Real-world advice for Future Ready districts
The Future Ready Schools® (FRS) case studies offer real-world advice from school district superintendents who have used FRS tools to transition to digital learning, improve student and teacher engagement, and increase parent and community support.
The case studies are organized around four FRS focus areas—collaborative leadership, personalized student learning, robust infrastructure, and personalized professional learning—and feature a variety of school districts from small rural districts to medium and large suburban and urban districts.
Innovation and Equity: Expanding Access to Advanced Placement Courses
Although personalized instruction has been a goal for the district, California's Colton Joint Unified School District catalyzed its effort to leverage technology fully by joining the FRS network in 2014. That year, Superintendent Jerry Almendarez took the Future Ready District Pledge and set the district on a path to creating student-centered learning using the Future Ready Framework as a guide.
Innovation and Equity: Improving Instruction Through Professional Learning
During the last few years, Sioux City Community School District made significant investments in digital transformation, implementing a one-to-one student to device initiative at the high school level; expanded multiple science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and career-focused program offerings; and developed seventeen school construction projects.
Defining and Refining a Vision for Digital Learning Classrooms
Though the use of FRS tools and resources, the district developed an operational definition for the district of what “personalization” means for its teachers and students.
Facilitating Effective Technology Use Through Innovative Spaces
The district added a focus on student-centered learning, aided by FRS resources, employing strategies such as student-developed learning profiles and student-led conferences.
Creating a Safe Space for Innovation
The district worked to enhance the use of educational technology and to create a culture of innovation to support effective technology use with the support of FRS resources.
"Don’t be afraid to jump in, and don’t be afraid if something fails the first time …. We celebrate the fact that we are taking risks, that we’re trying something new, and that we’re really looking to redesign the learning experience for our students.”
Pam Gildersleeve Hernandez
Former Superintendent, San Antonio Union Elementary School District (CA)
Increasing Future Ready Capacity and Comprehensiveness
The district adopted a pragmatic approach to technology implementation that uses FRS resources as a foundation for the initiative while implementing strategic tools and resources to bridge the gap between where the district was in its technology integration and where it would need to go in order to fulfill a Future Ready vision.
Addressing Robust Infrastructure Through Collaboration
Through ongoing collaborations between instructional and technology staff, efforts to increase staff knowledge of technology infrastructure, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders (from students to district support staff to community members), the district bolstered both the infrastructure and its safe utilization by students, teachers, and other district staff.
Increasing a District’s Comfort With Technology Through a Pragmatic Framework and Professional Learning
Although individuals were implementing technology in the district, no comprehensive approach was employed to ensure the efforts were targeted toward student learning. The district used the FRS resources to increase district capacity and support the comprehensive approach to education technology and student learning.
"What we really took away from a lot of the Future Ready resources is that shift away from being a consumer of ed tech to a producer. Teachers are really starting to run with that and be incredibly creative in their classrooms. ... You walk into a lot of classrooms and regardless of the specific app they’re using, it’s not just students accessing content, they’re really engaged in active learning. They’re connecting with an authentic audience and it’s exciting to see that across the different grade levels."
Superintendent, Bristol Warren School District (RI)
A Comprehensive Digital Learning Plan Bolstered by Strategic Partnerships
Through the use of FRS resources, the district approached technology via a detailed, carefully considered digital learning strategic plan coupled with strategic community partnerships.
Enhancing Personalized Student Learning Through Data Use
New district leadership in Topeka, already familiar with the FRS resources and coming from another Future Ready school district, introduced incentives to provide teachers and students with a more in-depth level of instructional planning using data-driven decisionmaking.
Supporting Teachers’ Effective Use of Technology Through Coaching
To facilitate high levels of learning for every student, the district prioritized a significant amount of work through organizational structures and leveraged FRS resources in multiple ways.
"We don’t want to be doing this to our kids or to our teachers; we want to be doing this with our kids and with our teachers."