National Innovation Program Launches in Oregon Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 
February 8, 2017                                                                                              

Gina Condon

Construct Foundation & Miller Foundation Bring School Retool to Oregon Education Leaders

PORTLAND, ORE. – FEBRUARY 8, 2017 – On Feb. 10, 2017, 18 school principals selected as Oregon’s first School Retool fellows will learn techniques to “hack” new ideas and redesign their school cultures to foster innovation in teaching and learning. The principals represent a cross-section of Oregon including 11 school districts: Amity, Centennial, Dallas, Dayton, David Douglas, Gervais, Newberg, Portland, Sheridan, Willamina, and Yamhill County.

Stanford University’s K12 Lab and design firm IDEO partnered to design School Retool, a three-month professional development fellowship, based on research by the Hewlett Foundation. School Retool addresses challenges principals face to modernize educational models and keep pace with the demands of a rapidly changing world.

During four full-day, in-person workshops, principals and school leaders participate in a collaborative series of workshops and “hack” cycles, including opportunities to shadow a student, design and test out their “hacks” back at their school and engage in coaching sessions. These workshops foster opportunities for Deeper Learning, a set of six research-supported competencies, that directly benefit students by putting them at the center of the work.

Following the fellowship, leaders will continue to apply the mindsets and frameworks learned to drive school changes forward. Since 2015, School Retool has led 10 cohorts in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Virginia, and Washington D.C. School Retool has eight active cohorts, including Oregon.

“School Retool facilitates co-learning and collaborating with other educators who share a similar passion for solving meaningful challenges in education. The collective brainpower and creative collisions that happen during this type of professional development program are far more powerful and fun for us than working in isolation,” said Jami Fluke, principal of Dayton Junior High and High Schools.

“We expect that this first cohort will influence new cohorts to form, and together these principals will blaze a path toward preparing all Oregon students for success in college and career,” said Gina Condon, founder of Construct Foundation.

Construct Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation partnered to bring School Retool to Oregon. The foundations subsidized education leaders’ participation costs and worked with the Chalkboard ProjectInnovate Oregon and the Oregon Department of Education to find promising administrators and schools for participation.

“It is clear that school leaders are looking for new and unique ways to engage their communities in making changes to support students,” said Martha Richards, executive director of Miller Foundation. “We are happy to partner with the Construct Foundation for this work and we’re excited to see this first Oregon cohort get started this spring.”


Construct Foundation exists to scale up innovative educational models and enable all Oregon kids and teachers to thrive today and tomorrow. Since 2013, Construct Foundation has partnered with teachers, education leaders, business and nonprofit professionals, and philanthropic organizations to foster innovative models of teaching and learning that prepare all young people for the new economy. Program partners have included Breaker3 to PhD®KairosPDX, and College Possible. For more information, visit Connect with us on social media at @ConstructPDX.


The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, an independent private foundation, was established in 2002 to enhance the quality of life of Oregonians through support of the Arts and Education. For more information, visit their website at