(Spring) Break Through Barriers

It’s Friday! But, not only that, it’s the Friday before Spring Break!

I hope you are all looking forward to your much-deserved time off next week for Spring Break with friends and family. Some of you may be traveling, while others may be booking themselves a stay-cation (I am…at least for part of it!) to re-energize in preparation for the rest of the school year. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have fun and be sure to take care of yourself! I’m so appreciative of everything you do each day to make sure our district stronger for children.

image1I want to share some fantastic news with you. Earlier this week, every single classroom project request on DonorsChoose.org was funded by Ripple, a San Francisco-based technology company! They donated $29 million to support school programs around the country breaking through financial barriers for investments directly to the classroom. Many APS teachers participate in this awesome opportunity! The New York Times covered our amazing gift (and my tweet)! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/us/donors-choose-donation-ripple.html

What that means for APS is that every single one of our school projects were immediately funded. That’s 260 individual projects, supporting 177 teachers. When combined, our projects are receiving over $282,000 to support classroom efforts. Since our new partnership began with DonorsChoose three years ago, they have invested $4 million into our classrooms for teacher projects.

DZZjlhnV4AAZBg6Wowza! We couldn’t be more thankful to Ripple and to DonorsChoose.org for the #BestSchoolDay ever! I have to give a shout out to our APS Partnerships team, especially Rachel Sprecher, for their work with DonorsChoose.

If your teacher or school has never used DonorsChoose.org here’s how you can break a barrier for learning! It’s really simple:


  1. Come up with a project idea that you think will bring your classroom to new heights. The more it’s able to boost how your classroom is bringing our transformation strategy to life, the better!
  2. Sign up for an account at donorschoose.org/teachers if you don’t already have one.
  3. Submit your request — the whole process shouldn’t take more than 25 minutes. When your project is funded, DonorsChoose.org ships the supplies directly to your classroom.

How easy is that to be a champion for kids!

Finally, while you are on Spring Break, I hope you will take a moment to remember the man who was greatest giver, barrier breaker and “donor” of love and freedom on Wednesday, April 4th . It is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and death are being commemorated under the theme MLK50 – Where do We Go from Here. As the school district of Dr. King and as a district that continues to celebrate his life and legacy throughout the year, APS is proud to join civil rights groups, schools and other organizations across the country and around the world to show our appreciation for choices he made in the fight for social justice. We’re proud that all of our students, from kindergarten through high school, have a rich legacy to draw from and they are engaged, both inside and outside the classroom, in learning about the Civil Rights Movement and about exercising their civic rights in the world around them.

I will be posting a special blog commemorating #MLK50 on April 4th, and I encourage you to engage in the many activities and events at our schools and in the community in the coming days and weeks and to learn more about #MLK50 on the National Civil Rights Museum’s website at mlk50.civilrightsmuseum.org/.

Be safe, have fun and see you on Monday, April 9th!





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