“Our team would have never been able to clarify the challenge and design such an impactful solution without this programming. The opportunity to work alongside my teachers to collaboratively solve a challenge will not only benefit our teachers, but all of our students. We are grateful for this opportunity and continuing this work through the school year.” – Naomi Nakayama, Principal at Budlong Elementary School
TrueSchool’s program identifies high-potential educator teams and empowers them as leaders of innovation. We focus on selecting diverse cohorts of schools across a region and supporting them with a process to design new learning experiences grounded in student needs.
The TrueSchool program experience incorporates a comprehensive education innovation journey delineated into three distinct phases: Spark, Sprint, and Solution. With each phase building on the last, the individual educator deepens the knowledge, practices, and mindsets of education innovation. Each phase also reflects the development of the innovation: from problem, to idea, to prototype, to sustainable model.
Our program experience provides the time, process, support, and network for educators to reimagine and redesign the learning experience. We empower educators to discover, design, and scale models, tools, and strategies that dramatically improve student outcomes. We also:
- Develop the capacity of educators to lead school-based innovation and apply the design process to any new future context or problem (an essential skillset for 21st century schools)
- Create a talent pipeline of teacher leaders, future school leaders, school systems leaders, education entrepreneurs, and education changemakers
- Build school cultures grounded in empathy, rapid cycle design, distributed leadership, and continuous learning; places in which new approaches to learning continue to thrive
- Establish a trained, school-based research and design team in each participating school that is set up to look for and lead future school-wide innovation projects
- Connect powerful networks of program participants and alumni for ongoing idea sharing and collaboration who are working across schools of diverse socioeconomic status, performance levels, geography, and school model types (traditional district, charter, magnet, neighborhood, alternative, etc.)
- Accelerate the pace of change by encouraging adoption at scale of effective models, tools, and strategies; we support the ‘packaging’ of solutions for transferability and replication as well as engage our broad network of education leaders to spread the word
Examples of educator-led innovations developed in collaboration with TrueSchool include:
- An integrated STEM department and curriculum, removing all divisions between math and science
- A revamped scheduled to maximize staff time towards literacy acceleration
- A physical learning environment to increase personalized instruction and student choice
- An advisory program for 8th graders to navigate fit and eligibility for selective public high schools
- A blended learning model and student-directed system of learner profiles to enhance differentiation