Tornillo ISD selected for ten-month-long program to spread equitable learning

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Among nine other school communities, Tornillo ISD was selected for a ten-month-long cohort program from a national non-profit organization, Transcend, to reimagine schools in rural communities, district officials said.

“We are honored and beyond excited to be selected as a grantee in the Rural Schools Design Community with Transcend. Rural schools serve their communities beyond the classroom walls, and it is for this very important reason that we must focus on transforming the learning community from the time a child is born to the time they become productive citizens of their respective communities,” said Rosy Vega-Barrio, superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District. “This network will provide us with the partnerships and tools needed to make Tornillo a thriving community centered on education.”

Transcend is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to support communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments.

Officials share that the ten-month-long program includes ten rural school communities from across the country that were chosen based on their deep-seated commitment to equity and creating strong learning experiences for every young person.

“Historically, rural communities have been left out of opportunities for redesign that support schools to reimagine education for students,” said Aylon Samouha, Transcend co-founder of Transcend. “At the same time, our collaborations with school leaders across the country have shown us that so many of our nation’s rural communities want to engage in deep redesign. These districts are filled with bold school leaders who dream big and take action towards change. Using the science of learning and development and insights from emerging models, this inaugural cohort will create revolutionary experiences with and for their students and families.”

At the start of the program, each school district or community will choose members of the school or district to participate. Throughout the program, schools will work locally to enlist their broader community in shaping the vision for their “reimagined school”.

The schools will engage in convenings throughout the year, exploring high impact topics such as generating a community-led school design process to achieve equitable results for all students, understanding the skills and mindsets needed for young people to thrive in and transform the world, how to ensure community aspirations and needs are reflected, and understanding the science of learning and development.

For more information about the program and Transcend, visit

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