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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Innovative Schools Network has been a valued partner in our quest to continually deliver an excellent educational program to our school community. When we were in need of guidance, the Innovative Schools Network team of professionals worked with us on our strategic plan. We set goals, created a new mission and vision statement and saw our school culture improve dramatically. We are working with them again this year as I strive to assist each teacher on their professional growth journey toward shared leadership.

1 Tim_90

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have looked to ISN as a national leader in articulating and, through their membership and services, advancing the culture and practice of innovation in schools. As a network they convene change agents and assist with advising implantation to changes in policy and practice. They lead through example and involvement.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of working with ISN for the past year hosting education conferences throughout Wisconsin. The quality of work this grassroots organization does is incredible. No detail goes unnoticed making each event exceptional. The best part? Hearing educators from around the nation share how these conferences have re-ignited their passion for teaching; and who doesn't need more of that?

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The work of ISN, formerly WISN, is transforming education by encouraging, inspiring, and educating those in the field of education who long to be more effective and creative in helping students learn. I have received so much courage and insight into learning through this organization and the people who are involved with it. Their hard work and commitment to constructive change in their field stirs you to want to be a better learner and educator.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with and attending events hosted by WISN, now ISN, for the past 3-4 years. What turned into some advice and light consulting, quickly turned into a partnership, with shared responsibility and extreme growth. ISN and the founders, as well as core group of leaders who work within this organization, really strive to help schools, leaders and the community understand and implement innovative instructional and learning models that take schools to the next level. Now in our 7th year of operation as an innovative school, we truly feel blessed to have had the powerful and insightful leadership and guidance of ISN to help propel the learning and application opportunities that we have in our school, on a daily basis. This is now just, "The way we do business..."

ISN Rocks!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Innovative Schools Network is a phenomenal resource for educators and school districts. I attended a conference last spring that was put on by the ISN and it was fantastic. There were wonderful speakers from across the country who gave us first hand information about school reform and teacher lead initiatives. It was so exciting to see and feel the energy in the room, and our district attendees came home with a lot of worthwhile information and new enthusiasm for teaching. The conference was very efficiently run and extremely well planned. Thank you so much to those who work for ISN and help to make our schools more accountable and responsive to the communities they serve.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Innovative Schools Network for more than a year. I have been impressed with their focus on the mission of the organization, their commitment to support their members and their ability to remain focused on how to support schools as they prepare for the future.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Innovative Schools Network provides invaluable networking, professional development, coaching and collaboration opportunities to schools. If your school or school district is looking to provide innovative educational opportunities to its students, this is the organization that can provide you the resources and coaching to accomplish your goals.

2 Terry77

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ISN is a high performance partner that both challenges and supports our local schools.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this amazing group of educators since their beginning. Creating and operating an innovative school is challenging to say the least. Networking is a cornerstone of this organization. Our partners have helped myself and many others to lesson the learning curve for creating new schools. As a board member I frequently hear from other educators how helpful ISN has been in offering just in time professional development, coaching and conferences.