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  • Kristin Daniels

High Desert ESD (Bend, OR): Creating a Community of Innovators

One of the most interesting ways to offer the InnovateK12 toolkit is through a consortium (e.g. ESD, BOCES, etc.). These collaborative organizations are always looking for new ways to support their members, and InnovateK12’s toolkit is a powerful service option. In Bend (OR), the High Desert Education Service District is a great example of how an ESD can provide this kind of cutting-edge program.

In High Desert, creating a community of innovators and sharing innovative practices that address excellence, equity and efficiency is the goal. As the first service district to become a member of InnovateK12, this Central Oregon ESD has incorporated the InnovateK12 toolkit into their existing innovation process and is seeing great results.


HDESD has created i4education, a program that creates a “culture of innovation by empowering educators to incubate their ideas, share their stories and investigate solutions to the challenges education faces.”


Anna Higgins, Director of Innovation for HDESD, began her exploration of the InnovateK12 toolkit by running an internal innovation event in the fall. Branded as ThinkUp!, this event became the template for HDESD innovation events and Higgins quickly turned to an innovative partner-school and worked with them to launch an internally focused challenge, “How might we improve the quality and quantity of writing that students produce?”


With the success of both an internal event and a member-based innovation event, HDESD will continue to expand capacity for innovation within their members. The 2020 InnovateK12 Innovation Summit will be a launch point for their member districts. With the support of the InnovateK12 team, HDESD will be able to provide their members with a radical approach to educational innovation; all while receiving full member-support for running crowd-based innovation events, Design Thinking workshops, lean prototype testing, and project management.


Whether you are an Education Service District (ESD) in the Northeast, a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York, Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) in Wisconsin, or an Education Service Centers (ESCs) found in many of our states throughout the country, the InnovateK12 toolkit is a great service that you can provide to your members.