Trinity Launches School Design Network | Trinity University
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Trinity Launches School Design Network

Thursday, May 16, 2019
teacher reading to kids

University receives $5 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to launch dynamic education initiative

by Margaret Miller

Trinity University is proud to announce the creation of the Trinity School Design Network, a new school incubator and principal fellowship program in the greater San Antonio region made possible by a $5 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The Network will enable more than 40 educators and entrepreneurs to launch innovative, high-quality traditional district, autonomous district, and charter schools in the San Antonio region over the next five years.

"We are so excited to be partnering with the Walton Family Foundation on such an important initiative—providing resources to local educators and entrepreneurs so that they will be able to better meet the needs of our local K-12 students," says Linda Mora, Ph.D., interim executive director for the School Design Network in Trinity’s Department of Education. "I believe this grant speaks volumes about Trinity's commitment to public education in our region."

Trinity and City Education Partners—an education nonprofit devoted to groundbreaking public schools for San Antonio—have agreed to co-market and co-brand the new school incubator for the greater San Antonio region.

This grant represents the enactment of the plan, curriculum, and model that were developed as part of a planning grant that Trinity University received from the Walton Family Foundation in 2018. The Walton Family Foundation, based in Arkansas, is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving K-12 education, along with tackling tough social and environmental problems.

“We need to put the unique needs of every student first, and that means moving beyond a one-size-fits-all education system,” says Walton Family Foundation Board Member Alice Walton ’71. “This program will allow educators and leaders to create the innovative, high-quality schools students need.”

To open and lead schools in the San Antonio region, the Network will offer programming and support in three phases. The fellowship will provide future leaders with rigorous school design training, personalized leadership development, and coaching. Fellows will engage with mentors, instructors, and peers through the Networked Community of Practice.

“I am excited about the opportunity to enrich our offerings while expanding to meet the entrepreneurial and asset needs expressed by the local community,” says Deneese L. Jones, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs. “We have the faculty talent and expertise to accomplish the goals of this initiative while partnering with the greater San Antonio region.”

The Network will launch with three to five participants later this year.