Discover Untapped Resources at Your School

TrueSchool Fellows come up with innovative ways to use what they already have.

“The brainstorming sessions at TrueSchool’s Studios revealed many assets that we had not noticed before…When we itemized our resources, we realized we had close to 100 functioning resources already in place to help us achieve our vision.”
—The A.H. Bangert Team, New Bern, North Carolina

At TrueSchool, we celebrate innovation and creativity. These qualities allow teachers to continuously develop new ways to push students’ learning and find inventive approaches to make their work most impactful. 

That’s why our year-long TrueSchool Fellowship focuses on building upon what exists. We celebrate the great work already happening in schools, then ask educators to pinpoint areas they want to improve, and finally work together to creatively leverage existing resources for new possibilities. This means that big change can truly happen from the ground up—and that educators aren’t stuck waiting for additional funding to implement their ideas.

Grant Bachman, a Title 1 Specialist from Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island, Nebraska, describes the challenges of depending of funding: “Funding in education is such an unknown in 2019. Is it up, is it down? Are there cuts? Who is affected most? Students. TrueSchool allowed us the opportunity to create change without having to rely on the ebb and flow of funding.”

Following last year’s TrueSchool Fellowship, 98% of participating educators reported creatively using existing resources at their schools—a jump of 20% from the beginning of the Fellowship. We’ve also found that finding innovative uses for existing school assets allows educators to be more solutions-oriented. 

98% of TrueSchool Fellows say that their school team now focuses on solutions and opportunities instead of problems and barriers.

These shifts can make long-term impact at the school- and district-wide levels. Naeema Holmes, TrueSchool Fellow and first-grade teacher at Walnut Creek Elementary in Wake County, North Carolina, reflects on her Fellowship experience: “TrueSchool is teaching us a new thought process. We’re learning that not everything has to get done right now. The work with TrueSchool is opening our eyes to realize that it’s a process for change and not an instant, overnight shift.”

At Havelock Elementary School in Craven Country, North Carolina, TrueSchool Fellows devised project-based learning units to allow students with disabilities to learn alongside their general-education peers.

To create an engaging unit on living and non-living things—tailored to the school’s kindergarten and self-contained adaptive curriculum classes—the TrueSchool Team at Havelock used existing assets, including available outdoor space and an already constructed flower bed.

Students at Havelock were able to learn from each other, and the TrueSchool Fellows identified student relationships as a resource that is equally important to learning: “As a school, we learned that our most valuable assets are our relationships…our students are more motivated and engaged when working through peer collaboration.”

Our goal is that following the TrueSchool Fellowship, school teams are able to better identify ways they can effect change quickly, creatively, and on their own terms.

To read more stories about how educators are leveraging existing resources, check out the Blueprints from last year’s TrueSchool Fellowship.

And if you’re ready to impact student learning at your school, apply for the 2020 TrueSchool Fellowship by October 15.