QTEA Innovation Awards

Innovation Awards Overview

QTEA calls for support for and recognition of schools modeling effective strategies and schools showing the most growth in student achievement. As part of this effort, SFUSD has worked with UESF to establish the Impact & Innovation Awards.

For info on the QTEA Impact Awards (connected but separate grant programs), click on this link.

The Innovation Awards aim to reward schools which have demonstrated achievement and to help them develop innovative practices for hard-working staff at these schools to employ in support of student achievement.

2017-2018 Innovation Awards

In its third year within the iLab, the QTEA Innovation Awards supported a 14 school cohort in tackling equity challenges important to their community. To further deepen this work, the iLab rolled out a new equity-centered design framework that intentionally integrated an equity lens into the design thinking process. This additional frame encouraged even more inclusion of student voice and welcomed more stakeholders to learn from and design with. The second iteration of “Pitch Night” built on the first with schools presenting their ideas for additional funding and support. Winning schools are listed below:

Aptos Middle School: How might we use storytelling to shift mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs of non-black staff, specifically white staff as a means to fundamentally change the way they see, talk to, and teach Black students?

Balboa High School: How might we create and engaging curriculum around integrating basic computer skills and interesting content? How might we create/design professional development opportunities for teachers of all subject areas that encourage them to incorporate more technology across the curriculum? How might we design a flexible space that responds to student needs? How might we expand our understanding of a wider range of student needs?

César Chávez Elementary School: How might we help students celebrate and share their multiple intelligences inside and outside of the classroom?

Civic Center Secondary School: How might we ensure that each and every student has the skills to be successful in their next life setting?

Commodore Sloat Elementary School: How can we advance digital literacy in our school community to improve academic engagement and achievement for all students, and to close the opportunity gap for English Learners in particular?

Francis Scott Key Elementary School: How might we enable teachers to develop and implement authentic inquiry based learning by optimizing existing classroom space and ensuring access for ALL students specifically ELL, SPED, and Girls?

Hillcrest Elementary School: How might we, as the adults at Hillcrest (educators, parents, community members), work together to support students in designing a Black Student Union, in order to develop their sense of identity, belonging, and safety at school while addressing factors that hinder academic achievement?

Independence High School: How might we maximize deeper learning in the new model without recreating the problems of the traditional school?

John McLaren Early Education School: How might we create the conditions for our school, families, and community to partner in supporting positive behaviors in our 3-5 year-old Black boys?

Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School: How might we utilize technology to promote agency, authority, and identity for Flynn students, particularly for our historically underserved students?

Sheridan Elementary School: How can we advance Digital Literacy in our school community to improve academic engagement and achievement for all students, and to close the opportunity gap for African American students and English Learners in particular?

The Academy San Francisco High School: How might we invite our community to share themselves (identity, feelings, views) to create opportunities for clear discourse and empathy?

Visitacion Valley Middle School: How might we create environments and routines that empower our target students to be confident, motivated, independent readers?

Wallenberg High School: How might we increase cultural sensitivity and responsiveness among students and staff in order to foster a school culture that embraces African American students as leaders and scholars on campus?

2016-2017 Innovation Awards

For the second year, SFUSD has administered the QTEA Innovation Awards to advance our broader commitment to develop SFUSD into an innovative system (Shift #9 in Vision 2025) and capitalize on SFUSD’s iLab as a resource toward that end. As a result, schools were again invited to submit an application for an equity challenge that their school community wants to tackle in an innovative fashion. The winning schools then assembled a diverse team of administrators, staff, parents, and students to engage in a six week design process to conduct empathy and inspiration based research, unearth critical insights, and create new solutions that they will implement to address their unique challenge. This year SFUSD awarded funding and coaching to all 18 schools that applied so they could benefit from the design process. At an inaugural “Pitch Night,” schools presented their solutions for additional funding and support from QTEA and the broader SFUSD community. Winning schools are listed below along with information about their design process:

The Academy San Francisco High SchoolHow might we create a community space that celebrates our diversity and inspires a sense of pride and identity?

Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community SchoolHow might we improve participation and engagement of English Learners in order to increase overall academic achievement and close the opportunity gap that exists for students of color?

E.R. Taylor Elementary SchoolHow might we build empathy and trust among our staff so that we may face the equity challenges of our school?

Everett Middle SchoolHow might we support teachers to have regular and ongoing data driven conversations with students so they have academic/learner identities and take ownership of their school experience?

George Washington Carver Elementary SchoolHow do we increase the number of instructional minutes spent in class for African American male students? Newspaper

Glen Park Elementary SchoolHow might we create an inviting space to optimize the services and support offered through the Wellness Center to identify and build on students’ strengths toward meeting their needs and those who serve them?

Harvey Milk Civil Rights AcademyHow might we create an emotionally safe environment in our 3rd grade class so that all students are feeling safe and secure for learning?

Herbert Hoover Middle SchoolHow might we leverage the iLab 3D design process to build a culture of innovation that builds the “creative confidence” of students and staff to tackle persistent equity-centered problems?

Independence High SchoolHow might we as a school support our students to be more engaged and better with completing assignments on time?

John Muir Elementary SchoolHow might we create systems of support, communication, and personalized services in order to help teachers enhance relationships with our most vulnerable families.

Leonard Flynn Elementary SchoolHow might we help our new teachers inside and outside their classrooms so they feel successful while teaching?

Marshall Elementary SchoolHow can we create a collaborative school culture built on trust and supporting 21st century student outcomes?

Martin Luther King Middle SchoolHow might we increase student engagement through the implementation of Project Based Learning and STEAM? Journey Map

Mission High SchoolHow might we shape our African-American female students’ identities and strengthen connections between students and staff in order to cultivate a culture of excellence?

Paul Revere Middle SchoolHow might we develop a culture between students, staff, parents and administrators to cultivate authentic relationships that help to reduce behavior issues and increase academic outcomes?

San Francisco International High SchoolHow might we design a satellite continuation school to better serve our unaccompanied, recently arrived immigrant students, who need to work full time?

Visitacion Valley Middle SchoolHow might we create learning spaces that facilitate culturally responsive teaching, for our most vulnerable students, in preparation for the world of 2050?

2015-2016 Innovation Awards

For 2015-16, we received 13 applications and accepted 10 schools. Our schools continue to demonstrate ingenuity and dedication to ensuring an exemplary academic education.

2015-16 Innovation Awards

During the first two years of these awards, Innovation awards were granted to promising (but largely untested) projects that showed a reasonable expectation of success. Starting this year, we have restructured the awards to advance our broader efforts to implement an innovative system (Shift #9 in Vision 2025) and capitalize on SFUSD’s new iLab as a resource toward that end. As a result, schools were not asked to submit a promising practice, but rather invited to present an equity challenge that their school community is facing and wants to tackle in an innovative fashion. The winning schools then assembled a site team to engage in a design process (including an iLab bootcamp and followup coaching sessions) in order to create an innovative work plan that addresses their unique challenge. Our winning applicants are currently in the middle of that process; we expect them to finalize their design early in the Spring 2016 semester. Winning schools are listed below (click on their name to see their design challenge):

If there are additional questions, please reach out to the QTEA office at QTEA@sfsud.edu.