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2017 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

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.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This grassroots network of educators creates and nurtures innovative schools by supporting each other in developing high quality, research based resources and strategies for educators and students.
They live their VISION: Supporting the development of innovative schools. Sustaining and growing innovation through a network dedicated to continuous improvement. Educators collaborating and changing to better serve students.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having worked with ISN through the development, implementation, and operation of several schools, I can say without a doubt that this is a highly motivated and dedicated group. They have a desire to help schools and teachers see the potential within and passion to push them beyond the status quo. The connections they facilitate and the flow of ideas that comes out of those has been an incredible boost to our schools. I can honestly say that they have had a positive influence on the course of our student's learning.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have found no other group of people in the state so passionate and engaged in transforming schools to meet the needs of students. It is an honor to work alongside intelligent, dedicated, and creative people. We have witnessed educators realizing their dreams of educating students based on the local and individual needs rather than based on an outside force. I only wish we could reach more people!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN has helped with building our vision for our school. Their ability to see the big picture and help us collaborate with schools around the state were very valuable. I can not say enough about the support and knowledge of the ISN staff.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN has been extremely helpful to us in both our planning year and now in our implementation year. They have provided excellent leadership and support by providing quality visitations, workshops and consultants. Anytime we have a question or concern they are our first contact.

3

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ISN is a highly responsive organization which strives to meet the needs of schools in transforming for the future. The networking, professional development, coaching, and collaboration opportunities they provide, as well as additional resources, are invaluable in this process. This is a highly dedicated, forward thinking organization.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working with ISN for about 1 year and I have found them to be leaders in the field of education innovation! We have joined ISN for access to the great events and resources that they have available. We've attended their conferences, partnered with other ISN schools, and have received tremendous support in our journey to become innovative educators. The staff of ISN has a wealth of knowledge and one of their strengths is their ability to share that knowledge and if they don't know an answer, they will help you find someone who can collaborate with you to solve any issue!
I look forward to our continued partnership with ISN and their partners. Together we can change education for the better and create optimal learning environments for our children.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ISN provides great leadership and learning opportunities for teachers. It's especially valuable in these times of educational change and turmoil. We need an organization like this that can promote positive ideas for moving forward, supporting teachers and schools at every step. Their small staff do powerful work with huge impact.

4 Kirby B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN supports innovation in schools in all forms, whether it is PBL, Montessori, STEM, charter, traditional, or anything else. They are fostering innovation in whatever form it may take. Their leadership and support team are second to none. The conferences they put on have national speakers and encourage honest debate and learning. I hope ISN is successful in bringing their knowledge, network, and innovation beyond Wisconsin.

Comments ( 1 )

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heather.terrill.stotts 10/28/2014

What a great review. Thank you so much for your comments and collaborative efforts.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ISN has taken the bull by the horns in Wisconsin in the area of school and learning collaboration. They are branching out nationwide to include any school in the nation. This really shows their dedication to students in all learning situations. I've watched the ISN grow exponentially over the past couple of years and that is a direct testament to the hard-working individuals involved. When you attend an ISN event, you feel the passion, you see the dedication, and you are consumed by the excitement these individuals bring to learning. These folks are big thinkers and not afraid to get outside their comfort zone or to reach for the stars. But they are not just a workshop provider, throughout the year they provides an incredible amount of opportunities to collaborate and learn from others through all different sorts of platforms. They support your schools, guide your schools, help find mentors.....the list goes on and on. Top notch organization with top notch people.

Comments ( 1 )

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heather.terrill.stotts 10/28/2014

Thank you so much for this great review. What an incredible testimony!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ISN (Innovative Schools Network), formerly Wisconsin Innovative Schools Network, has played a vital role in building and serving like minded schools like ours (TAGOS Leadership Academy) since it was created a few years ago. Our staff has had the opportunity to develop and collaborate as individuals and as a team via ISN conferences, workshops, retreats that were set up with schools like mine in mind, as well as many other schools. The opportunity that has been the most successful for us to continue building and growing our school and staff has been the PBL Retreat. The PBL Retreat allowed our staff to get away and learn...but more importantly to plan and build our team stronger.

Comments ( 1 )

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heather.terrill.stotts 10/28/2014

What an excellent review! Thank you so much for your time and commitment to this organization.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I think of the ISN, I think of the hard-working, passionate team that goes way above and beyond in such a selfless manner. It is truly amazing to see how the individuals truly collaborate and have the ability to see the big picture. This has lasting impact on education in Wisconsin, and is now expanding beyond the state to bring more innovation to more schools, teachers, and individuals. The conferences fill gaps for educators and provide resources and connections that could not be attained elsewhere. In the future, I see more progress and innovation for the ISN and for educators everywhere.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ISN fills an essential role in linking innovative educators, regardless of where they teach. As a charter school teacher in Wisconsin, I have attended many ISN events over the past three years, and they have always been excellent opportunities to improve my practice and network with likeminded education professionals.

Comments ( 1 )

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heather.terrill.stotts 10/28/2014

What a nice review! Thank you so much for this and for your collaborative efforts.

1 Kevin109

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have attended a number of ISN-sponsored events and trainings, and I monitor their offerings on behalf of others who might profit from their programming. ISN provides notice, sponsorship, and facilitation of a wide variety of informational and training activities that are beneficial to a broad range of educational stakeholders. They foster a much greater degree of collaboration and sharing of ideas and practices than is normally available through other formal educational channels, and ISN is open to featuring both established strategies and emerging trends that can contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ISN is a team of dedicated professionals working to help schools implement innovative and creative methods of educating children. They're grounded in the realities that schools face and their vision for the future of education is a beacon that schools should look to and follow. The staff are well organized, hard working, and fun to know. If you're an educator anywhere in the US who wants to be inspired, contact the good people at ISN and dive in!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've attended ISN conferences and cannot say enough about them: inspiring, energetic, and well organized. The focus is on giving the participants as much useful, interesting information as possible, all in an atmosphere of fun and collaboration. Each conference left me excited and energized. ISN, as an organization, is completely committed to innovation and provides huge support to teachers, administrators, students, and parents looking to transform education.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ISN is an organization with a great deal of integrity, working to assist schools in the process of transformation for the future. They believe deeply in collaboration and collegiality and this resonates in all that they do. Public education is better because of the ISN.