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Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2016!

In July 2015 we launched NewSchools Catapult, a program to invest in and support education entrepreneurs launching new schools with innovative instructional models. We recently announced NewSchools Catapult 2015, a cohort of 14 trailblazing district and charter schools that are reimagining PREK-12 education by personalizing learning and giving students greater agency over their experience.Innovation takes many forms. Our cohort includes schools implementing instructional designs like co-teaching, dynamic grouping, blended learning, high-dosage tutoring and competency-based […] Read more

Announcing the Catapult 2015 Cohort

Earlier this summer, we launched NewSchools Catapult, the first endeavor of our new Innovative Schools strategy.  Its purpose is simple, yet bold: to create a bellwether for innovation in PreK-12 education by supporting the most promising school teams from around the country in creating the kinds of incredible, life-altering schools that our students deserve.This was a highly competitive selection process; we received over 80 applications for our two programs, Catapult Invent and Catapult […] Read more

NewSchools Catapult: 1 Week Countdown, Early Observations

Earlier this summer, we released NewSchools Catapult, an opportunity for innovative, new schools with plans to launch in Fall 2016 to apply for early-stage investment from us.  Its goal over the next several years is to propel successive waves of education entrepreneurs to launch new schools – the kinds of incredible, life-altering schools that can truly prepare our students to pursue their most ambitious dreams. In keeping with our mission and core values, our focus […] Read more

Introducing NewSchools Ignite: Accelerating Innovation in K-12 EdTech Market Gaps

In the edtech world, there is no shortage of talent or ideas. In fact, here at NewSchools, we have had the privilege of supporting some of the brightest minds building innovative tools to support K-12 teaching and learning. Nevertheless, educators nationwide report that in certain sectors there is a lack of high quality digital tools available to support students’ growth in areas critical for success in the 21st century. Today, we are […] Read more

Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2015

At NewSchools Venture Fund, we have always had a great affection for early-stage school entrepreneurs who are (re)imagining, (re)designing, and (re)creating the student experience and we are truly excited by all the school leaders realizing these visions in schools and getting great results for students.One of the more famous early innovators, Leonardo daVinci, not only excelled at painting and sculpture, but was also skilled in science, mathematics, engineering, inventing, and architecture, among […] Read more

Tell Us Your Big Idea! Launching Pre-Application Surveys to Gather Info on Innovative Schools

Earlier this year we shared our strategy for 2015 and beyond.  A major pillar of our strategy is to invest in teams of educators across the U.S. who are designing schools that prepare and inspire each and every student to reach his or her most ambitious dreams and plans.  We aim to support schools that set bold goals for their students and embrace an expanded definition of student success that includes high academic […] Read more

DC Education Innovation Fellowship: Teachers as Innovators

Together with the CityBridge Foundation in Washington, DC, NewSchools launched the Education Innovation Fellowship program in 2013.  This yearlong program introduces teacher leaders to the most promising innovations in personalized learning and offers them opportunities to pilot personalized learning models in their schools.  The Fellowship program includes local and national school visits, workshops, seminars, guest speakers, and technology demonstrations.  Fellows design and lead personalized learning pilot programs during the summer and expand […] Read more

Trip Notes: SXSWedu 2015

Last week I was in Austin for SXSWedu, which I’ve attended every year since its launch. I thought I’d share some excerpts from my trip notes:Shark tank has jumped the shark at South-By. Several sessions used the popular television show for inspiration. Here’s a rundown on three of them:Teachers could pitch their classroom innovation ideas to judges and a studio audience in a shark tank edu session, followed by a shark-tank themed […] Read more

NewSchools’ Strategy at a Glance

Over the past month, we have been sharing a couple of the pillars of our strategy going forward.  The infographic below captures our vision, rationale and approach in a more visual way.  We’re excited to share it, and even more excited about the work ahead.A quick note: in addition to these strategic focus areas, we have a continuing commitment to diversify education leadership and to generate high quality school choices in Washington, […] Read more

Investing in Tools & Services that Support Innovative Schools

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing some information about our investment strategy at NewSchools.In a January 13 blog post about innovative school models, I acknowledged we’re at the beginning of our work as an investor in schools that put more power in students’ hands and tailor learning to their individual needs.Then on January 26 we shared some news in EdSurge about our ed tech investing. For us, these investment areas […] Read more