District Accepted into National Network of Innovative School Districts

The Fox Chapel Area School District is one of 19 new school districts from across the nation that has been accepted into the League of Innovative Schools. The League is 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.

Fox Chapel Area 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. Specifically, the district was accepted into the League based on many of its innovative programs, including the comprehensive K-12 computer science curriculum, the district’s infusion of Maker-education and project-based learning, and the various educational technology and research partnerships it has developed.

According to Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent, Gene Freeman, Ed.D., “The Pittsburgh region is the only region nationally to have such a high induction rate into Digital Promise’s prestigious ‘League of Innovative Schools.’ The Fox Chapel Area School District is grateful to the Remake Learning Network and our local foundations for their dedication to creating a culture of innovation in our city. We are honored to be identified as one of the top 19 most innovative schools in the nation and we look forward to sharing our expertise and gaining valuable insight from other national leaders.”

In addition to the Fox Chapel Area School District, the Montour School District has also been accepted into the League of Innovative Schools this year. The Avonworth, Elizabeth Forward, and South Fayette Township school districts are also current members of the League and have been accepted within the last few years. 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 87 school districts in 33 states, representing nearly 3.3 million students.

“The League of Innovative Schools connects and rallies the most dynamic leaders of the nation’s school districts in order to advance positive change in public education,” said Sara Schapiro, senior director of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. “As Digital Promise celebrates its fifth anniversary, we’re excited to welcome our new League members and amplify their insights to help others support teaching and learning with technology.”

League members are represented by their superintendent, who commits 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; and
• 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 the 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 2016 meeting November 2-4 in Baltimore, Maryland. The meeting will host about 200 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.