2016 Grants Challenge

Melrose Elementary Technology Program: Creating the Future Leaders of LA

Help us close the achievement gap and bring technology and equality to our diverse magnet school in the heart of LA.


Please describe your project proposal.

Melrose Magnet seeks to close the digital divide by ensuring all students, regardless of income or ethnicity, have access to 21st century skills and technology. Our 1-to-1 integrated computing program engages students to use technology as a powerful tool to investigate, collaborate, and bring ideas to life. Completing the final phase of a self-sustaining tech renewal project will support our mission for students to become self-sufficient learners and creators in all aspects of their work.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your proposal impact?​

College completion

College matriculation rates

District-wide graduation rates

Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math

Student education pipeline

Suspension and expulsion rates

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools

Youth unemployment and underemployment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?


Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to LEARN?

The importance of quality primary education has proven time and again to be a crucial stepping stone in allowing students to continue on to college and beyond. Our young students have so much potential, but we must invest in them, give them the tools they need to succeed. Melrose Elementary Math/Science/Technology Magnet’s 1 to 1 tech program simultaneously fosters our students’ self confidence in their own abilities as they are trusted with the responsibility of using and maintaining a new laptop or tablet, while it also engages them, creating lifelong learners, leveraging fascination with computers for fun and creativity with learning. Alongside required Common Core standards, they are taught skills likes coding, film making, and blogging - vital to continued interest and their future world. But even more important, this program emphasizes the use of technology as a tool, not an end unto itself. Our students become self-sufficient learners and creators in all aspects of their work. They begin to see school as a place where they come to create knowledge, not just learn by rote, they become engaged as a partner, dedicated to their own success.

Our award winning success with this program so far also allows Melrose to reach beyond our own walls. As a recipient of both the School of Excellence and Distinction awards from the Magnet Schools of America, Melrose will be a host school for this year’s MSA’s National Conference, bringing principals, teachers, and administrators from across the country. Melrose Elementary is built upon a bedrock commitment to alleviate harms of racial isolation by creating a culture of excellence that attracts students from diverse communities. As a Magnet school, de facto segregation is addressed through LAUSD transportation services for students living beyond a two-mile radius from our school, while extending our reach to a wider variety of ethnic and socio-economic groups. Also, the newer iPads that would be purchased with this grant funding have a greatly heightened dictation capacity. This will help bridge the achievement gap of our English Language Learners and our DHH (Deaf and Hard of Hearing) students.

On the surface, it might seem that our need for iPads is like many others. But it is actually so much more. It is the final brick in the foundation of an incredibly successful tech integration program that could become a model for other schools struggling to meet the needs of their students in our ever more tech-centered world.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Melrose Elementary PTO supports a culturally supportive, technologically-rich environment where a diverse student population can work collaboratively with creativity and innovation. Ensuring that our students do not miss learning opportunities due to lack of access to technology is vital to fulfilling our mission of providing a quality education in the STEAM disciplines. We define success for this project as full implementation of our self-sustaining tech renewal initiative. Operating our 1-1 tech program free from district funding is a key component of our ability to keep pace with changing technology regardless of current funding models for public schools and ongoing district budget cuts. We measure success based on the following:

- Percent of students that have access to fully functioning technology equipment: Goal=100%

- Percent of the cost for maintaining that equipment that is covered by our organization’s existing fundraising activities: Goal=100%

- Percent of students who complete Digital Citizenship training: Goal=100%

- Percent of teachers who receive ongoing professional development to fully utilize our technology:Goal=100%

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?





Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)

Community outreach