Lakota Shares Powerful Learning Strategies

Lakota Shares Powerful Learning Strategies to Inspire Advancements in Education
Posted on 04/30/2019
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innovation portfolio groupInnovation Portfolio includes reimagining the high school experience and team teaching

Lakota Local Schools is sharing powerful learning strategies with a national audience through
Innovation Portfolios, a new storytelling platform where school districts can widely share ideas, programs, and implementation practices they’ve designed, supported, and grown in their districts.

Lakota Schools is involved with Innovation Portfolios through its membership in the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of 102 forward-thinking public school districts across 33 states representing nearly three million students.

“Stories have the power to inform, inspire, connect, and mobilize,” said Digital Promise President and CEO Karen Cator. “Innovation Portfolios present powerful stories of important accomplishments across public education. We’re excited to see how this resource grows as more districts contribute.”

Lakota’s Innovation Portfolio highlights the district’s work to empower teachers and students through innovative approaches to education including reimagining the high school experience.

More than 30 teachers and students participated in a three-day design challenge in November to brainstorm ideas about creating a more engaging experience for students. An immediate outcome of this work is the expanded offerings during the optional zero bell beginning in the fall of 2019.

“Our students need to be prepared not just for graduation, but for what comes next,” said Lakota’s superintendent, Matthew Miller. “In order to set our kids up for success, they need a voice at the table,” he continued. During registration for next year, students were able to choose up to seven courses instead of the traditional six. While the district has offered a social studies and English class during zero bell in the past, it plans to offer classes by demand instead of limiting the number.

“Students will drive the courses offered during zero bell in the fall,” said Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Keith Koehne. “Students were able to choose to come early for zero bell or stay late for a seventh bell,” he explained. “We will determine the courses that may be offered based on student request and district resources.”

Visitors to the site can search for Innovation Portfolio entries by filtering for categories such as district location, district size, a district’s percentage of free and reduced lunch, and urbanicity. Additionally, stories are tagged by challenge topics identified by educators on the Digital Promise Challenge Map. “As a member of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, Lakota is able to network and collaborate with like-minded, forward-thinking schools across the country,” said Miller. “It’s rewarding to know that the work we are doing for our kids is being recognized at this national level.”

Innovation Portfolios represent a new effort by Digital Promise to share a wide breadth and depth of innovation in education, empowering school districts to tell their own stories of successful programs they’ve designed, supported and grown. Already, nearly 170 entries across dozens of districts offer models, strategies, and lessons learned.

To further explore the Innovation Portfolios, visit