Community-Driven Charter School Turnaround; An Idea Whose Time has Come

Community-Driven Charter School Turnaround; An Idea Whose Time has Come

Minneapolis, MN – May 13, 2016 - Pillsbury United Communities and The School Leadership Project announce the publication of a case study of the LoveWorks Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (LWA) school turnaround initiative.  LWA is a longstanding Minneapolis charter school with significant support from its North Minneapolis parent community.  Despite internal efforts, the school has historically struggled to improve its academic outcomes, some of the lowest in the state as measured by the Minnesota Department of Education’s Multiple Measurement Rating.

The case study describes the early-stages of the community-driven school change process that resulted in the identification and selection of Distinctive Schools, a charter management organization based in Chicago, to serve as the charter school’s operator beginning in the summer of 2016.  This operator-led charter school turnaround, focused on dramatically improving academic outcomes at LWA over the course of the next three years, is the first-of-its-kind in the state.  

This effort elevates the voices of the school’s community as well as those of the authorizer and operator teams, all of whom collaborated to effect dramatic, school-school based change at LWA, creating regional momentum for community leadership in the work of school transformation. The LWA story and case study will be discussed by a panel of leaders from the LWA community, Distinctive Schools and Pillsbury United Communities on Tuesday, May 17 from 4pm-6pm at LoveWorks Academy (2225 Zenith Ave N, Golden Valley, MN).  All are welcome.

The publication, Community-Driven Change: An Idea Whose Time has Come, is available online here

For additional information, please contact The School Leadership Project at