Turnaround School Research with Schools for the Future


School & Main Institute (SMI) with support from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the School Turnaround Investment Fund is meeting with school districts and communities interested in turnaround and pre-intervention strategies for schools serving high numbers of struggling, overage and under-credited middle / high school students.

SMI has developed an innovative grade 7-12 school model called Schools for the Future (SFF) that enable failing students to move more quickly through middle school and high school using a restorative college prep curriculum and performance-based advancement system that allows them to advance 1.5-2 years for 10 months at SFF – while still achieving critical college and career readiness benchmarks including college-style performance tasks, internships, and dual enrollment coursework.

SFF is already at work in Michigan, Connecticut and Florida and has been recognized nationally as a Next Generation Breakthrough model. We are now looking to launch at least one SFF school in Massachusetts in September 2016 and are also an approved Turnaround Operator for the state.

SFF was designed specifically to serve failing, overage and under-credited middle and high school students. With that in mind, our first priority would be to partner with a district(s) interested in enrolling up to 500 middle school/early high school students in a new 7-12 school, pathway or school-within-a-school. However, the SFF model is also flexible enough to serve in a turnaround situation or as a pre-intervention strategy for an existing alternative high school or more traditional high school. We are also open to working with a collaborative of districts that would draw students from multiple locales. Our goal is to partner with a school district(s), not to enter into any type of compulsory relationship.

Two information session to learn about Schools for the Future will be held with information and aregistration link below.

  • May 11, 2015 - 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm, University Massachusetts, Springfield Campus
  • May 27, 2015 - 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center

At the end of the information session, we will ask that any district(s) interested in seriously exploring the option of opening a partnership school or using SFF as a pre-intervention strategy to schedule a follow-up meeting with us and key district/community stakeholders to delve into the next phase of exploration.


In a Nutshell

Founded in 1985 at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management, School & Main Institute (SMI) has grown into a nationally recognized, independent non-profit training and partnership development organization that has worked with organizations and state agencies in more than 35 states.


School & Main Institute staff and faculty have years of expertise as organizational leaders, program developers, trainers, and facilitators in the fields of education, workforce preparation, youth and community development.

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