Digital Promise is thrilled to announce that 28 districts are joining the ranks of the League of Innovative Schools for the 2022-2023 school year. This new cohort extends the network’s reach to more than 150 districts across 38 states and expands its cumulative impact to 4.4 million students served over time.
Please join us in welcoming the new 2022-2023 cohort of the League of Innovative Schools!
Across their school systems, these districts are providing students with opportunities for meaningful experiences of powerful learning. Connecting all of the districts in this year’s cohort is a commitment to ensuring students receive the instruction, resources, and support they need to succeed and thrive not only academically but holistically.
The League selected this year’s new members based on the following factors:
To best meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population in the United States and to strengthen the composition and reach of the network, this year’s ambitious application cycle prioritized districts meeting at least one of the following criteria:
Here’s a look at how districts in the 2022-2023 cohort are ensuring students have equitable access and opportunities for powerful learning:
In Georgia, Gwinnett County Public Schools partnered with Kingmakers of Oakland, an award-winning nonprofit organization, to address Black male achievement and sense of belonging. Housed in the three schools with the highest concentration of Black male students in their district, the program has embedded social-emotional learning and leadership development into their curriculum to help unlock the potential of one of their most at-promise student groups.
In like manner, the Latinos in Action initiative in Orange County Public Schools (Florida) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for their Latino students, working from within their system to create positive change. Through culturally responsive social-emotional learning, college and career readiness, and interpersonal development, Latinos in Action empowers Latino and other young people who desire to expand their academic performance, leadership skills, and service opportunities.
In Michigan, Traverse City Area Public Schools proudly offers a robust Early College Program to provide high school students with an opportunity to complete transferable college credits. Unlike traditional dual-enrollment programs, their Early College Program provides students with a defined pathway toward both high school graduation and an associate degree from Northwestern Michigan College.
Similarly, Hudson City School District (New York) partnered with their local community college to develop an initiative in which all junior class high school students are accepted into college without requiring the traditional application process, which can be a barrier for many students.
South Bay Union School District (California) introduced Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) and STEM into their elementary students’ weekly curriculum, recognizing that arts education can mold and change the brain to allow for more creative thinking and problem solving, and that girls and people of color are underrepresented in the computer science sector. Their VAPA/STEM Team developed a curriculum aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to work through real-world problems using visual art, media, dance, music, and drama.
In Missouri, Kansas City Public Schools offers student internships throughout multiple departments in their districts, including with the chief financial officer, school leadership, and facilities offices, to provide real-world learning opportunities.
All high school students in Quaker Valley School District (Pennsylvania) have the opportunity to participate in self-directed learning (SDL) experiences. This unique and innovative program allows students to engage in developing knowledge and skills in an area of personal interest outside of the traditional academic setting. Students may design experiences that extend into the community through job shadow studies, internships, apprenticeships, and service-learning opportunities, or participate in an established program or activity. These experiences develop students’ self-awareness and ability to articulate personal goals and interests while bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world learning.
And this is just a slice of the innovation that this year’s cohort has to offer. This October, representatives from these 28 districts will join the League at our biannual League convening to exchange successful strategies and best practices, build relationships with peers, and collaborate on shared challenges.
Across the country, administrators and educators in the League are testing new programs, technologies, and strategies to support our mission to design, validate, champion, and scale effective, innovative learning opportunities to advance equity and excellence for every learner. Their diverse experiences reflect the advancements, challenges, and vital work of public education in the United States.
To learn more about the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools: