District Partnerships

CORE works with partner school districts to support and sustain systems-level change. Our collaborative work deepens understanding about what it takes for large urban districts to become learning organizations.

CORE District Partnerships

CORE’s partnership work supports school superintendents and their senior leadership teams to engage in:

  • Reflective practices that foster accountability, and equity-centered, liberatory leadership
  • Social practices that increase psychological safety and foster accountability
  • Transformational change practices that support shifts in mindsets and behaviors,

in service of students, staff, families, and community.

CORE’s work is contextualized and customized to the needs of each partner district. We focus on establishing a deep sense of “teamness” and fostering an environment that supports leaders to:

  • Challenge the status quo,
  • Collaborate on testing innovations, and
  • Engage in continuous improvement.

Our work includes one-to–one and small group coaching, team facilitation, and retreat design and facilitation. We also work collaboratively with leaders to develop processes, tools, and routines for workstream prioritization and effective implementation.

Holistic Coherence

Our district partnerships work strives to create holistic coherence within district systems. We recognize that systems are best understood in context and in relation to each other, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • We recognize that system leaders operate within a complex living system. They may be in charge, but they are not in control. We use emergent strategies to identify the ways in which small actions and interactions can result in large-scale impacts.
  • We support system leaders to focus on the intersection of structures, strategies, and processes with relationships, identities, and information flows. We apply an equity lens in order to see the broader context of systemic oppression and systems of advantage in which we all operate.
  • We lead from the inside out by rigorously examining our internal ‘sources’ through study and reflection. We emphasize our identity development and expose ourselves to new experiences and interactions. We do this in order to expand our perspectives and understanding across differences.
  • We foster an alignment of goals and priorities. We positively reinforce interdependencies by increasing our individual, reflective self-awareness. We deepen our social connections and the efficacy of our interactions. We are intentional about designing every aspect of our work, from the classroom to the boardroom. We do all of this so that ultimately we can keep the main thing the main thing.


Reflective Practices

Necessary for the ongoing growth and development of adaptive capabilities to learn, unlearn, and relearn in service of liberatory leadership


Social Practices

Necessary to achieve the collective efficacy required to co-evolve and co-design in service of interrupting inequities and achieving shared goals


Transformational Change Practices

Necessary to facilitate shifts in culture and structures to increase system coherence by matching intentions and actions to practices in order to achieve the desired future reality.

CORE’s District Partnership work is informed by:

  • Emergent Strategy – adrienne marie brown
  • Improvement Science Methods of the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching
  • Center for Creative Education
  • Liberatory Design Mindsets – Tania Anaissie, David Clifford, and Susie Wise, along with Victor Cary and Tom Malarkey from the National Equity Project 
  • Leading for Equity Framework – National Equity Project 
  • Theory U – Presencing Institute and Otto Scharmer
  • Priorities & Focus – Pat Lencioni, Jim Collins, and Sean Covey
  • The Shingo Model – Shingo Institute
  • The Four Stages of Psychological Safety – Timothy R. Clark