Education Transformation in Nevada: Second Group of Educators Completes InspirED Fellowship With Support From Sands
The 2021-2022 school year has come to a close, with many Las Vegas families celebrating graduations and other academic accomplishments. This spring brought another major milestone for public education in the state, as Nevada Succeeds with support from Sands Cares completed its second cohort of educators participating in the InspirED Global Fellowship. The program aims to promote public education transformation in Nevada by giving educators the opportunity to study one of the most successful educational systems in the world and identify ways to apply key learnings in locally authentic ways.
The InspirED Global Fellowship was established by Nevada Succeeds and Sands in 2020 to help transform education in Nevada’s public schools. Educators selected for the Fellowship explored innovative learning from Singapore’s world-renowned educational system, with Sands creating linkage through its presence in both regions and funding the first two cohorts of fellows through Sands Cares, the company’s global community engagement program. At its core, the InspirED Fellowship is designed to engage frontline educators with colleagues across the system to learn and collaborate toward evolving Nevada education through innovative policy and practice.
Since launching two years ago, two cohorts comprising 32 of Nevada’s educators, including teachers, administrators and specialists and even a team of three students, have earned an InspirED Fellowship for an intensive, eight-month program of study to develop policy insights toward the design for the next iteration of public education in the state. One of the biggest outcomes from the fellows’ work was the adaptation of Singapore’s Portrait of a Graduate as a proposed path for Nevada. This highly effective leadership strategy is centered on the skills and knowledge graduates need to be successful in a 21st-century knowledge economy and builds experiences throughout a student’s education focused on that vision.
In collaboration with Nevada Succeeds, Design Team 1 Fellows and community partners, a community-driven and research-informed process to develop a statewide Portrait of a Nevada Graduate is underway. The Nevada Department of Education has partnered with KnowledgeWorks, a national organization that supports systemic transformation toward more dynamic learning systems to facilitate the strategic efforts to embrace whole systems change that offers coherence and alignment toward a shared vision.
The potential for change from adopting Portrait of a Graduate in Nevada is substantial, according to Jeanine Collins, Chief Innovation Officer at ed.Xtraordinary, who helped design the InspirED Fellowship with Sands, but she says there is another result also critically important for education transformation in the state – a new, sustainable venue for frontline educators to have a voice in education policy and collaborate on innovative solutions for the future.
“When we created the InspirED Fellowship with Sands, we believed that if we gave our state’s educators an opportunity to collaborate across layers of the system on policy, real issues could be surfaced and addressed,” Collins said. “The work on the Portrait of the Graduate for Nevada highlights that those closest to the challenges have specific and valuable insights to leading change. This policy effort is moving ahead with the State approving millions of dollars toward its adoption and a learning network to bring it to life. The fellowship also models collaborative infrastructure that has not existed previously in Nevada – what does it look like when people in education who aren’t typically in a room together come together to learn, build models of what is possible, and consequently develop policy recommendations together? This prototype for learning and leading change, which involves young people, wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment Sands made to supporting systemic change in Nevada education.”
Supporting education is a core priority of Sands Cares, representing the company’s commitment to building the workforce of the future. Sands’ sponsorship of the InspirED Global Fellowship complements the company’s broad spectrum of education programs spanning funding and scholarships, volunteer and consulting support, and programmatic investments for schools, higher education institutions, mentorship programs, youth development organizations and education advocacy organizations. Other local educational and youth development partners have included the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Communities in Schools, 100 Black Men Las Vegas, Mastering Mindsets, Green Our Planet and the National Hispanic Institute.
“The InspirED Global Fellowship has established a great foundation to positively impact Nevada’s approach to educating youth for today’s environment and tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs, who spearheads corporate responsibility for the company. “We believe that evolving our educational systems leads to stronger, more resilient communities prepared to shape the future.”
To learn more about InspirED’s impact and aligned next steps in Nevada Education, please visit www.nevadasucceeds.org.