Richard Martinez, superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit, on Wednesday at the White House.
Superintendent Martinez is among exemplary local school chiefs who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique conference will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one another and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classes.
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be invited to the White House to represent the Pomona Unified community and showcase the innovative ways our talented teachers are revolutionizing digital learning and education in the classroom,” PUSD Superintendent Richard Martinez said. “We are excited to be recognized for being trailblazers in the world of digital education and are proud to be a model of success that other schools can replicate.”
The Pomona Unified School District recently won two Golden Bell Awards from the California School Boards Association for its innovative use of technology in Early Childhood Education, and educational excellence at the Palomares Academy of Health Sciences. The school district offers its students career pathways in computer science in partnership with Harvey Mudd College and Microsoft Corp., and courses in robotics through Cal Poly Pomona. Village Academy High School offers career courses in Film Studies and Computer Science/Information Technology.
Every PUSD classroom has Internet access districtwide. Thirty-two Common Core/SBAC assessment-ready labs are being completed and campus-wide WiFi is expanding at all sites across the district. Mobile devices such as iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are available in PUSD’s K-12 schools, bringing educational technology into the classroom. Through community partnerships with EveryoneOn and Southeast Community Development Corp., PUSD is bridging the digital divide for Pomona USD families.
“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress made possible by local school districts. The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.
To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.
“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology.