School leaders committed to improving student outcomes benefit when they share best practices with one another. Over my time working in education, I’ve continued to be inspired by school leaders who push the boundaries of innovation and strive to set new benchmarks for what’s possible. It’s clear that the most important part of the journey is about people. The role of the school leader in making positive change to the school, community and for students, is critical to ongoing, sustained success.
Above: Hardenhuish School
The Microsoft Showcase Schools program provides an opportunity for diverse yet like-minded leaders to learn from and support one another’s journey through transformation. It’s designed to support innovative school leaders who commit to bringing their vision to life – through the development of a growth mindset in their educators, students, parents, local community, and in themselves. I’ve had the great opportunity to engage with many of these school leaders and to visit their schools over recent years. I am always impressed by the energy, commitment and undeniable passion they have to make their schools incredible places to learn.
While no two Showcase Schools look the same, many share similar challenges. In the Showcase Schools program, success and best practices are shared and amplified through a global network of school leaders. These innovative leaders work together to solve transformation’s toughest conundrums and celebrate momentum and successes as they reflect, grow and develop along the way.
School Leaders love the opportunity to engage directly with Microsoft through the Showcase Schools program, not to mention how easily the program helps develop deep connections with education thought leaders around the world.
If you are a school leader committed to transforming your school and increasing student outcomes, Microsoft encourages you to nominate your school for consideration in the Showcase Schools program. If accepted into the program, you will join a community of passionate and knowledgeable school leaders, innovate alongside Microsoft product teams and partners, and amplify your school’s success through tours and events. Other school leaders will look to you to provide them with an education transformation vision for tomorrow – today.
“The work we are doing at Renton Prep is disruptive. That means there are challenges, roadblocks along the way, and it’s hard work,” says Michelle Zimmerman, Director Renton Prep in Renton, Washington, USA. “But the reward of being a member of the Showcase Schools community, knowing that other educators are going through the same thing, makes it worth it because we can tackle some of those challenges together and find solutions we wouldn’t have alone.”
Microsoft is looking for schools whose leaders are innovative agents of change and who meet the following criteria:
The school demonstrates:
- Thought leadership in at least one area of educational transformation, as outlined in the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework.
- Innovative use of technology, using Microsoft solutions, to drive positive impact and student success with 21st century skills.
The school leader demonstrates:
- Innovation, as evidenced through the actions and attitudes of a growth mindset and commitment to the K-12 Education Transformation Framework Journey.
- Empowerment of educators and students to innovate and exercise a growth mindset.
- Willingness to drive efforts to connect with educators locally practices.
- If the above criteria describe your school and your leadership style, follow these three easy steps to nominate your school for consideration in Microsoft’s Showcase Schools Program for 2018 and 2019.
1. Join the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile. You will need to submit the URL to your public profile as part of the nomination process. You can find your URL under Edit Profile -> Basic Information.
2. On your nomination form, provide the public URLs for any additional social media profiles you may have (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc).
3. Create a two-minute video or Sway in which you share your story of innovative educational transformation. Remember to use these prompts to guide your story:
- This is what we thought about educational transformation before we engaged with Microsoft . . .
- This is what we learned about educational transformation since working with Microsoft . . .
- This is what we are doing next . . .
- This is what we are keeping in mind . . .
- These are our current blockers and challenges . . .
Nominations are open on a rolling basis, although some regions and countries’ nomination dates may vary based on local academic schedules. Your local Microsoft team will provide you with details once your completed nomination form is submitted.
We look forward to reviewing your school’s nomination.