QTEA Innovation Awards

Innovation Awards Overview

What is the Innovation Award Grant?

For the 2022-23 school year, schools have the opportunity to apply to redesign an aspect of your school’s work that tackles an equity dilemma and further develops the skills and competencies of the Graduate Profile for all students. For the 2022-23 school year, schools have the opportunity to apply for an Innovation Award in order to redesign an aspect of their school’s work that tackles an equity dilemma and further develops the skills and competencies of the Graduate Profile for all students.

Selected schools will..

  1. Identify an equity dilemma you are currently facing
  2. Apply for an Innovation Award. If selected, ...
  3. Engage in a facilitated design and coaching process
  4. Design, test, and implement  new strategies for learning
  5. Receive funding to implement your solution

Why apply for an Innovation Award?

In these unprecedented times, we know that each and every student is not currently getting the high quality education that they deserve. A global pandemic, growing economic inequality, and racism exposed in growing ways has affected our students, families and staff in immeasurable ways. “School” as it was historically designed is less adequate than ever to ensure that our students, particularly African American and other marginalized student groups, receive the high quality education they deserve to develop the skills of the Graduate Profile and thrive in these times.

Application Process for SY22-23

Applications must be submitted by September 16, 2022, 11:59pm.

Review the QTEA 2022-23 Innovation Award Flyer.

Schools are encouraged to consult with the iLab prior to the submission of their application.

Complete the 2022-23 Innovation Awards Application.  You can also review the application scoring rubric.  

Applicants will be notified of initial acceptance by end of September.

Contact Tami Benau in the iLab at with any questions or for a consultation. 


2022-23 Innovation Award Participants:

  • Longfellow Elementary School is designing instructional strategies focused on bilingualism and identity, using WLES mentorship, so teachers can more consistently meet the needs of their students across their Spanish Bilingual Pathway Program so that  students would be able to celebrate their bilingualism by meeting self-selected academic goals.
  • John O’Connell High School is designing opportunities for their school community to build strong relationships and a more inclusive school culture where students can participate and collaborate in meaningful ways so that students develop character as well as self-efficacy, agency, and motivation.
  • Mission High School is designing conversation and collaboration strategies that provide their newcomer students with more opportunities to develop academic and conversational English in their classes so that they will engage more frequently and fluently in authentic English conversations to develop and deepen their content understanding and build relationships with peers and community.
  • Rosa Parks Elementary School is designing inquiry based instructional strategies that provide more equitable access for all students in their STEAM program so that students can more easily persist in the face of difficulties and develop multiple strategies to solve hard problems. 


2021-22 Innovation Award Participants:

Daniel Webster Elementary School, George Peabody Elementary School, Lakeshore Elementary School, Alamo Elementary School, Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, John Muir Elementary School, John O’Connell High School, San Francisco International High School, Sheridan Elementary School

For the 2021-22 school year, the QTEA Innovation Award winners engaged in a design process to create, test, and implement demonstrations of learning that allow students to celebrate their humanity and reflect on their path toward proficiency in the knowledge and skills of the Graduate Profile in partnership with their teachers. In monthly professional learning communities (PLCs), school design teams learned together with other schools engaged in similar work.


2020-21 QTEA Innovation Award Participants:

  • Dianne Feinstein Elementary School is rethinking their teacher practices and student supports in Designated ELD to address the persistent opportunity gaps for English Learners in order to increase student engagement and scores on standardized tests.
  • Jefferson Elementary School is researching and designing outdoor learning spaces that could enhance both the educational experience of Jefferson students as well as students across other sites in a safe and sustainable way.  
  • Longfellow Elementary School is exploring ways to deepen their family relationships, create more culturally responsive pedagogy, and expand their teacher practices in order to support their Spanish Biliteracy pathway students to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.
  • San Francisco International High School, Mission High School, and Thurgood Academic High School in partnership with SFUSD’s Multilingual Pathways Department are focused on how to create effective curriculum and support for newcomer students in mathematics in order to increase engagement, participation, and lessen the stark opportunity gap that currently exists especially in distance learning..
  • Shoestring’s Children's Center is partnering with families and caregivers to provide home learning school supplies, resources, and supports in order to create optimal and customized at-home learning experiences for their students. 
  • Starr King Elementary School is designing 4th-5th grade portfolios and defenses of learning to support opportunities for students to demonstrate learning through performance assessments, as well as considering how K-3 can engage in and support the portfolio process.
  • Webster Elementary School’s 3rd-5th grade educators are engaged in student artifact collection, revision, and reflection, in advance of student presentations during spring conferences.
  • Willie Brown Middle School, Starr King Elementary School, and Visitacion Valley Middle School in partnership with SFUSD’s AAALI department are investigating how participatory action research can enhance youth voice as a way to promote the creation, elimination or revision of the policies that most negatively affect marginalized youth in the district.
  • Zaida T. Rodriquez Early Education Center is seeking to better understand the barriers to engagement facing Latinx and African American students in order to increase English language and literacy acquisition skill development.

This page was last updated on May 16, 2023