

Impact Florida said it will also release the findings in a series of papers called “Cases for Impact.”

The partnership added that it hopes to hold Districts for Impact on an annual basis, with the next edition brining more county school districts to the table.

“Our goal is that all Florida school districts will participate in shared learning experiences like these,” said Sen. Bill Montford, CEO of FADSS.

“The more we can implement proven and successful practices and support excellent and equitable instruction for all students, the more likely we are to bridge the opportunity gap as a state.”

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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