This past April, Dayton School District formed a partnership with New Relic to pilot a new Agile Partnership Program to support the school’s innovation culture. Five teachers from Dayton High School teamed together with five industry professionals from New Relic to explore new ways of bringing agile mindsets and practices into the classroom learning experience.

Earlier this spring, Thompson Morrison from Innovate Oregon gave a keynote presentation at an Innovation conference for the management team from New Relic, a software analytics company based in San Francisco. Inspired by Dayton’s vision, New Relic and Innovate Dayton created a partnership program to match industry professionals with teachers in order to develop new practices for agile learning in the classroom.

After meeting the New Relic managers, Jami Fluke, the principal of Dayton Jr. High and High School, matched each of them with one of her teachers. These teachers met once a week with their partners to talk about their challenges and aspirations in the classroom. They discussed what agile practices were working and which didn’t while keeping track of their progress and finding solutions to the roadblocks that they encountered. These conversations with industry professionals helped the teachers rapidly transform the learning experiences in their classrooms.

After the six week period ended, the team met up in Portland. Together, the Partnership reflected on the time that the teachers spent incorporating new thought processes and ideas into the school’s curriculum.

Dayton’s partnership with New Relic has helped Dayton transform the environments of their classrooms. It is challenging the school’s traditions. Morrison believes that Dayton’s courage in exploring a new model of education outside of such a long-established educational curriculum is what is motivating such a big change within the school.

“Being fearless is about accepting failure. That is how you learn,” said Morrison.

Dayton High School is preparing its students for the modern economy where technology and innovation fuse to unleash new opportunities. By reimagining education with new resources and strategies, Dayton is actively inspiring not only its own community but outside communities as well.

Bevin Schrag Administrator

Bevin Schrag is a writer for Innovate Oregon. While working in social media and marketing at OnlineNW, she is currently studying the arts at Chemeketa Community College, to later become a media designer.