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Case Study:
Keeping Teachers in Kalamazoo Classrooms

Date: Fall 2023

Authors: Nicole S. Simon, Harvard University, Jaclyn L. Corin, Harvard University, and Katelyn A. Chizek, Upbeat

Summary: A closer look at the improvements seen by two schools in the midsize midwestern college town of Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a result of their partnership with Upbeat.

The Kalamazoo school district has a racially diverse population of ~12,000 students (40% white, 40% Black) in 25 schools, and the majority of the students (70%) are considered to be economically disadvantaged. 

This brief case study provides an overview of the key challenges facing two specific schools in the Kalamazoo school district and the improvements achieved in just a few short years: 

  • Edison Academy retained 96% of its teachers — a 5% increase in a single year — and saw improvements in three key areas:  appreciation, principal and teacher trust, and belonging and well-being. 
  • Midwood Elementary retained 100% of its teachers after two years of working with Upbeat — a 7% increase — and saw the most improvement in collaboration, principal/teacher trust, and professional development.

Read about how they achieved these results in the Kalamazoo Case Study PDF