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Innovative Schools Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: A grassroots network of educators creating and nurturing innovative schools by supporting each other in developing high quality, research based resources and strategies for both educators and students.

Results: We have assisted over 160 schools and over 3,000 educators in working to implement innovative, sustainable educational opportunities for students.

Target demographics: public schools transform into sustainable, innovative learning opportunities for students

Direct beneficiaries per year: 160 schools and approximately 3000 teachers

Geographic areas served: education

Programs: professional development in innovative areas. We focus on teaching and learning in the "Innovation Zone" to assist in the transformation of our schools today so that tomorrow they will be viable and exactly what each student needs.

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have partnered with the Innovative Schools Network for the past 5 years. "Transformation" has become an overused term in education, primarily because we all want to do "it." The ISN has been an innovative leader in assisting schools and school districts in developing "zones of innovation" where learning is different; learning is engaging; learning is rooted in curiosity; a place were kids do most of the work as the teachers advise and guide the learner based on their strengths and interests. They have provided strategic planning services that helped develop the foundation upon which we could build our vision of how we want education to be different...they opened the door to see things "differently" and provided the leadership and services to help us redefine education in our district.They provide onsite and remote consultation through video coaching. Many of their coaches are current teachers and leaders within project based or inquiry based schools. They are very adept at bridging the fine line between a schools district's central control of a school building and the building having the autonomy to truly innovate and do things differently. This is hard and risky work for many school systems because we have prided ourselves in the past of the "one size fits all" model assuming a uniform delivery model would be fair and adequate for the success of all learners. Now however, more districts have come to realize that they must begin offering different learning models and opportunities for students based more on strengths and interests than the legacy curricula intended to serve all students. ISN brings exciting, fresh ideas and enthusiasm to those who seek a different way of educating students for the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Absolutely wonderful team of people dedicated to helping teachers and the education community realize what innovative means and the positive impact it has on kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have partnered with the Innovative Schools Network for the past 5 years. "Transformation" has become an overused term in education, primarily because we all want to do "it." The ISN has been an innovative leader in assisting schools and school districts in developing "zones of innovation" where learning is different; learning is engaging; learning is rooted in curiosity; a place were kids do most of the work as the teachers advise and guide the learner based on their strengths and interests. They have provided strategic planning services that helped develop the foundation upon which we could build our vision of how we want education to be different...they opened the door to see things "differently" and provided the leadership and services to help us redefine education in our district.

They provide onsite and remote consultation through video coaching. Many of their coaches are current teachers and leaders within project based or inquiry based schools. They are very adept at bridging the fine line between a schools district's central control of a school building and the building having the autonomy to truly innovate and do things differently. This is hard and risky work for many school systems because we have prided ourselves in the past of the "one size fits all" model assuming a uniform delivery model would be fair and adequate for the success of all learners. Now however, more districts have come to realize that they must begin offering different learning models and opportunities for students based more on strengths and interests than the legacy curricula intended to serve all students. ISN brings exciting, fresh ideas and enthusiasm to those who seek a different way of educating students for the future.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Innovative Schools Network focuses on creating zones of innovation within existing school districts that create specific model schools through teacher empowerment and commitment to a unique school design. Such schools provide unique learning environments for students to follow their passions, become more engaged through integrated content and projects. ISN has assisted many districts in designing schools that foster more student engagement, ownership and levels of maturity and personal responsibility.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I’m proud to be a teacher at one of the member schools that founded this great organization. The Innovative Schools Network connects us with great mentors and schools, video conference opportunities, and creates extremely valuable conferences. As a teacher in a small, innovative project based learning school I feel that ISN is a catalyst for growing and changing education in today’s world and I’m so thankful that they bring me along for the ride through the opportunities they provide!

