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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

104 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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is one of the most innovative and helpful/supportive group of educational pioneers that we have ever had the pleasure of working with! They are professional, timely and know their stuff, when it comes to innovation and supporting the growth of schools- both old and new. The depth of knowledge is extremely well-versed, to help support varied levels of readiness of initiating creative learning maps, personalized learning environments and project-based learning approaches to student application of skills.

Lynn117

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ISN have been our primary change champions, leading the way with skill and expertise but also careful not to impose their own agenda. The organization is inspirational, the people are supportive, and when working with them, the results are transformational.

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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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I regularly sent as many teachers as possible from my district to the Innovative Schools Network National Conference each year. Teachers always returned excited and motivated to continue in the work of remaking schooling in order to engage, challenge, and inspire all students to be their best and make the world a better place.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is such a responsive and innovative group of folks who think outside the box to provide consultative and professional development services. They are so customer focused that they make certain their work is tailored perfectly to, in this case, meet a school's needs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The school that I work for, Connections Public Charter School from Hilo HI has been affiliated with ISN for a number of years. I have attended ISN conferences twice in Dels Wisconsin and I always leave inspired, full of new ideas and strategies to implement at our school, and best of all I have met other professionals from innovative schools from different parts of the USA. I am impressed with what ISN does for pioneering education. Their support of students, teachers and administrators is unparalleled and I am proud to be a part of the Innovative Schools Network family.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the former Minnesota state senator who authored the first charter school law in Minnesota and the nation. Chartering was established for two key reasons: autonomy and innovation. ISN has taken these elements and helped both public charter and district schools to achieve new strategies and opportunities for their students. I connected ISN with chartering leaders in other states as well. They are a terrific nonprofit.

saraWI

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ISN works tirelessly to ensure charter schools around the nation are equipped with the resources and connections they need to help their students succeed! They are reinventing education and inspiring educators and students around the US!!

Previous Stories

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to benefit from ISN's work from its inception. The services ISN provides truly benefit all schools looking to develop innovative practices.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ISN has been a great support to Charter Schools in Hawaii

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the grant coordinator for a charter school when it was being organized and for its first years of existence. The ISN was invaluable as a resource for me and the staff members of the school as we worked through the process of becoming a charter school and in developing programs that would serve the children in the best way possible. Each person I dealt with was professional and offered assistance where needed, from planning school visitations to providing in service opportunities for the staff. It would have been difficult to navigate all that needed to be done in those early years without the help of the ISN.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

As a grant coordinator for the last 1+ years, I truly value the work that ISN has been doing on behalf of schools around the state. They have been professional in their work and have offered workshops, visitations, and conferences that meet or exceed expectations. The connections we have made with educators across the state is due to the work of the staff at ISN. These connections have proved to be extremely valuable as we continue to strive to be an innovative school.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with the Innovative Schools Network when I was principal of Appleton Public Montessori. The Network was of great help to our school. They conducted an independent review of the school, and ultimately we became the Montessori mentor school for ISN. This allowed us to help other schools and communities as they began their Montessori adventure, which not only helped others but our school as well. The folks at ISN are always helpful, supportive, and knowledgeable. After retiring, I now have the pleasure of working with the great people at ISN as a consultant. My association with ISN has been truly enjoyable and rewarding in both roles. They are truly focused on the main mission of helping schools (and ultimately children) be successful!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Personable, highly competent team of experts who work together to customize your needs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN has been very supportive of my transition into a project based public charter school. They have offered Zoom discussions to connect students with their project learning. They also have a wonderful teacher convention each year that is meaningful and well done.

DanandLisa T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN makes a difference every day, as this nonprofit of dedicated people supports our schools! Thank you for all you do!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ISN has been an ongoing support for professional development and innovation for our school and schools around the country.

Steve H.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The fact that the Innovative Schools Network started as a Wisconsin group dedicated to introducing and exploring existing innovations in education and then expanding their outreach to the other 50 states is amazing. I am a charter school principal in Hawaii and I traveled to Wisconsin 3 years ago to see what this organization was about. I return every year and share this experience with fellow administrators and teachers at my school. Great keynote speakers, informational break out sessions, and fun and laughter abounds. I am looking forward to another great conference come Spring 2019.

Sue Kober Staniszewski E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Innovative Schools Network continues to support innovation in education by providing public school personal and related leaders throughout the nation with a network that builds a culture of innovation in thought and practice that can transform learning and schools. The conferences and other events they hold bring together practitioners already working in innovative settings with those who are interested in making the transformation or further developing their skills--sharing ideas and practices.


Previous Stories

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Northwest Passage High School has been a member of ISN for several years, and have been extremely happy with the support and resources they provide. ISN also offers great workshops and conferences to help support the progressive education work we do

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Innovative Schools Network focuses on helping teachers learn innovative teaching strategies in order to change the way students learn in schools. They do a fantastic job of organizing conferences in different parts of the country to help teachers continue to be lifelong learners. Their staff is organized, thoughtful, innovative (obviously), and very hardworking. I'm impressed by their team and the different expertise of the staff. We are thrilled to collaborate with them on the Kennedy Center's regional arts integration conferences.

Sara W.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've learned so much from the conferences I have attended with ISN. The knowledge I have gained has transformed my classroom and more importantly, my students learning.

Previous Stories

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!