District System Design Partnership

District leaders play the key role in driving the changes our students need to be successful in tomorrow’s world of life and work.

Explore District System Design Partnership

The District System Design Partnership (DSDP) strengthens district leadership teams as they create high-performance organizations that can scale and sustain improvements in instruction and student learning. Participants begin by developing a shared understanding of their district’s unique context. They then delve deeply into the research on high-performance educational systems, and consider how to apply the lessons learned in light of their district’s unique needs and opportunities. District teams then develop a research-based plan to redesign their district as a system wherein each component of the organization is individually strong and yet works to support and enhance other elements of the system. The DSDP is a catalyst for reenergizing and reengineering a district to drastically improve student achievement, equitably and efficiently.


The DSDB is a three-phase, year-long partnership. Cohorts are made up of district leadership teams, with a minimum of 20 participants and a maximum of 30 participants.

Understanding the Relevant Context
1-2 months
Part One: Process and project scoping, timeline creation, role identification
Part Two: Iterative inquiry process to compile and analyze data on  district’s context

Executive Development Focused on a Systemic Approach to Redesigning the District
4 months
Four two-day facilitated, tailored, executive development sessions drawing from NCEE/NISL research on the highest-performing education systems and leadership development programs in the world

Redesign Plan
6+ months