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Despite what you might have read or heard, there’s not a lack of excellence in American education. Around the country there are examples of great classrooms, great schools, and great school districts doing innovative things to help improve results for students.

At Digital Promise, and through our K-12 initiative, the League of Innovative Schools, it is our goal to make sure these examples of excellence do not become islands–that if schools are adopting bold, forward-thinking, outcome-driven practices, they are in a position to share with others, learn from others, and scale adoption of what works.

That’s why we are excited to welcome nine new members as the spring 2014 cohort of the League of Innovative Schools, and to add the wealth of their experiences, results, and lessons learned to our national coalition of school districts and educational agencies.

By bringing together educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate, evaluate, and replicate promising ideas, the League serves as both a professional learning network and an incubator for innovative educational practices. We selected these new members from a nationally competitive pool of applicants for their vision, potential to impact student achievement, and commitment to demonstrating new ways of reaching and engaging learners.

With these additions, the League now includes 46 school districts and education agencies in 25 states, representing nearly 3 million students, a growing sample of the country that we believe can come together to tackle big problems and make a meaningful difference.

Meet the new members of the League:

Department of Defense Education Activity Kaiserslautern District, Germany

The first League member located outside of the United States, the district serves more than 11,500 students – mostly children of American military members stationed in the area. We are excited about the district’s push toward 24/7 classrooms, which help students and parents stay engaged in learning despite disruptions from military leave or deployments.

Superintendent: Dell McMullen

Highline Public Schools, WA

Highline is a diverse district – 105 unique languages are spoken among students and families served by the district. We are excited about the district’s use of student data and adaptive technologies to support teaching and learning.

Superintendent: Susan Enfield

Knox County Schools, TN

knox-logoDeployed 1:1 laptops in six middle and high schools, and uses a blended learning model in seven elementary schools. We are excited to see how the district can bring their robust personal learning environments to scale for all of its more than 56,000 students.

Superintendent: James McIntyre

Lexington County School District One, SC

lexington-logoThe district has made 17,000 iPads available for use for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as staff. We are excited about the district’s vision to design a 21st century system of learning to improve the college and career readiness of its graduates.

Superintendent: Karen Woodward

Mentor Public Schools, OH

mentor-logoWon four #BestEdTech awards at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference for its blended learning program. We are excited about the district’s commitment to creating the best possible learning environment for students through thoughtful classroom design, small group and project-based curriculum, and teacher support.

Superintendent: Matthew Miller

Pascack Valley Regional High School District, NJ

pascackvalley-logoComprised of two high schools serving slightly more than 2,000 students. We are excited about the Pascack Valley’s continuing efforts to refine their digital strategy and curriculum, as well as the district’s efforts to improve the digital citizenship of its students.

Superintendent: P. Erik Gundersen

Richland School District Two, SC

richlandtwo-logoEnrolls nearly 27,000 students in grades K-12, and more than 21,000 of those students are part of the district’s 1:1 initiative. We are excited about Richland’s goal to bridge the digital divide by providing all students with anytime, anywhere access to technology tools and resources.

Superintendent: Debra Hamm

Rowan-Salisbury Schools, NC

rowansalisbury-logoEmploys 29 full-time technology facilitators throughout the district’s 35 schools to provide on-site, embedded professional development to teachers. We are excited about Rowan-Salisbury’s educator-driven approach to creating 21st century classrooms.

Superintendent: Lynn Moody

South Fayette Township School District, PA

Located outside Pittsburgh, South Fayette is a rural district with roughly 2,800 students. We are excited about South Fayette’s outreach program, which provides curriculum development, teacher training, and classroom support to partner schools in the Pittsburgh region. This approach allows educators to leverage expertise and resources across multiple districts.

Superintendent: Billie Rondinelli

 

Upon their acceptance into the League, member districts commit to sharing knowledge, participating in working groups, attending national and regional events, and conducting rapid research.

Digital Promise will begin accepting new applications to the League of Innovative Schools this summer, for acceptance into the Fall 2014 cohort.


About Sara Schapiro

Sara is the Director of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. You can follow her on Twitter at @sschappy.

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