Houston Endowment supports area school systems pursuing unique opportunities to improve education outcomes for all students. The foundation awarded Spring Branch Independent School District a grant to help build the capacity of the district to execute its new strategic plan.

The Spring Branch Independent School District board recently voted to become a District of Innovation and adopt a new strategic plan in support of its goal to double the number of students who complete a post-secondary program within six years of high school graduation. The Texas Education Agency’s designation as a District of Innovation allows the district greater flexibility with aspects of programming such as staffing, scheduling and curriculum.

Spring Branch serves a diverse population of 35,000 students west of downtown Houston. The district’s new strategic direction, entitled The Learner’s Journey, focuses on meeting the needs of all students through personalized learning and new school models. Houston Endowment’s one-year grant of $450,000 will help build the district’s capacity to execute against that vision, supporting three areas: building the capacity of senior staff to lead the district through transition; expanding and improving the use of data to inform decision making; and building internal capacity for school redesign, including effectively engaging diverse stakeholders through the design process.

“We are pleased and honored to be the recipients of this significant grant from Houston Endowment,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott R. Muri. “This investment in our strategic plan enables us to accelerate the pace of implementation while growing the specific leadership skills our leaders need to transform the learning experience for every child we serve.”

Houston Endowment Program Officer Wendy Cloonan lauded Spring Branch ISD for their vision. “They are carefully considering what education can and should be with a strong commitment to develop each child to his or her maximum potential. We are excited that Houston Endowment can support innovation at scale. This initiative has the potential to create vibrant learning communities for thousands of students in greater Houston.”