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Transformation Network


Transformation Network highlighted in 2023 Chalkbeat article:

Colorado school case study highlights need for collaboration in turnaround work: The Transformation Network is thrilled to be highlighted in this February 2023 Chalkbeat article. Read on to learn more about the research behind The Transformation Networks success in supporting schools in turnaround and priority improvement.

Transformation Network schools highlighted in Promising Practices series

Colorado's Stories of Promising Practices is a series of videos and stories that highlight schools and districts that have implemented new strategies to improve student outcomes, developed exemplary practices and validated their results through data and other verifiable demonstrations of student performance. The Transformation Network is proud of the following highlighted schools who are all graduates of the Network:

Transformation Network Rebrand

Starting in the 2022-23 school year, the Turnaround Network has officially rebranded, and will now be called the Transformation Network. The Network team has realized that the "Turnaround Network" name no longer reflects all of the amazing schools that participate, as participating schools were not only identified as Turnaround, but also Priority Improvement, Comprehensive, Additional Targeted, and Targeted.

Transformation Network Evaluation Reports

CDE is committed to providing targeted support to the lowest performing schools and districts in the state. To provide the highest quality service, CDE has prioritized continuous improvement through an external evaluation in partnership with the Center for Assessment, Design, Research, and Evaluation (CADRE) at the University of Colorado Boulder. CADRE has completed quantitative evaluations of the School Transformation Network, School Turnaround Leadership Development, Connect for Success, Colorado Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and Accountability Pathways. These evaluation reports contained initial descriptive analyses of academic outcomes for participating schools and are meant to be a jumping off point for more in-depth evaluation. Links to these reports are provided below.


The Transformation Network School Application is now part of the the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) application.

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Colorado is taking the opportunity to change the way school improvement (1003a) funds are awarded to LEAs. Rather than multiple applications on separate timelines, CDE is now streamlining school improvement opportunities into a single application and using a “needs-based approach” to award services and funding.

Information about the Network and the EASI process are available at the links below:

Grant Reporting


The Transformation Network will accelerate student achievement for select schools through targeted support, resources, and flexibility. The Network is a highly-collaborative and accountable endeavor between local schools, their districts and the Colorado Department of Education.

With the support of the Commissioner, the CDE District and School Performance Unit launched a Turnaround Network for schools, welcoming the first cohort of 9 schools with the support of their districts in the summer of 2014.  Each year the Network has grown and it currently supports 13 districts and 53 schools.

Schools in the network benefit from:

  • Enhanced diagnostic review & planning support
  • A cohort of peer schools
  • Performance management
  • Personalized professional learning opportunities
  • Supplemental grant funding

School & district conditions for success

A common framework to diagnose and evaluate progress is provided below.

All participating Network schools are required to engage a district "partner":

The district partner serves as a key support and advocate for the school at the district level. They should be a senior-level district staff member who will attend all Network events with the school team. The district partner is also responsible for ensuring the conditions for turnaround success are established at the school and supported by the district. The school team consists of the principal and one or two teacher leaders, and are required to attend all Network events.

What Commitments Will I Make?

Districts will:

  • Agree to conditions set forth within MOU
  • Dedicate a "partner" to support and supervise Network principal(s)
  • Task a "partner" with engaging in all Network activities
  • Engage in performance management process
  • Provide agreed-upon flexibilities to Network school
  • Systematize and generalize conditions for success in other non-Network schools within two years

Network School Principals will:

  • Engage in all Network activities
  • Follow and implement all agreed-upon improvement strategies
  • Engage in performance management process and will lead the use of data-driven decisions with all staff
  • Ask for support and conditions from district as needed
  • Actively supervise all school staff

CDE will:

  • Provide intensive professional development and support in areas of four conditions
  • Provide quick diagnostic review
  • Provide intensive improvement planning aligned to the conditions
  • Allocate resources and/or grants
  • Provide staff to support and partner with network schools

What Benefits Will I See?

Districts will:

  • Have access to intensive professional development in identified Network conditions
  • Learn about performance management and use of data to drive instructional improvement
  • Have access to CDE’s best thinking on turnaround strategies
  • Have access to high-quality partner organizations

Network School Principals will:

  • Have access to intensive PD in identified conditions (along with a teacher)
  • Have access to high-quality partner organizations
  • Have dedicated support by district "partner"
  • Have opportunity to visit other high-growth schools
  • Learn about performance management and use of data to drive instructional improvement

CDE will:

  • Have commitment of districts to make accelerated academic improvements in participating schools
  • Have strong relationship to district "partner" and school principal
  • Create proof points in school improvement to share with other schools



For Program Questions:

Nicole Monet, Director - Office of Intensive Supports

For Budget/Fiscal Questions:

Evan Davis, Grants Fiscal Analyst

For Application Questions:

Kim Burnham, Senior Consultant


Previous Cohort Performance

The Transformation Network has graduated six cohorts; Cohort 1 (2014-15 thru 2016-17), Cohort 2 (2015-16 thru 2017-18), Cohort 3 (2016-17 thru 2018-19), Cohort 4 (2017-18 thru 2019-20), Cohort 5 (2018-2019 thru 2020-2021) and Cohort 6 (2019-2020 thru 2021-2022). The images below show the School Performance Framework (SPFs) for Cohorts 1-3, from the time of eligibility identification through completion of the program. Cohort 4's SPFs are not listed below due to the accountability pause in 2019-20. Please note that “N/A” means a school did not receive an SPF due to closure, too small of a student sample size, or similar reasons.
More data from Cohort 1-3 is available in the Legislative Report to the Colorado Legislature on the School Transformation Grant (July 2020) (PDF), beginning on page 44.
A graph of performance frameworks for the Turnaround Network program
A graph of performance frameworks for the Turnaround Network program
A graph of performance frameworks for the Turnaround Network program