Our Future

Today, having just entered our fourth year working with schools nationwide, the Summit Learning Program partners with more than 380 schools, nearly 3,800 educators, and more than 72,000 students. These schools are in urban, suburban, and rural areas; are district, charter, and private schools. What was developed as a small pilot has grown into a robust program offering a defined experience and extensive support to more schools, for free. The Summit Learning community continues to grow - as does the team working in support of it.

Learn more below about the next steps of the Summit Learning Program. If you have any questions, please reach out to info@summitlearning.org. If you are a Summit Learning school, please feel free to reach out to your mentor.

Why make this change now?

The Summit Learning Program is ready to succeed on its own. The Program has a talented and growing staff of 90+ educators committed to providing curriculum, coaching, and professional development to schools. The new nonprofit will create a stronger and more effective Summit Learning Program. We know that focused leadership is key to success, and the new nonprofit will be well-positioned to support the growing number of schools and districts that want to bring Summit Learning to their students.

Have Summit Public Schools and the Summit Learning community been informed, and what do they think?

As we explored this direction throughout the spring and summer, we engaged directly with both our Summit Public Schools and Summit Learning Program school community in an open dialogue. They are excited about the future of the Summit Learning Program and have expressed overwhelming support with most people saying, "This makes sense. It is time."

How will a Summit Learning school engage with the new organization?

A Summit Learning school will engage with the new organization in the same manner that it engaged with Summit Public Schools. The Summit Learning Program team of educators will continue working directly with schools to provide free access to a comprehensive and customizable base curriculum, professional development and training, ongoing coaching in the form of a dedicated Summit Learning mentor, and the Summit Learning Platform that organizes resources for teachers and students. Program Agreements will remain in place for the entire 2018-19 school year.

When will the new nonprofit launch operation of the Program?

The nonprofit will officially launch operation of the Summit Learning Program with the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The Summit Learning team—which includes experienced curriculum writers and professional development coaches as well as former school principals and educators—will continue to lead this work and support the creation of the new nonprofit.

Who will sit on the Board of Directors of the new nonprofit?

The founding Board of Directors is a group of leaders passionate about equity in public education, and each brings critical expertise to the Program's success. They are a group made up of parents, lifelong educators, and those with plenty of experience leading through change.

Diane Tavenner is a key designer of the Summit Learning Program, brings over two decades of education expertise as a teacher, principal, and leader, and is mother to a student in a Summit Learning school. Priscilla Chan is the head of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which oversees the engineering team supporting the Summit Learning Platform, and is the primary funder of the Program. As a pediatrician and educator, Priscilla has worked with patients, students, and other community members, and these experiences have shaped how she approaches this work. Peggy Alford is the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and brings a strong background in supporting organizations as they grow to ensure fiscal health and sustainability. Alex Hernandez is a seasoned educator in K-12 education whose unique perspective on higher education will keep the Program aligned with one of its key outcomes for all students - college.

We believe that the people closest to its work must lead the new nonprofit into the future. The members of the Board bring a wealth of diverse experiences, which will be critical to the success of the new nonprofit.

What is the role of the Board of Directors?

As the governing body of the new nonprofit, the Board will steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission. It will:

  • Hire and oversee the leader of the organization
  • Ensure that the organization's objectives and activities are consistent with the organization's mission
  • Ensure strong fiduciary oversight and financial management

What is Summit Public Schools' relationship to the new nonprofit?

Summit Public Schools uses the Summit Learning instructional approach in all of its 11 schools in California and Washington. Summit will continue to be part of the Summit Learning community by participating in the Summit Learning Program.

What will Summit Public Schools do next?

Having a new nonprofit lead the work of the Summit Learning Program will allow Summit Public Schools to continue to focus on two critical things consistent with its original vision. The first is continuing to build out and further strengthen its schools. This includes continued expansion into middle school, its first graduating classes this school year in its Washington schools, and its effort to professionally develop teachers and talent through its recently launched residency program. The second is to continue innovating - the type of innovation that gave way to the creation of Summit Learning.

What is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's relationship to the new nonprofit?

The new nonprofit organization will be an independent organization with its own Executive Director, Board of Directors, and dedicated team. We expect that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will continue to provide the support that it does today:

  • Pro bono software engineering and technology support as the long-term engineering partner.
  • Financial support in the form of grants to support the Program. Those grants enable teachers and schools across the country to receive training, coaching and all other support, for free.

How will the new nonprofit be funded?

The new nonprofit organization will be supported by funding from a range of philanthropic donations, just as the Summit Learning Program is today.

Will the new nonprofit maintain Summit's strong commitment to privacy and data security?

Yes. This is a non-negotiable term for Summit Public Schools. The new nonprofit will hold itself accountable to high standards, just as Summit does, including privacy and data protections. It will be committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of student information. It will also sign the Student Privacy Pledge. Read more about the steps that Summit takes to safeguard students' personal information in the privacy center.

Learn more about the new nonprofit organization.

Learn More