League Application - Digital Promise

Now is the time to join the League of Innovative Schools. 

Nationally, COVID-19 has exposed racial, economic, and educational inequities, underscoring the necessity for systemic change and bold, courageous leadership.

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools was launched at the White House under President Barack Obama within the U.S. Department of Education.

As a national network focused on creating and advancing innovative teaching and learning systems and practices, the League of Innovative Schools is uniquely positioned to support and partner with school districts to address the most difficult challenges in education.

In the development of the Digital Promise Challenge Map, stakeholders working across all levels of public schools identified equity as a pressing, high priority challenge area. The League of Innovative Schools intentionally centers equity in our projects, procedures, and outputs to address this need head-on, taking action with renewed urgency due to the pandemic.

Whether it’s advocating for universal broadband, building capacity for data equity, or developing tools to improve secondary writing, our leaders are at the forefront of designing, piloting, and scaling solutions that can impact the outcomes for all students, with a focus on traditionally marginalized and underserved students.

Working at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and developers, the League offers a space for superintendents to learn from best practices, apply research and continuous improvement models, engage in R&D projects to tackle challenges with peers across the country and implement new technologies and innovations.

Together, we can ensure that every student has equitable access and opportunities for powerful learning. We invite you to join us!

Application Criteria for the 2021-2022 Cohort

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, we are prioritizing district applications that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The district’s free and reduced-price meals rate is 50 percent or greater
  • The district’s student body is 50 percent or greater students of color
  • The superintendent identifies with a demographic that is underrepresented in national superintendency statistics (ex., superintendent is a person of color, superintendent is a woman)
  • The superintendent leads a district that is located in a geographic area currently underrepresented by the League of Innovative Schools—defined as  a region in a state without League representation or a state where there is no League member district today:
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia



Application Overview

Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort of the League of Innovative Schools open on February 15, 2021. The application deadline has been extended to 11:59 p.m. PT on May 21, 2021.

The new member application process will follow the timeline detailed below:

Round One: Application

Applicants submit a written application with multimedia artifacts to validate and supplement their responses.

To preview or download a copy of the application for planning purposes, click here.

Key DatesDates
Application opens February 15
Application submission is due by 11:59 p.m. PTMay 21
Finalists and applicants are notified of statusJuly 1

Round Two: Interview 

Finalists will participate in two interviews —one with a Digital Promise staff person and one with a member of the League Advisory Board. In addition, Digital Promise staff may request and conduct additional interviews with district staff members.

Key DatesDates
Finalist interviews must be completed by 11:59 p.m. PTJuly 30
New members and applicants are notified of statusWeek of August 23
New member orientation call September TBD
Fall 2021 League of Innovative Schools ConveningOctober 20-22

*Please note: Attendance at the Fall Convening is required for new membership. At this time, we are planning for a hybrid convening on October 20-22. If you are unable to attend this meeting, please defer your application until next year.

Stay Informed: Complete this form to receive email updates about important application reminders and deadlines.

Who Should Apply

Superintendents are the core members of the League. However, superintendents may invite other members of their district team to participate in League activities. Membership in the League is for superintendents who demonstrate a proven track record and/or willingness to:

  • Improve outcomes for students and solve the challenges facing K-12 schools through powerful and smart use of learning innovations and technologies
  • Partner with researchers, entrepreneurs, and leading education thinkers to pilot new approaches to teaching and learning
  • Use their voice to advance positive, lasting change in public education
  • Commit to delivering educational equity for every student, everywhere

Candidates are selected based on the following factors:

  • Vision and key achievements
  • Potential for impacting student learning and educational leadership
  • Openness to networking and knowledge sharing
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial, digital, and educational equity

Successful candidates are committed to achieving equity in public school systems, have a demonstrated record of district and community impact, and deeply respect and value diversity of voices, perspectives, and experiences.

About The League of Innovative Schools

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools is a national network that connects and supports the most forward-thinking leaders in education. League members represent 114 districts in 34 states serving more than three million students. Their diverse experiences reflect the advancements, challenges, and vital work of public education in the United States.

Digital Promise works at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and entrepreneurs and developers to improve learning with the power of technology. By collaborating on shared priorities, the League spearheads innovative learning and leadership practices to achieve equitable outcomes for every student. To that end, the League aims to:

Design, validate, champion, and scale effective, innovative learning opportunities to advance equity and excellence for every student.

    • Design: Create policies, programs, tools, and models
    • Validate: Inform design and efficacy with research
    • Champion: Advocate for policies, programs and models that transform systems
    • Scale: Share and drive adoption models for replication
    • Effective: Proven positive impact
    • Innovative: New or improved solutions to challenges
    • Advance Equity: Ensure historically underserved student populations participate, benefit, and thrive
    • Advance Excellence: Support solutions that increase knowledge and skills for student success

Learn more about League district members.

Membership Benefits

The League of Innovative Schools supports leadership development and district efforts to advance teaching and learning through technology and innovation through:

    • Advocacy: Strategic partnerships and support to spread ethos and influence policies
    • Co-designed Solutions: Opportunities to tackle big challenges; co-design, prototype, and pilot new models, practices, and tools; and produce evidence-based solutions to benefit thousands of educators and students through Challenge Collaboratives, Inclusive Innovation, Innovation Study Tours, and more
    • Cohorts: Learning communities focused on discussing challenges and sharing best practices and resources
    • Communications: Amplification of efforts and accomplishments and subscription to Digital Promise newsletters containing relevant research, resources, and opportunities for district leaders
    • Convenings: In-person meetings to build capacity, deepen relationships, share know-how and best practices, and learn from diverse school communities
    • National Showcase: Platform and multimedia communications tools, such as Innovation Portfolios, to highlight and feature district innovation efforts
    • National Thought Leadership: Recognition as a forward-thinking leader in the education field
    • Networking: Connection to a national network that incubates and celebrates effective innovation to support equity and excellence for all learners
    • Professional Development: Opportunities and access to processes, resources, credentials, and events to expand knowledge and advance outcomes
    • Research: Access to learning sciences research to support practical, scalable, equitable improvements in education, and ongoing, sustained relationships with Digital Promise researchers

    Membership Requirements

    League member superintendents commit to:

    • Attend biannual League meetings to collaboratively solve problems, build relationships with peers, and share and learn from district and school visits
    • Join and actively participate in Challenge Collaboratives, Cohorts, R&D projects, and/or other League initiatives designed to address the challenges and changing needs of school districts
    • Publish a district innovation portfolio and contribute to stories that showcase the League’s work and collective advocacy
    • Collaborate with peers, researchers, and entrepreneurs to advance teaching and learning

    To support new program opportunities and membership growth, League members pay dues according to their district size based on student enrollment.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I save my answers and revisit the application?

    How are new members selected?

    Do you offer a rolling or year-round application process?

    What school districts make up the League of Innovative Schools?

    How does the League of Innovative Schools address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work?

    Additional questions? Email us at league@digitalpromise.org.

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