Distinguished partnerships

Overarching theme of 54 innovative districts includes cooperative elements
By: | July 6, 2017

From providing a range of innovative initiatives, including social-emotional learning programs to giving English language learners quality support, 54 school districts have been named among DA’s newest batch of Districts of Distinction this year.

The honored districts from 23 states were chosen for the national recognition program for their innovative and unique twist on traditional programs.

For many of the honorees, district leaders started with their stakeholders, talking to parents and community members, and then worked in conjunction with other local programs or community groups to help turn their ideas into action.

Other districts used federal grant money or local business connections to help provide beneficial programs.

For example, the professional community of Highland Park in New Jersey was instrumental in providing the Gender Identity Protection Policy at Highland Park Public Schools, in part to help ensure personalized support plans for students who needed them. And the Unionville-Chads Ford district in Pennsylvania launched a school, family and community partnership to improve special education outcomes.

That similar community effort extends to California, where at Pomona USD, district leaders used a state grant to open the Learning Connection, an after-school safe haven that includes intervention programs for literacy and math.

Other districts, such as Vancouver Public Schools in Washington state, created PD programs for administrators and teachers to help implement the technology tools that are so relevant in today’s learning. In Vancouver, a small group of leaders meet regularly to explore digital learning tools that teachers are using, so they can effectively coach their staff.

For more information about Districts of Distinction, including a list of current and past honorees, visit www.districtadministration.com/dod.