The 21st Century Innovation team is in its third year in the Wallingford Public Schools. This education-business collaborative provides sabbaticals for teachers and administrators while they research, design, and implement innovative practices in their classrooms and schools.
In 2012, five local corporations donated funds to place two teachers and an administrator on full-time sabbaticals for the year. During that time, the team worked collaboratively with Quinnipiac University professors to increase their understanding of research and ultimately develop a design to identify how we might move our district forward in an innovative way for students and staff. The result of their work is the Wallingford 100 - 100% Community Involvement and 100% Student Engagement leads to 100% Graduation and Success of our students.
Last year, a new team came on board as the implementation team. Their focus has been K-12 standards/competency development. In addition, their work centers on implementing rich personalized learning opportunities for students and staff.
The 21st Century Innovation Team continues to be funded through the generosity of local businesses. One of the unique qualities of this program is that the businesses act as the review board for all of the work of the team. We do not just collect the money and say thank you. Rather, the businesses select the team members and guide their work. This aspect of the initiative fosters a deep school-business partnership.