With the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program, selected schools receive wrap-around support through technology, connectivity, professional learning, and access to a national community of more than 500 schools. Schools receive financial and professional learning support for a full-time coach focused on helping teachers design and deliver hands-on learning experiences. Additional funding is also available for school IT support to ensure students have anytime, anywhere access to learning.
Any interested U.S. school district may submit an application with at least two schools. To qualify for consideration, each school must serve students in middle or high school grades and have no less than 65% free and reduced lunch rate or participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
Call for applications for Cohort 10 of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools officially opens on May 9, 2022. Applicants will move through the process on a rolling basis and the initial application window will close by October 1, 2022. If you have questions about the application process, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Step 1: District leader completes this 8 minute questionnaire to help us learn more about your district
Step 2: Brief meeting with member of VILS team to understand our program, ask questions about application process, and identify eligible schools
Step 3: Written application completed by district leaders and identified school leaders
Step 4: Conversation with superintendent/district leadership
Step 5: Conversations with each principal on application
Step 6: In-person site visit from members of VILS team
District Lead: The District Lead is a district-level employee who will be the project manager for district communication with Verizon and Digital Promise. This person should:
District IT Lead: The District IT Lead is a district-level employee who will be the primary project manager for technology and device management with Digital Promise and Verizon. This person should:
Principal: VILS Principals are defined as the school-based administrator leading the initiative in each school. Most often this is the principal, but occasionally this role is fulfilled by an assistant principal. VILS Principals are responsible for:
The most successful principals will devote time and attention to the project, both within their schools and districts, and within the larger Verizon Innovative Learning Schools community of other principals.
VILS Coach: The VILS instructional technology coach (VILS Coach) is a full-time position at a school focused on providing teachers with the pedagogical support to effectively use technology in the classroom. This position requires a student-centered learning philosophy, creative problem-solving abilities, interpersonal and communication skills, and eagerness to take a leadership role.
The district/school is responsible for appointing a full-time, school-based VILS Coach for the program’s two-year duration (with the opportunity to extend an additional two years if approved). VILS Coaches may not be assigned any classes or other duties. The Verizon Innovative Learning School will receive a minimum of $25,000 per year to support a full-time VILS Coach in each school. (Exact amount will be finalized once all schools have been selected.) Additional funding for salary and benefits to employ a full-time VILS Coach is the responsibility of the district/school.
School IT: The School IT is a school-level employee who will be the primary point of contact for technology support and device management at the school level. This person should work closely with the District IT Lead to manage device incidents through resolution and implement timely and effective systems for technology use in schools. The coach may not serve as the School IT. A stipend of $5,000 – $8,500 per year (depending on school size) will be provided to support School IT in each school. For schools with 50 teachers or less, $5,000 per year will be provided for School IT support; for schools with 51+ teachers, $8,500 per year will be provided for School IT support.
All districts participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program will be asked to engage in research through Digital Promise. In this study, researchers will examine how the program is working; ways to improve implementation; and impacts on teaching and learning, professional culture, technological proficiency, and access to STEM opportunities.
What are the research requirements? Any district accepted into VILS Cohort 10 will participate in Digital Promise’s research for two consecutive school years (2023-24 and 2024-25). If a district is selected for a two-year extension of the program, participation in research during that time is required, as well. Every teacher, VILS Coach, and school leader will complete surveys each fall and spring, as well as brief snapshot questionnaires each winter.
Are there opportunities for deeper impact? Interested schools can request to be a Case Study School. Case Study Schools complete the requirements outlined above, as well as fall and spring interviews with teachers, coaches, and administrators; focus groups and surveys with a small group of students; and a few classroom visits conducted by the research team. These case study activities will occur over two school years (2023-24 and 2024-25).
How will this research be used and how will schools benefit? The findings of the research will be shared 1) with the participating schools and districts to make improvements in the program implementation, and 2) with the field in the form of conference presentations and research publications. All research findings will be reported in the aggregate to protect the confidentiality of every participant.
Case Study Schools will receive an individual report at the end of each year with specific feedback from researchers on how to improve the program and technology use in their classrooms.
Questions? Please contact Hillary Greene Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about research or the Case Study School opportunity!
All district and school leaders will be expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the district and Digital Promise. The final MOU will be released to districts by January 2023. Coach funding and student devices will not be fulfilled until the MOU is signed by all parties, so we ask that you help us accomplish this by March 25, 2023.
The MOU consists of two main parts: 1) The agreement between the district and Digital Promise; and 2) Exhibits that outline Verizon requirements (End User Agreements) around the devices, access, and data collection specifics. Digital Promise will work directly with each district to finalize the MOU.