The League Meets the West Coast: A Look Into the Fall 2022 League Convening – Digital Promise

The League Meets the West Coast: A Look Into the Fall 2022 League Convening

Four elementary students wearing white lab coats in a Compton Unified School District classroom smiling for the camera

November 10, 2022 | By

On October 19-21, the League of Innovative Schools convened in Los Angeles, California, for their biannual League meeting, which was hosted alongside Compton Unified School District and El Segundo Unified School District.

Over two and a half days, district leaders explored how emerging technologies can support powerful learning, surfaced and shared innovative learnings and leadership practices, and helped us welcome the League of Innovative Schools 2022-2023 cohort.

4 individuals sitting on a raised platform in front of white block letter spelling out #DPLIS having a panel discussion

Opening panel moderated by Digital Promise’s President and CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard.

We kicked off the convening with an opening panel featuring Chris Rush, former senior advisor for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education; Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, superintendent of Pajaro Valley Unified School District; and Zandra Jo Galvan, superintendent of Greenfield Union School District, with Digital Promise’s President and CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard, as moderator. Affectionately referred to as the “strawberry and lettuce capitals of the country” by Superintendent Galvan, Pajaro Valley School District and Greenfield Union School District are in rural, agricultural working communities, and their students are predominantly of Latin descent.

Meeting attendees in the audience captured listening onto panel discussion

League convening attendees listening to the opening panel discussion.

Superintendent Galvan pointed to the lessons their district learned by sitting at the table with stakeholders to determine the needs of students and their community and find solutions. Greenfield Union School District learned to make no assumptions about their needs and meet them where they are. Instead, they focused on building “a trusting network within the community, so families know they can come to us.”

When asked how digital technologies can transform learning, Dr. Rodriguez stressed exploring alternative pathways and assessments to traditional instruction. Pajaro Valley School District determined that when students are engaged in learning connected to their interests, outcomes improved. Furthermore, their district saw a 31 percent increase in passing grades in alternative subjects than in traditional courses.

Woman wearing a pink blazer standing in front of a purple background with an American flag and U.S. Department of Education flag behind her

Still from U.S. Department of Education’s Deputy Secretary’s, Cindy Marten, virtual remarks to convening attendees.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Deputy Secretary, Cindy Marten, joined the convening virtually to share an encouraging, personal message to district leaders about the federal resources and opportunities available to districts, including the newly launched “YOU Belong in STEM” Initiative that aims to ensure all students have access to and benefit from STEM learning.

With help from the advisory committee, the League warmly welcomed the 28 new districts who make up the 2022-2023 cohort. 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.

Assistant Superintendent John Wright standing at a desk with four Compton Unified School District students who are explaining what they are working on.

Students from Compton Unified School District demonstrating to Assistant Superintendent John Wright (Orange County Public Schools) the work they are completing on their iPads.

Superintendent Abdulsaleem Hasan standing at a desk with a student from El Segundo Unified School District who is explaining the work she is completing in class

Student from El Segundo Unified School District explaining her classwork to Superintendent AbdulSaleem Hasan (East Orange School District).

Additionally, League members and partners had the opportunity to visit classrooms across the Los Angeles area. Attendees participated in one of three different tracks that featured different Compton USD and El Segundo USD schools:

  1. Cultivating Global Citizens, in which attendees explored how both districts help students develop global awareness and skills by creating environments that prepare students to be successful global citizens through STEAM programs and social-emotional learning.
  2. Innovation for College and Career Readiness, in which participants learned how schools in both school districts are creating college and career-going culture by visiting innovative learning spaces, STEAM electives, community partnerships, the integration of a graduate profile, and various pathway programs.
  3. Student-Driven Learning, in which visitors observed innovation through a variety of learning environments that combined personalized learning with authentic learning opportunities; saw real-world problem solving found in project-based learning; and discovered how teachers leverage technology to facilitate personalized experiences in meaningful targeted instruction.
Keynote speaker, Michael Bonner, standing on an stage in front of white block letters spelling #DPLIS

Keynote speaker, Michael Bonner, addressing League convening attendees.

We closed up our convening with an electric keynote from speaker and educator Michael Bonner, who shared unique concepts he believes are necessary to eliminate the Great Resignation in education: self-efficacy, collective synergy, servant leadership, and innovation.

And this is just a peek into the exciting happenings and learnings from this year’s League’s fall meeting. Check out the #DPLIS hashtag on Twitter to see more of the action!

The League team is excited to share that the Spring 2023 League Convening will be hosted by Talladega County Schools in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 25-27, 2023!

To learn more about the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools:

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