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so lucky - I've attended & presented at all of the ISN Conferences on Educational Innovation! The success of having staff members attend a conference on innovative education can partially be measured in the number and quality of sessions attended, being a presenter at a session with good audience feedback, the notes taken, and the techniques, computer software, and new ideas learned. All of those things have been a huge success! However, there are other factors that can also determine the success of attending that just can’t be measured. Because my small school district encourages educational options, it is more important than ever for us to be able to make connections with schools and people that are also striving to innovate and create new opportunities for student learning. Attendance at these conferences successfully provides staff members with countless collaborations, including helping to foster and grow the Innovative Schools Network itself - the great nonprofit, teacher-driven organization that puts on the conferences!

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Sarah Kathryn Welch H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wisconsin public schools would t be as wonderfully innovative and great for all kids without ISN's professional development and support for our rockstar teachers!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with ISN many times over the past few years and I am always astonished at the intense interest the entire ISN staff has in making education better. I don't mean this in a cursory, lip service kind-of-way, I mean you can actually sense and experience their enthusiasm in everything they do; from planning to presenting to just chatting in the hallway, every single part of ISN bleeds passion for improving education.

Sue Kober Staniszewski E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have found the Innovative Schools Network to be very responsive to the needs of educators around the country. The conferences, workshops, and individual consulting include the expertise of people in the field of education demonstrating successful innovative practices effective for students. This is a proactive organization working to provide a network that builds a culture of innovation in thought and practice to transform learning and schools.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN gave our school the guidance and assurance we needed at the most difficult times. As a member of a board of a small charter school, you're often thrust into roles that go beyond your experience and expertise, and that's where ISN came in. They connected us with schools who had dealt with similar issues in the past, provided us sample documents to help guide our discussion, and generally provided a confidence to the process we lacked. They were always great to work with and the whole team at ISN showed how much they cared about us as a board and the students and community we served.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My favorite thing about the ISN is the online document warehouse. There are so many helpful resources that I have used that have helped our charter school governance board become more effective.

Sara W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN and their work has made me a better teacher! I am so happy with the learning opportunities they have provided in numerous areas!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The ISN staff is a great team of educators and past educators that work extremely hard to help schools and teachers on their path to change the educational experience for students.

Todd B.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The art-integration conferences that the ISN conducts have opened my eyes to a whole new way of engaging students.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an employee of a 4K-8 STEM school focusing on 21st Century skills, I find ISN to be an essential resource. It is wonderful to have the support and brain power of so many innovative educators.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization continues to offer important design principles, practical assistance, and outstanding resources at a time when contemporary curriculum for future schools is in growing demand. Thanks for helping us plan for these changes, ISN!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN is broadening its impact nationally and for good reason! The organization continues to focus on a what matters most - challenging and changing typical educational structures in terms of both where and how learning takes place. ISN is ahead of its time and is vitally important to educators as the lens through which the future of education can be viewed and understood. Thanks, ISN!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization has helped our school connect with other like minded educators and inspire all of us to break out of the traditional classrooms. Having easy access to people that are actually doing the work to improve the learning environment is a core value. It is all about educators supporting other educators to help us do what we know is best for children.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent organization with a true love and belief that public education can be the center of change in our world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Innovative Schools Network is a unique grass roots organization that places the focus on innovating where it matters most - with our children in public schools. Schools are strapped for resources and ISN provides an avenue for professional development and networking that is beyond anything else that is available in this field.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Innovative Schools Network offers help and support to educators and students in a wide variety of areas. ISN can help schools develop curriculum, launch a PR campaign, give advice about higher education opportunities for students, provide valuable educational, business, and social networks for students and educators, form advisory boards, and help make decisions regarding the logistics of a school day. These services are tailor made for individual schools so they benefit all students with diverse needs, challenges, and goals. ISN helps schools help kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ISN team provides amazing support to educators who have the courage to innovate, but need support and expertise to translate their vision to reality. I have attended ISN's excellent state conference and participated in their consulting and coaching services and found everything they do to be excellent.

1 Lynn117

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ISN has the expertise to lead a school towards realizing it's own potential, and the commitment to see a project through. They are professionals through and through, never pushing their own agenda, but instead helping administrators, teachers, and parents to work together for the good of students. They are change champions!