October 4, 2012
This news release is shared on behalf of Microsoft. Congratulations to Highland Tech Charter School for being named a Microsoft Innovative Mentor School.
For more information, please contact Principal Ginger Blackmon at 742-1700.
Microsoft Reveals the Most Innovative Schools in the United States
Oct. 04, 2012
REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 4, 2012 — As World Teachers' Day approaches, Microsoft Corp. is announcing the new 2012–2013 Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder and Mentor Schools being inducted as part of its Innovative Schools program. The 99 new Pathfinder Schools and Mentor Schools from 51 countries were chosen because they have strong school leadership and have established a record of innovation and successful change implementation. The U.S. schools were selected from Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. They have demonstrated student success and are great showcases for how one-to-one computing, rethinking curriculum design, bringing innovation to scale for a district, and creating a climate for technological advancement through professional development can improve learning environments to make a real impact on transforming education.
"These U.S. schools and districts are inspiring examples of how school leaders can push boundaries and drive real change by captivating students' interest in learning through creative teaching with technology," said Byron V. Garrett, U.S. Innovative Schools program director, Microsoft. "We know technology alone does not improve student outcomes, but schools with dynamic staff like these are models for why we need to scale more broadly. They show others how to undergo systematic change and increase teacher professional development to make a difference for students."
The Microsoft Innovative Schools program is an educational program that is part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program, a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment to help transform education systems around the world by connecting teachers and school leaders in a community of professional development. The Innovative Schools program helps school leaders transform their school communities into environments that foster innovative teaching practices and 21st century learning by providing the tools and resources needed for greater impact on educational transformation and student preparation. Through the program, school leaders become part of a global learning community and get access to expert advice and mentoring. A key component of the program is for each school leader to build sharable assets and create tools for other schools to leverage.
Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder and Mentor Schools are making the most of these benefits provided to them and are selected through a rigorous application process that includes written and video documentation. Pathfinder Schools have demonstrated a record of innovation that has transformed education and improved student outcomes in their education systems and local communities.
"I am enthusiastic about our designation as a Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder district because this designation will facilitate our sharing and reflecting on best practices with other innovative districts. This type of interaction leads to professional learning and ultimately to improved student achievement," said Eric Williams, Ed. D., superintendent, York County School District.
"As the third-largest school district in the country, Chicago is committed to providing every student with the opportunity to succeed in a global economy," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago. "It's innovative collaborations like this one with Microsoft that allow us to give parents a variety of options for a quality education that is best for their children."
The following are the six U.S. schools inducted as Pathfinder Schools this year:
Mentoring for Success
Microsoft Innovative Mentor Schools go a step further to share best practices with Pathfinder Schools, help them develop a vision and help them implement a plan to transform the way their schools operate.
"McGlone Elementary's participation in the Innovative Schools program has helped us increase student achievement by learning how to integrate new technology like netbooks, online learning environments, Promethean Boards, learner response systems and innovative teaching practices, such as letting students choose how they demonstrate their learning (videos, podcasts, Prezi, etc.), assigning and turning in work online, and collaborating with international students via videoconferencing and blogging," said Daniel Sharpe, instructional technology leader, McGlone Elementary, Denver. "Partners in Learning allows both teachers and our students to collaborate with international schools to share knowledge and best practices. This year, as a Mentor School, we look to continue this wonderful program by coaching international schools to help them reach their potential in innovative teaching, technology and ultimately prepare students for the future."
The following are this year's Mentor School inductees:
Representatives from the 2012–2013 Pathfinder and Mentor Schools will attend the Partners in Learning Global Forum, Nov. 28–Dec. 1 in Prague, Czech Republic. While there, these representatives will have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops and network with innovative instructors from around the world who have been recognized by the program this year.
Today's announcement coincides with World Teachers' Day, established in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to celebrate the profession and to promote international standards for teaching.
The Innovative Schools Program is open to any primary or secondary school worldwide that has a focus on creating a culture of innovation that advances the use of Microsoft technology in the learning process, as well as enables students to develop 21st century skills. Schools must sign up for the Partners in Learning Network, a free network giving school leaders and teachers access to a broad range of resources, content, assessment tools, training events, videos, monthly virtual universities, participation in local-level Partners in Learning forums and the Partners in Learning School Research tool to help measure their own innovation. Those schools seeking a deeper level of engagement in the program can then apply to become a Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder School and work toward achieving Microsoft Innovative Mentor School status. More about Partners in Learning, and the opportunity to sign up for the network, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/partnersInLearning.aspx.
About Microsoft Partners in Learning
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries. Partners in Learning helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create and share so students can realize their greatest potential. The online Partners in Learning Network is one of the world's largest global professional networks for educators, connecting millions of teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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