The San Francisco-based Silicon Schools Fund, a nonprofit investment fund that aims to promote the use of technology in the classroom, has launched a $25 million fund to create blended-learning schools in the Bay Area.
Over the next five years, the fund will work to establish up to twenty-five schools that combine high-quality instruction with cutting-edge technology to provide each student with a personalized learning experience. To date, SSF has raised $12 million toward its capital campaign goal from a variety of funders, including SSF board member John Fisher, who also serves as board chair of the KIPP Foundation and as co-chair of the Charter School Growth Fund.
School districts and nonprofit organizations interested in starting or redesigning schools with innovative blended-learning models are eligible to apply for grants, which will average about $700,000 per school and be awarded on a rolling basis. The first grantees will be announced no later than January 2013. By focusing its grantmaking on the Bay Area, SSF aims to draw on the financial and creative resources of Silicon Valley to establish a critical mass of blended-learning schools in the region. To that end, SSF will encourage partnerships between the tech sector and Bay Area educators, while building a network of blended learning schools that can share best practices.
"As a former school principal, I have seen how technology can be a powerful ally when it comes to unlocking the potential of both teachers and students," said SSF founder and CEO Brian Greenberg. "The Silicon Schools Fund has a great opportunity to help advance the relationship between teaching and technology."