August 14, 2023—San Francisco, CA—Learner-Centered Collaborative is thrilled to announce its 2023-24 Learner-Centered Connections inaugural cohort, a pioneering group of school district teams built to improve the learner experience and advance learner-centered education in school communities across the country. 

This year’s cohort of 5 district teams so far hailing from 4 states—California, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas—has identified a shared cohort focus: moving beyond vision and planning to implementation of learner-centered practices and enabling conditions

The participating districts include:

  1. Alamogordo Public School (New Mexico)
  2. Ector County Independent School District (Texas)
  3. Lamont Elementary School District (California)
  4. National School District (California)
  5. Northern Cass School District (North Dakota)

“Through collaboration, I believe every student can attain the skills essential to thrive in a global society, “ said Leighangela Brady, Superintendent at National School District in California. “We are thrilled to be part of this national group to discover new and exciting ways to advance our learner-centered efforts.”

The cohort will convene in-person for fall and spring school and industry visits where they will see trailblazing schools, the positive impact learner-centered education is having on learners, and how learner-centered education allows learners to thrive in their communities.

The 2-day fall in-person visit will take place in San Diego, CA featuring a lineup of exemplar schools modeling how they’re implementing plans, ideas, visions, and frameworks for the future. The cohort team of nearly 50 education leaders will visit innovative, public schools including:

  • Bostonia Global (Cajon Valley USD)
    A creative learning environment where strengths and individuality are respected and students are encouraged to apply knowledge learned utilizing innovative methods.
  • Conway Academy of Expeditionary Learning (Escondido USD)
    Classrooms that are alive with inquiry where students discover their unlimited potential by aligning character and scholarly goals to the E.P.I.C norms (Excellence, Perseverance, Integrity, and Compassion)  and the three dimensions of learning: mastery of knowledge of skills, character, and high quality work.
  • Design39Campus (Poway USD)
    Learning experiences are designed with the individual learner in mind. The collaborative community nurtures creative confidence, practices design thinking, learns through inquiry, connects globally, uses technology and real world tools, and promotes the courage and growth mindset necessary to change the world.
  • Vista Innovation & Design Academy (VIDA, Vista USD)
    VIDA uses the design thinking process to nourish creative thinking skills that will empower students to apply what they learn and create non-traditional solutions to yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s problems.


“We are proud to be leading the charge for school districts to collaborate around realizing learner-centered models that serve all learners,” said Marlon Styles, Partner at Learner-Centered Collaborative. “The changemakers in this cohort are not only serving learners in their local contexts, they are inspiring exciting national models for collaborative, learner-centered school communities.”

There are a few spots left for districts that would still like to participate; learn more here and contact to discuss joining the cohort.

Additionally, throughout the year the cohort will attend virtual sessions addressing problems of practice, have access to a mentor district, and get coaching with Learner-Centered Collaborative’s team of educators and leaders. 

A unique element of the Connections program is the link with industry. While education to career is a common path, collaboration aligning learner outcomes with workforce needs is decidedly less common. This program seeks to strengthen that connection and also bring educators into new environments that model collaboration, learning, and innovation. 

The fall industry partner visit will be at Illumina, a sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic research fueling advancements in life science research, translational and consumer genomics, and molecular diagnostics. 

The spring 2024 in-person gathering for this cohort will take place in and around Logan County Kentucky.  

The Learner-Centered Connections network builds on Learner-Centered Collaborative’s 150+ school, district, and state partnerships and further supports the non-profit’s efforts to expand and scale the learner-centered movement.

As the program gets underway the Learner-Centered Collaborative team and cohort participants will be sharing their journey in blog posts and on social, so please follow #LCConnections on your preferred social network:

LinkedIn Learner-Centered Collaborative

Instagram & Threads @LCCollaborative

Twitter @LCCollaborative

Facebook @LCCollaborative


Media contact:

Devin Vodicka


About Learner-Centered Collaborative

Learner-Centered Collaborative is an educator-run non-profit built on decades of experiencing first-hand what works, what’s challenging, and what’s possible in education. Guided by the enduring truth that a learner-centered approach is the foundation for a successful, thriving learning community, Learner-Centered Collaborative partners with educators, schools, districts, and states to define whole-learner outcomes, design meaningful learning experiences, and create enabling conditions for learner-centered education. Learn more

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