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 San Diego Classroom Leaders, Programs to be Honored

The Classroom of the Future Foundation will honor a number of San Diego County education initiatives that positively impact student learning at the 10th anniversary of its Innovation in Education Awards dinner, May 22 at the University of San Diego.

Each year the foundation recognizes classroom leaders and programs that inspire students to achieve through the development of innovative learning programs.

“The programs chosen to be honored demonstrate a significant impact on learning and are innovative, inspirational or substantially improve student achievement,” said Bruce Braciszewski, Ph.D., executive director, Classroom of the Future Foundation.

Winners will be recognized at the 10th Anniversary of the Innovation in Education Awards program and are featured on the Foundation’s new blog, blog.classroomofthefuture.org.

This year the Impact Award will be presented to the San Diego Unified School District for its district-wide commitment to incorporate 21st-century technology in the classroom. Interactive whiteboards, netbooks or iPads for all 130,000 students, along with other interconnected technologies, are becoming the defining characteristics of the district’s five-year plan for its 7,000 classrooms. Dinner and Impact Award sponsor SDG&E will present a $10,000 check to San Diego Unified.

The Inspire Award will be given to El Cajon’s Valhalla High School Digital Arts program, which is part of the school’s Career Technical Education pathway in arts, media and entertainment. The program inspires students by being modeled after video games and gaming. Inspire Award sponsor Qualcomm will present $5,000 to Valhalla.

The San Marcos Unified School District will receive the Innovate Award for using web-conferences to cost-effectively provide professional development for its staff. The district’s 457 elementary teachers participate in the program that focuses on California’s common core state standards. Innovate Award sponsor EDmin will present the $5,000 award.

The PRIDE Academy in the Santee Elementary School District will be honored for the second time, receiving the Achieve Award for converting its learning format to one that emphasizes continual project-based learning, teamwork, collaboration and the use of modern educational technology. The program won the Inspire Award in 2010 and now three years later, student achievement scores are increasing. The Achieve Award includes $5,000 from sponsor Mission Federal Credit Union.

In addition, Cajon Valley Middle School in El Cajon will receive an Inspire Honorable Mention Award for its creative writing program.

Innovate Honorable Mentions will be awarded to Riverview International Academy in Lakeside for its immersion education program and to Carmel Valley Middle School for its “flipped classrooms” where teacher lectures and presentations are delivered at home via online video and the school day is devoted more to students doing the work that once was considered traditional homework.

Achieve Award Honorable Mentions will recognize Felicita School in Escondido for its use of iPod touches as learning tools for elementary students, and to the Lemon Grove School District for transforming the content of its textbooks into interactive media.

The Innovation in Education Awards dinner will also feature $40,000 in scholarships provided by Jack in the Box and the USS Midway Museum to AVID scholars.

The San Diego-based Classroom of the Future Foundation brings San Diego County’s education and business communities together to facilitate partnerships, which create innovative learning environments that prepare students to thrive in a competitive global society. Each year, the foundation asks educators and school district leaders throughout the county to submit their respective learning programs for Innovation in Education Awards consideration. Winners are chosen by a jury of local business and education leaders. For more information about the awards program or Classroom of the Future Foundation, contact Executive Director Bruce Braciszewski at (858) 292-3685 or visit http://www.classroomofthefuture.org. ​