The basic building blocks that help keep innovations sustainable within an organization are defined as
Accelerators by Kotter (2014). Intersessions is a perfect example of an innovation that has been
successful over time. The program has become part of our ASB students’ and parents’ plans during the
school breaks. Feedback from parents indicates that students would rather attend Intersessions courses
than travel. Intersessions is expanding the audience it caters to by opening some of the courses to
students outside of ASB. These are elements that the Re.D Studio has worked on prototyping for the
past year. So what were the building stages for Intersessions? Below we look back at the Intersessions
Prototype through the lens of Kotter’s Eight Accelerators in order to understand how the prototype was
envisioned, created, executed, and made sustainable.
Accelerator 1: Creating a sense of urgency around Intersessions.
During this stage of development, the findings and recommendations from the R&D Report on
Alternative School Year Calendars served to create the sense of urgency for designing and prototyping
Intersessions. The research on learning loss, time spent re-teaching, and particular impact on students
whose primary language was not English, created the urgent opportunity to develop the Intersessions
Prototype. This report catalyzed important conversations and initial thinking that resulted in the
formation of our guiding coalition. You can read this here.
Accelerator 2: Building and maintaining a guiding coalition for Intersessions.
During this stage we created an Intersessions Planning Team to envision and design the first
Intersessions starting in the summer of 2013. This team was formed and charged with creating and
executing the Intersession prototype.
Accelerator 3: Formulate a strategic vision and develop change initiatives designed to capitalize on the
The guiding coalition began formulating a strategic vision and action plans that would guide and set the
prototype in motion. The result was a focus on creating a slate of courses across the three domains of
Mind, Body, and Soul as well as key decisions about the design of the courses and who would provide
them. Courses would be run by expert coaches and instructors that do not currently teach at ASB or
perhaps even teach in schools. Recruiting subject-area experts and coaches and forming those
relationships and partnerships were a core part of the vision for the Intersession prototype.
We ran through the following Intersessions after a successful six week summer 2013 prototype:
Spring 1 2014
Spring 2 2014
We also prototyped different types of intersession programs that addressed various student needs that
Intersessions Bridge Program
Intersessions Connect Program