Verizon Innovative Learning

About Us

The Innovation Zone (IZone 3.0) is a group of district-led turnaround schools instituted to improve student achievement in Memphis-Shelby County Schools’ lowest performing schools and move students from the bottom five percent of student achievement in Tennessee to the top twenty-five percent in five years.

Through innovation, empowerment and strengthening the K-12 feeder patterns, the Innovation Zone team is positioned to re-create schools with optimal learning environments for student success.

Our Vision

We are committed to inspiring broad ownership and innovation towards advancing a model of transformation that increases student learning equitably and prepares every student to be globally competitive.

Highly Effective Talent

Highly effective school leaders, teachers and support staff hired to ensure ambitious student achievement goals are met.

Central-Level Instructional Support

Intensive one-on-one coaching support by central instructional support team experienced in turning around student achievement.

Extended Learning Day

Additional hour per day provides more time for learning and enrichment.

Empowered Principals

Empowerment in human capital, time and resources gives leaders the leverage to greatly impact achievement.

Expansion of Equitable Opportunities

Resources and wraparound services are provided to support student learning and to ensure their specific and individual needs are met.

IZone Standards of Quality Framework

Innovation Zone schools share a core set of operating principles known as the IZone Standards of Quality (SQR) centered on school culture, learning and development and rigor with an ultimate belief that we can move students from the bottom 5% to the top 25% in five years.


In the IZone, we set the bar high for students. While we have high expectations for students, we create a supportive learning environment where our teachers meet students at their current ability level and provide the support necessary to improve learning. With goal-oriented instruction, we give students multiple ways to demonstrate mastery of the learning target.

Learning and Development

As a part of the IZone strategy to sustained learning and development for students, we prioritize creating learning and development opportunities for our school leaders and teachers through professional development led by the IZone Instructional Support team. At the central-level and at the school level, all of our decisions are rooted in qualitative and quantitative data to ensure that we’re progressing towards our goal. In schools, IZone principals operate as instructional leaders. As the chief visionary for academic excellence at their school, IZone principals make data-driven decisions to improve student outcomes.


At the foundation of IZone schools are strong school cultures. Each IZone school has a shared vision, mission and belief system centered on academic excellence for all students and a shared commitment to creating learning environments conducive to student academic and socio-emotional development. In the IZone, our school cultures have amplified energy and motivation to student learning exhibited in what we do, what we say and what we believe.

  • What we DO is purposeful and intentional: The actions of IZone school leadership and teachers are strategic and intentional with continual student success at the heart of their efforts. With clearly set expectations and routines throughout the school day, school leaders in partnership with teachers can create a high-functioning learning environment.
  • What we SAY is positive and consistent: Even the language– words and phrases–spoken by school leaders and teachers is positive, consistent and aligned with the expectations of the school.
  • We BELIEVE academic excellence for all students: The idea of academic excellence for all students is a non-negotiable belief in the IZone. Our actions and our words reflect that core belief.