10/19/15 San Francisco Unified School District accepted into national network of innovative districts

San Francisco Unified School District accepted into national network of innovative districts

Press Release

SFUSD joins Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, will partner with other leading educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers from across the U.S.

October 19, 2015 (San Francisco) – The San Francisco Unified School District is one of 22 school districts accepted today into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking school districts organized by Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to accelerate innovation in education.

SFUSD was selected from a competitive and national pool of applicants based on its leadership, evidence of results, innovative vision for learning, and commitment to collaboration.

“San Francisco is the city that is changing the world, with amazing technologies, advances in civil rights and brand-new economies,” says SFUSD Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. “Our schools are bringing that same creativity and forward-thinking to redefine learning.”

Carranza listed several changes already underway in SFUSD, including personalized learning supported by blended learning; integration of more real-life tasks; and developing fluency in multiple languages, including computer coding.

SFUSD’s many innovations

Over the last few years, through the Mayor’s Middle Grades Leadership Initiative and in partnership with Salesforce, SFUSD has been transforming STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in the middle grades by integrating digital content and devices with the Math Common Core Standards.

SFUSD is also developing and implementing a pre-k-to-12 computer science curriculum with a range of partners. For this school year, 13 middle schools are offering a course that provides 45 hours of instruction.

In addition, The School and Family Early Digital Literacy Project promotes learning to read and write and engage with the Common Core in language arts and math through meaningful use of mobile devices. This successful pilot initiative provided home mobile devices and training for parents (in English, Spanish and Cantonese) to support their children’s ongoing learning.

Staff and partners learn and apply user-centered design principles (SFUSD curriculum) in the SFUSD Innovation Lab (iLab) in order to address challenges and foster innovative practices aligned with Vision 2025, where technology often plays a role.

Further, SFUSD worked with Tilt to build an online crowdfunding platform that supports schools to fundraise for their technology needs and then streamlines the purchasing, imaging and deployment of devices to get them to schools faster.

And, in partnership with IDEO and UC Berkeley, SFUSD is working to implement an interactive system that enables students to pre-order meals, provide feedback, set dietary preferences and learn about food. This will generate data that makes the entire system more efficient and tailored—and the program will reward students for healthy choices.

About the League of Innovative Schools

The League of Innovative Schools, launched in late 2011, accepts new members through an open application process once per year. With the new members, the League now includes 73 school districts in 33 states, representing 3.2 million students. The full list of members can be found at digitalpromise.org/districts.

“The League’s goal is to find leaders pioneering bold, creative, and student-centric practices, connect them with each other, and amplify what they do best so others can learn,” said Sara Schapiro, director of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. “With these new members, we add a wealth of insights, ideas, and energy to help our members effectively support teaching and learning through technology.”

League members are represented by their superintendents, who commit to:

  • Attend biannual League meetings, which feature classroom visits, collaborative problem-solving, and relationship-building with peers and partners.
  • Join working groups on a broad range of topics relevant to the changing needs of school districts.
  • Engage with entrepreneurs to advance product development and meet district needs.
  • Support research that expands what we know about teaching and learning.
  • Participate in the League’s professional learning community by connecting with other members online, in person, and at each other’s school districts.

In addition to superintendents’ participation, there are also opportunities for other school administrators, principals, and teachers to participate in League and Digital Promise initiatives.

The League will officially welcome new members at its fall 2015 meeting on Oct. 25-27 in Pittsburgh. The meeting will host about 175 national school leaders and prominent education experts, entrepreneurs, and officials, with the goal of addressing shared priorities and setting goals that district leaders will pursue throughout the year.

For more information on the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, visit: digitalpromise.org/league.

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Page updated on 10/19/15

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