Community School, a Rogers Family Foundation grant recipient, is proud to share the news release below

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2014
Rogers Family Foundation
Contact: Rhonnel Sotelo,
Executive Director, 510-899-7900
Oakland Named One of Six U.S. Hubs to Lead K-12 Innovation
Rogers Family Foundation to head up work and host kickoff event Sept. 10
Oakland, CA — As part of a $25 million nationwide effort to establish regional hubs of K-12 innovation, Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) has chosen the Rogers Family Foundation (RFF) to lead the planning, design, and launch of “breakthrough schools” in Oakland. To celebrate and launch the initiative, RFF will host a kickoff event for Oakland educators on September 10 at Forge Pizza in Jack London Square.
RFF is one of just six organizations across the country tapped to identify and support NGLC breakthrough schools whose approaches incorporate personalized, blended, and competency-based learning. The Foundation is well positioned to lead the work, having piloted Blended Learning in eight Oakland public schools over the last two years. Those pilot programs aimed to improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness by supporting classroom use of technology in innovative ways that dramatically rethought teaching and learning.
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Teacher Pete Knight works with students at Madison Park Academy
(Photo / The Learning Accelerator / Courtesy Rogers Family Foundation)
“The NGLC Regional Funds offer Oakland a fabulous opportunity to take the lessons we’ve learned from our Blended Learning pilots and create new spaces for educators and families to dream much bigger, brighter, and deeper about the kind of schools they want for their kids,” says Greg Klein, Rogers Family Foundation Senior Director for Innovation and Learning.
RFF will partner with the Oakland Unified School District, local charter operators, and the Oakland Public Education Fund to award grants totaling $600,000 for up to 10 Oakland schools. Among the 10 grantees, the Foundation expects to grant an additional $1.2 million to three to four schools to launch their final design plans between Fall 2015 and September 2016.
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ASCEND, a K‒8 charter school, has a Chromebook for every student and every teacher
(Photo / Hasain Rasheed / Courtesy Rogers Family Foundation)
“As the fiscal sponsor for Oakland’s NGLC Regional Funds, we are excited to partner with the Rogers Family Foundation,” says Oakland Public Education Fund Executive Director Brian Stanley. “We look forward to championing and supporting NGLC in Oakland as it helps make our city a place where all students can learn, grow, and thrive.”
RFF will use a range of measures to evaluate grantee schools’ ability to “break through” and achieve several goals, including learning growth of 1.5 years in Math and English, and a clear demonstration of college readiness based on California’s Early Assessment Program performance. “The goals are ambitious,” says Rhonnel Sotelo, RFF’s Executive Director, “and they should be for an initiative that boldly embraces the talented and passionate teachers and school leaders in our town prepared to innovate and create out-of-this-world schools.”
To launch the project’s “discovery phase,” RFF will host a kickoff event for teachers, school leaders, and members of the media at Forge Pizza (66 Franklin St., in Oakland) on Wednesday, September 10 at 4 PM. RSVP here. For more information, please visit the new Oakland-based NGLC website at
About the Rogers Family Foundation
The Rogers Family Foundation (RFF) is committed to Oakland’s public schools where it seeks to positively transform the educational experience and opportunities for Oakland’s most disadvantaged students. Investing both staffing and funding resources, the Foundation envisions a future in which all Oakland students will graduate college-, career-, and community-ready. For more on RFF’s Blended Learning pilot program, click here.
About the Oakland Public Education Fund
The Oakland Public Education Fund (the Ed Fund) leads the development and management of community resources in Oakland public schools so that all students can learn, grow, and thrive.
About Next Generation Learning Challenges
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. This multi-year program provides investment capital to expand the use of proven and emerging learning technologies, collects and shares evidence of what works, and fosters innovation and adoption of solutions which will dramatically improve the quality of learning in the United States, particularly for low-income students and students of color. NGLC is managed by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Funding for NGLC has primarily been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.