Sequoia Middle School in Fontana has been selected as a 2021 Microsoft Showcase School for its commitment to bridging the technology gap, providing students access to digital platforms and encouraging teachers and staff to become leaders in innovative education.
Sequoia joins a community of global educator visionaries who are integrating technology platforms into classrooms and providing support through professional development communities, the Fontana Unified School District said in a news release on Sept. 17.
Sequoia is FUSD’s second Microsoft Showcase School; Southridge Tech Middle School received the designation in 2018.
“This is a tremendous recognition for Sequoia that goes to the heart of all that we are trying to bring to our students and the Sequoia community,” Sequoia Middle School Principal Antonio Viramontes said. “The last year has been difficult, but we are encouraged by the great strides our students and families have already made as they have become more familiar with their devices and new software platforms.”
Sequoia was designated a Microsoft Incubator School at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, during which Sequoia concentrated on keeping students connected through virtual clubs via Microsoft Teams, including a book club and a Minecraft club. Virtual pep rallies were held regularly on Fridays, encouraging students to interact and share their artwork through collaborative apps like Padlet.
All Sequoia teachers and staff have qualified to become Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE). Sequoia assistant principal Kimberly Moyer and teacher Brianna Hoch have been designated as MIE Experts, who will coach and mentor Sequoia staff and join a professional community of MIE Experts to share resources and initiate best practices.
“Working toward becoming a Showcase School has positively impacted our approach to classroom learning,” Moyer said. “We had an opportunity to look at and redesign our vision and mission statement to reflect our incorporation of technology and providing 21st century skills for our students. We want to ensure that our students are developing into collaborators and communicators.”
As a Microsoft Showcase School, Sequoia will have access to the entire Microsoft 365 Suite, which includes software Sequoia has already implemented in their classrooms — including Teams, Stream, Sway, OneNote and Word.
Sequoia’s designation as a Microsoft Showcase School is its second major recognition in 2021, following its inclusion in the 2021 California Schools to Watch program for its continued success in boosting student achievement and creating a positive campus culture.
“Sequoia Middle School’s designation as a Microsoft Showcase School reflects the Districtwide commitment to incorporating technology in curriculum and providing a path to college and career for every Fontana Unified student,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “By encouraging our students to become innovators, we are strengthening our community and developing the leaders of the future.”