May 2014 Monthly Newsletter


Envision Education's New CEO


On April 1st, Gia Truong became Envision Education's new CEO, replacing Bob Lenz, who continues on with Envision in the new role of Chief of Innovation. Becoming the CEO of Envision has been very exciting for Gia: she is eager to extend her commitment to improving educational outcomes to more and more students, both within Envision Schools and at schools around the country that are working with Envision Learning Partners.


For the past three years, Gia has been the Envision's Superintendent, overseeing our three dynamic and effective charter high schools for traditionally underserved students in Oakland, San Francisco, and Hayward.


Since Gia joined Envision in July of 2011, she has been amazed by the commitment of the dedicated professionals who work in the schools, touched by the families who entrust Envision with their children's education, and motivated by the students who persist and thrive despite very challenging circumstances.  All of these people inspire her.


She has her own inspiring story as well. Gia's parents left Vietnam over three decades ago in hopes that their four children would have access to a free education and ultimately graduate from college.  When she arrived in the US at the age of 7, she didn't speak, let alone read, English.  Next came several years of hard work and studying.  Through that hard work and the support of others, Gia graduated from college, became a teacher, then a principal, and now she considers herself privileged to lead Envision Education. All of these experiences have been transformative for her, and her hope is that all students, especially those who come from underserved communities, have access to similar transformative school experiences. That kind of education will, she believes, allows young people to hope for something better and to contribute to the strength of their communities.
Before coming to Envision, Gia led a curriculum and instruction department of over 60 members through strategic planning and reorganization, and led Oakland Unified School District's Effective Principals and Leadership Task Force. In that role, she worked to support, guide, and develop OUSD principals, work that she enjoys and continues to do with Envision Schools' three principals.
We are excited to welcome Gia as Envision Education's new CEO and we look forward to many years under her guidance and leadership!

What's Happening in Envision Learning Partners?    
Deeper Learning Student Assessment Initiative (DLSAI)

DLSAI is a collaborative partnership of five organizations: Envision Education (with Envision Learning Partners as the lead), New Tech Network, ConnectEd, Asia Society,
and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE). The network partners have joined together to adapt, build out and then scale the Deeper Learning Student Assessment System (DLSAS), based on Envision's performance assessment system.

Since 2011, the DLSAI partners have been working together to spread the use of DLSAS, based on the Envision School transformation model, to schools and districts across the country. Over the past two years, DLSAI partners scaled deeper learning to 38,000
students across the country with many examples of classrooms, pathways, and schools where DLSAS is being implemented. This was made possible through support from the Hewlett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Irvine

Thanks to continued funding from the Hewlett Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, DLSAI partners will create practical tools and resources to promote and support the use of the DLSAS in schools and districts. In the resources section of this newsletter, you will find a recent DLSAI publication: A Survey of Performance Assessment & Mastery Tracking Tools as well as a new tool: DLSAI Task Quality Rubric.

Learning Opportunities

Envision Learning Partners is participating in PBL World on June 23-27, 2014

Check out the description below to find out more about the Envision Learning Partners workshop facilitated by our own Justin Wells. 

Through Lines: How PBL and Performance Assessment Should Work Together 

Project-based learning and performance assessment are two concepts so often uttered in the same breath that helpful distinctions are getting lost. How do these two concepts best serve each other? In this design workshop, participants apply performance assessment thinking to improve the focus and rigor of projects, as well as learn how to design projects that prepare students for performance assessments (including the standardized ones coming down the Common Core pipeline).

Visit Envision Schools!
If you are interested in visiting one of our schools, please email Emily Leach at to set up your visit.  Monthly school visit dates are listed below.  Click on the link to visit the school's website.  

In This Issue

Tools and Resources
Click on the image to access these resources
Assessing Deeper Learning: A Survey of Performance Assessment and Mastery Tracking Tools

Education for Life & Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

PISA Special Report: Problem Solving April 2014
PISA Special Report: Problem Solving April 2014

A Deeper Look at Deeper

Quick Links
Want to learn more about Envision's schools and programs? Click the quick links below.

Join our social media communities!

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn
Partnering for Success 

Inspire: Capture and share student and teacher success! Email your stories, photos and videos and we will share them in a future newsletter.  Email Rachel Maida, program manager,  

Inform: Learn more about Envision Learning Partners (ELP) and partnership opportunities. Contact Rachel Maida, program manager,

Involve: Participate in Envision Learning Partners (ELP) events. To be on ELP's mailing list, contact Rachel Maida, program manager,

Influence: Spread the word about Envision Learning Partners. Forward this newsletter to colleagues and friends. Encourage them to sign up at

Invest: Interested in investing in Envision Education? Contact Kate Schwass, director of development,    

Envision Learning Partners | 510-451-2415 ext. 156 | |

111 Myrtle Street
Suite 203
Oakland, CA 94607


Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.