DOWNEY -- Downey High School was selected by Microsoft as a 2015-2016 Microsoft Showcase School for its excellence in transforming its learning environment to deliver more personalized education to students and for using mobile and cloud technology to better prepare students for success in the workplace.
In addition, Downey Unified had three "technology coaches" selected as Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) experts, joining the more than 4,800 educators in the MIE Expert program worldwide.
Each year, Microsoft selects innovative educators to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other as a global community dedicated to improving student outcomes through technology. These three individuals are Downey Unified teachers Josh Davis, Daniella Keeler and Ronald Legaspi. This is Davis’ third year being selected as an MIE Expert and the second consecutive year for Keeler and Legaspi.
“Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts are inspiring examples of educators applying new ways of teaching and learning in the classroom that motivates students and empowers them to achieve more,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, at Microsoft.
Downey High joins an exclusive community of about 400 premier schools from around the world, just 49 from the United States, recognized for their pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment in order to deepen 21st Century competencies.
“Being selected as a Microsoft Showcase School is an amazing honor and recognition of the passion our teachers and staff have for creating the best learning environments possible,” said Tom Houts, principal at DHS. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other schools in our community and the world, to continue finding innovative ways to equip our students with the proper tools needed for success inside and outside of the classroom.”
Downey Unified was also visited in June by members of the 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program (P21) to validate that the school district provides students with an effective 21st Century learning environment. Currently there are 59 Exemplar Schools nationwide and, if selected, Downey Unified would be one out of seven school districts in California to receive this designation.
The P21 evaluation is based on six factors: evidence of commitment to college, career and life readiness; educational support systems and sustainable design; engaged learning approaches; equitable student access to 21st Century learning; evidence of student acquisition of 21st Century knowledge and skills; and partnerships for sustainable success. Downey Unified is expecting to receive the accreditation results from this visit in the coming months.
“With this being the second consecutive year a Downey Unified high school has been selected as a Microsoft Showcase School, having three of our educators chosen as MIE Experts, and patiently awaiting the accreditation from the P21 evaluation team, I think Downey Unified is truly on the path that will prepare all students for college and/or technical careers post-graduation,” expressed Downey Unified’s Superintendent Dr. John Garcia.
As a Showcase School, DHS will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education and communicate a vision for education enabled by technology through the hosting and mentoring of other schools in the community on transformational educational practices.
“Microsoft Showcase Schools are inspiring examples of how schools are using mobile-first, cloud-first technology to increase students’ productivity and develop the skills needed in the workplace,” said Salcito. “With an innovative use of technology, these schools are transforming learning environments and delivering more personalized education to students, allowing them to do more and achieve more.”