The Hillsborough County School Board last week unanimously selected MGT Group to operate four additional turnaround schools through 2023, doubling the number of schools that MGT managed during the 2019-20 school year. The Board’s vote means that MGT Group will manage all eight of Hillsborough County’s turnaround schools for the 2020-21 school year.
MGT’s work with Hillsborough County Schools started in late August 2019, after schools had been staffed and opened. Despite that late start, all four schools under MGT’s management were making gains when the pandemic struck and, based on MGT’s current internal projections, three of the schools were on track to earn C grades.
“We’re grateful for the Board’s confidence in our ability to create the partnerships that result in academic improvement in persistently failing schools,” said A. Trey Traviesa, Chairman and CEO of MGT Group. “With MGT’s on-the-ground support and strong, data-driven, internal accountability, we’re confident we’ll be able to build on the gains we achieved this year and make similar progress with the four new schools.”
In 2019-20, MGT’s team led the academic and operational work at its turnaround schools, in partnership with the school leadership. Together, the group plans, reviews data, determines immediate and long-term support needs and addresses the needs through training, coaching, and side-by-side modeling. The team works with the school leadership team, the district Transformation team, and the State Bureau of School Improvement team to improve teaching and learning and to ensure each school is on the trajectory to success.
The approach is paying dividends. For example, James Elementary, the lowest-performing school in Florida, was projected to move from an F to a C on the state accountability system. Two other schools were projected to move from a D to a C, and Robles Elementary was projected to increase 28 points and be just 18 points shy of a C. MGT’s work in Hillsborough is led by Dr. Babette Moreno, a bilingual senior manager in the educational services sector with over 30 years experience in educator training and development, school transformation, and building systems for boosting student achievement.
“The schools we serve need to improve as quickly as possible, so we provide intensive support, with multiple educators on site 4-5 days a week,” said Dr. Moreno. “Through close collaboration with school staff, we develop a variety of tactics to use in supporting staff to offer students the high-quality education they deserve.”
MGT also leads school district turnaround work in Indiana and in Colorado. In Indiana, for instance, MGT’s team has helped reduce the deficit of the Gary Community School Corporation from $22 million to $6 million and created a path for the state to end its takeover.
Here’s a full list of the turnaround schools recent and projected grades, based on MGT’s internal analysis: