SEZP’s mission to dramatically improve educational opportunity for Springfield students is supported by our Empowerment Academy initiative. Empowerment Academies provide targeted, small-group academic intervention for students during February vacation. Empowerment Academies are one element of a multi-tiered system of support pairing high-quality, aligned curriculum with personalized dosing of intervention and extended time on learning. Research supports the impact of this multi-faceted approach as documented in a 2016 study of turnaround efforts, namely the "acceleration academy" model of intensive, extended time on intervention, implemented in the Lawrence Public Schools.
During Empowerment Academies, a select number of students across SEZP will work in small groups of 10 - 15 students led by Massachusetts’ best educators. Small group size and high-quality instruction will allow students to receive academic support tailored to their specific needs. It will also enable teachers to build strong relationships with students and accelerate student growth. Students will be selected based on academic need, attendance, and conduct. Empowerment Academy instructors will be selected from a highly-competitive group of educators across Western Massachusetts.
The SEZP will host vacation-week academies from February 19th - February 23rd across ten schools to provide intensive intervention in mathematics, ELA, and science for students in grades 6-12. Academy content and pedagogy will build on student strengths and leverage high-quality, aligned instructional materials to support growth, confidence, skills, and strategies. Enrichment opportunities throughout the week will maximize academic engagement while building a community of empowered learners.