FONTANA, CA – Sequoia Middle School has been designated a 2020-21 U.S. Showcase Incubator School by Microsoft, recognizing its commitment to developing robust, technology-driven instructional practices and supporting student success.

As a Showcase Incubator School, Sequoia Middle School is on the path to becoming a Microsoft Showcase School, a designation given to an exclusive global community of schools dedicated to pursuing innovative technologies for bolstering student achievement.

“Being a Showcase Incubator School opens up a world of opportunity for Sequoia students, teachers, staff, and families,” Sequoia Middle School Principal Antonio Viramontes said. “We’re excited to network with other schools and educators, share ideas on how to inspire student success and continue to integrate technology into our educational practices.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted school closures and a shift to distance learning, Sequoia Middle School educators made the most of the opportunity to master digital learning tools. Teachers and staff embraced professional development opportunities and explored an array of digital tools, learning how to best connect with their students through Microsoft Teams, use OneNote to support AVID instruction and more.

Fontana Unified’s commitment to fast-track its 1:1 device initiative, which has provided devices for students from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade, bolstered Sequoia’s efforts and has allowed teachers and students to further embrace digital learning in 2020-21.

“Students are learning valuable skills that they will use throughout their educational career and in their professional futures, and teachers are developing even more creative lessons that engage students,” Viramontes said. “One of our Science 7 teachers used Microsoft Stream to provide a virtual walk-through of the science lab and review safety procedures, and it’s made students feel like they’re back in that lab and made them even more excited to learn.”

Sequoia’s culture of collaboration is further supported by two teachers who became Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts and an assistant principal who is a MIE Expert and Trainer. Sequoia’s MIEs share their ideas for using technology effectively with their peers while providing Microsoft with insight on new education products and tools.

The Showcase Incubator provides schools with guidance from Microsoft and its partners, challenges them to create personalized, immersive and inclusive learning experiences, and inspires them to foster future-ready skills in their students.

Sequoia Middle School would become the second Fontana Unified school to be recognized as a Microsoft Showcase School, joining Southridge Tech Middle School, which was first honored in 2018.

Sequoia’s efforts to drive student success, close achievement gaps and promote college and career readiness have also earned the school a spot on the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s Schools to Watch List and designation as an AVID National Demonstration School.

“Fontana Unified is committed to providing students with the education and skills to become leaders in our digital age,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to Sequoia Middle School on taking this significant step to becoming a Microsoft Showcase School and making the most of the opportunity to inspire innovation in education.”