8 New Districts Join the League of Innovative Schools – Digital Promise

8 New Districts Join the League of Innovative Schools

March 25, 2024 | By

Digital Promise is thrilled to announce that eight districts are joining the League of Innovative Schools for the 2023-2024 school year. This new cohort contributes toward the network’s reach of 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 2023-2024 cohort of the League of Innovative Schools!

  • Allentown School District (Pennsylvania)
  • Bradley Union School District (California)
  • Englewood School District (New Jersey)
  • Issaquah School District (Washington)
  • Kent School District (Washington)
  • Norwalk Public Schools (Connecticut)
  • River Valley School District (Pennsylvania)
  • Talladega City Schools (Alabama)

The League selected this year’s new members based on their educational leadership, demonstrated commitment to equity and excellence, innovative vision for learning, key achievements, and collaborative spirit. Members of this new cohort are serving the whole child, prioritizing student wellbeing, implementing cutting-edge technologies, preparing learners for the future of work, and more.

Through their membership in the League, superintendents and leaders from these new districts will help shape the future of teaching and learning through hands-on opportunities to collaborate, connect, and learn. Alongside fellow League members, these leaders will access unique opportunities to co-create, pilot, and scale innovative practices, apply learnings to their own districts, and identify and promote promising practices to other districts across the country.

Here’s how the 2023-2024 cohort is identifying and implementing innovative approaches to teaching and learning in service of all learners, from the perspective of their superintendents:

“We established the Central Elementary School STREAM Academy, a dynamic partnership between the Allentown School District and the Da Vinci Science Center, which has resulted in an innovative school design concept to create the first STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math) elementary school where students learn through immersive, hands-on experiences.” – Carol Birks, Superintendent, Allentown School District (Pennsylvania)

Carol Birks

“Our district believes in focusing on the whole child. We are currently using a career development platform that allows for students to explore their strengths, interests, and passions. Using that information, we are able to coordinate guest speakers and arrange for meaningful field trips based on our students’ interests, and we offer a variety of enrichment opportunities including public speaking, art, gardening, intervention support, and sports.” – Josh Van Norman, Superintendent, Bradley Union School District (California)

“Our district is firmly committed to nurturing dynamic, passion-driven learning by integrating cutting-edge technologies. We aim to establish adaptable and effective learning environments that equip students to excel as global citizens in today’s digital era.” – Marnie Hazelton, Superintendent, Englewood School District (New Jersey)

“I am most excited about the work we are doing to support student readiness to learn by first meeting their basic needs, with a particular focus on mental health and wellness. Our district partnered with Care Solace, a mental health and substance use care coordination hub. Their care coordinators are experts in navigating the mental health care system and confidentially find available and vetted local therapists, programs, and providers in our community.” – Heather Tow-Yick, Superintendent, Issaquah School District (Washington)

“Kent School District’s vision is to produce graduates who are globally competitive learners. Through equitable access to high-quality academic, social, and applied learning, students are ready to excel in college, careers, and in life.” – Israel Vela, Superintendent, Kent School District (Washington)

“Our Future Ready programs create a customized learning environment that meets the needs of the individualized learner. The Twilight Academy, for example, assists older high school students whose personal responsibilities have made it difficult to complete their high school careers in a traditional manner. The Virtual Academy is for juniors and seniors who need a more personalized experience to reach graduation.” – Alexandra Estrella, Superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools (Connecticut)

“Overall, my vision is to make innovation an embedded part of our school district culture—enabling our staff to think critically and to take risks, empowering our students to take ownership of their learning, and utilizing the collective expertise within our community to create meaningful and practical solutions to ensure we are providing the best education for our students.” – Philip Martell, Superintendent, River Valley School District (Pennsylvania)

“We are currently working on creating micro-credentials for our high school. This will allow us to build a bridge with area businesses to provide an immediate need for workforce development in our area through reinforced skills on campus. In a town with a declining workforce, this is essential work.” – Quentin Lee, Superintendent, Talladega City Schools (Alabama)

Last week, representatives from these eight districts joined the League in New York, New York, for our biannual convening hosted by Mineola Public Schools. Here, they were officially welcomed into the network by fellow members and participated in school visits in Mineola, learned from Digital Promise initiatives and more than 30 League districts through interactive breakout sessions, and built meaningful connections with leaders, researchers, and partners.

Launched in 2011, the League of Innovative Schools is a national network of school districts that connects and supports the most forward-thinking leaders in education. By collaborating on shared priorities, League members – including superintendents and district leaders – spearhead innovative learning and leadership practices to achieve equitable outcomes for every student.

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools is now accepting members for its 2024-2025 cohort! Interested districts can learn more and apply by May 31, 2024.

Sign Up For Updates! Email icon

Sign up for updates!