Future of School Awards Inaugural Resilient Districts Prizes to Innovative U.S. Schools

Six schools and two districts received up to $25,000 to support the continuation of high-impact practices developed during COVID-19

Future of School (FoS), an education intermediary organization mobilizing change in American K-12 education, has announced that six schools and two districts have received the inaugural Resilient Districts Prizes (RDP). The prizes are designed to reward―and support the growth of―innovative practices that made a significant positive impact on student learning during the challenging 2020-21 school year.

“Educators in schools across the country have demonstrated their unbelievable passion, creativity and ingenuity over the course of the pandemic,” said Amy Valentine, CEO and Education Evangelist for Future of School. “In the face of this great challenge, educators came up with ideas that would help their students succeed―and did so with no expectation of reward or recognition. It is our distinct honor to present the inaugural Resilient Districts Prizes at the school and district levels, to both highlight these wonderful educator-designed solutions, but also to support the continuation and scaling of these practices within their respective districts.”

Each recipient received up to $25,000 at the district level or $10,000 at the school level, which can be used for technology, professional development, training or other expenses related to online and blended learning. The educators whose effective practices earned RDP recognition will be inducted into a collaborative cohort with other winners and will have opportunities to share their unique experiences and expertise with a nationwide audience of fellow educators throughout the coming year. Educators will share their insights through podcast interviews, blog posts and articles published nationally, virtual event presentations, and more. It is an exciting opportunity to have their successes and inventive ideas celebrated and shared with peers in the profession.

The eight inaugural RDP recipients and their award-winning programs are:

Davidson Academy Online

Reno, Nev.

This fully-online school developed creative and engaging ways for students to connect online that supported their social and emotional health and nurtured their relationships with each other and school staff.

International High School of Largo

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Largo, Md.

Educators created the Your Big Year (Virtual) Impact Challenge, a dynamic live and digital program designed to bridge cultural divides and provide young people with a transformative, hands-on way to meet and collaborate with a diverse group of peers from around the world.

KIPP Harmony Academy

KIPP Baltimore

Baltimore, Md.

This elementary school provided access to simple tools, such as headphones, to enable differentiation in a socially-distanced learning environment.

Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District (USD)

Newman, Calif.

Leaders in this 3,200-student district implemented trauma-skilled, online training provided by Successful Practices Network (SPN) to all staff and students in the district during the pandemic.

Olympic High School

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Raleigh, N.C.

The school created the Prosperity by Design program, which includes a menu of essential digital tools for empowering teens, including an experiential learning and career exploration website called “Career Snapshots.”

Silverton School District

Silverton, Colo.

This small 65-student district provided a system for authentic personalized learning opportunities. The district integrated six different elements into a remote learning environment to ensure high-touch teaching and engagement in a traditionally one-size-fits-all learning environment.

South Middle School

Newburgh Enlarged City School District

Newburgh, N.Y.

This school provided a tech-based, student-centered learning environment to increase engagement and academic performance of English Language Learners (ELLs) in English language arts (ELA) classes.

Spanish River Community High School

District of Palm Beach County

Boca Raton, Fla.

This high school developed a hands-on, tech-based biotechnology curriculum to drive student engagement, experiential learning and academic progress in high school science classes.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the Successful Practices Network (SPN), which provides customized design support, consulting and training related to dropout prevention, trauma skills, career and technical education (CTE) and literacy, are strategic partners in the Resilient Districts Prize.

“Innovation at the school and district levels is imperative to delivering a learner-centered, equitable education to all learners,” said Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director of AASA. “We are pleased to collaborate with Future of School, an organization that is committed to innovation and equity in K-12 education, to recognize the outstanding districts, schools and educators who are putting high-impact ideas, big and small, into practice.”

“The Resilient Districts Prize fills an important role by celebrating educators who were mobilized to develop customized approaches in a challenging environment and providing them the resources to continue their efforts,” said Ray McNulty, President of SPN. “We look forward to further supporting these schools and districts and seeing what they achieve next.”

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The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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