Innovation to Evidence Network

Healthy SchoolsJan 12 2024

The Innovation to Evidence Network (I2E) is a system of supports for educators, external specialists, and researchers to collaborate, learn together, and access additional expertise and resources, with the goal of improving student outcomes and achieving school system transformation. I2E, led by Child Trends and Project Evident, facilitates webinars, convenings, and communities of practice and provides individualized support to participants as needed. Through I2E, participants build their skills, knowledge, and capacity to better reach their programmatic and learning goals, including iterating their approach to achieve the overall project goals.

How We Support Participants

Transformative school-based work requires continuous evolution and change. As external specialists and researchers, we are flexible and open to what educators and their stakeholders need. Our approach to supporting participants is rooted in Multitiered Systems of Support (MTSS).[1] As shown in the figure, we begin with needs sensing to understand the individual and collective needs of I2E participants.

Based on the needs sensing, we provide three levels of support:

(1) Universal: to support all participants in building capacity around a shared topic through webinars and annual convenings, provided by Project Evident.

(2) Targeted, provided by Child Trends through communities of practice, to support a group of participants in building their capacity around a shared topic.

(3) Intensive, provided by Child Trends and Project Evident through one-on-one meetings, to support individual participants in building their capacity around a unique topic. We will tailor our support to meet participants’ unique needs based on needs and strengths assessment of clients.

Our Approach to Supporting I2E Participants

The Innovation to Evidence Network

To ensure that our support meets participants’ shared and unique needs, our MTSS approach is guided by five principles:

  • Partnership-centered. We partner with participants to determine the types of supports provided and how participants will engage with these supports. This includes learning about the contexts and experiences that shape how participants approach their work.
  • Stakeholder-engaged. We center the needs of participants and their stakeholders. We work with participants to identify their needs, as well as the needs of the stakeholders they hope to impact. As part of our work in identifying partners’ needs, we seek to learn deeply about their strengths and build on existing capacities.
  • Equity-infused. We help participants elevate the voices, needs, and wants of their stakeholders who have been impacted the most by inequitable systems, policies, and structures.
  • Priority-focused. Participants’ priorities—and those of their stakeholders—set the direction for our work.
  • Response-driven. We are flexible and adaptable in responding to the evolving needs and wants of participants and their stakeholders. If our participants’ goals and priorities change, then we adapt our support plan in response to these evolving needs.

Our mission is to ensure that I2E participants and their stakeholders are the drivers of the support they seek, and we believe these principles ensure this mission.

Topics We Support

We support participants in all topics that help them transform the school systems they engage with every day. We work with participants to figure out the best way to support them and their stakeholders. Examples of these topics may include:

  • Project planning and implementation: Participants have big visions for what they hope to accomplish but may need help mapping out the execution. We work with participants to create project roadmaps, logic models, or a theory of change model that works for them to think about developing and implementing project goals.
  • Measurement development: Measurement is a common topic for participants as they think about how to capture the impact of their work on student outcomes. Of particular importance to participants is challenging traditional measurement approaches and instead designing equitable approaches to measure student outcomes. We work with participants to think through plans, design measurement tools, and troubleshoot measurement-related challenges.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Most, if not all, participants are partnering with stakeholders to transform their school systems! These stakeholders can include students, teachers, school leaders, families, and community partners. We work with our partners to identify their stakeholders’ needs and wants, build relationships, and create equitable and responsive pathways for engaging stakeholders.

Sharing Learnings Outside of the Network

We share our learnings through the Transforming School Systems Series, which is hosted on Child Trends’ website. This series aims to help practitioners, policymakers, and researchers transform K-12 school systems to better meet the needs of students, families, and communities. Within each product, we discuss a hot topic in school system transformation, share evidence-based resources, and highlight an example in practice from an I2E participant. Check out our most recent products.

I2E Team Members at Child Trends

Now that we have shared our approach, we are excited to introduce our Child Trends team, which partners with Project Evident to host I2E. Our team consists of individuals with diverse expertise and lived experiences, which lets us effectively meet the needs of I2E participants and their stakeholders. Click each team member’s name to learn more about each of them.

Meet Our Researchers


Chan Zuckerburg Initiative


[1] Center on Multi-Tiered System of Supports at the American Institute for Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from: