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Office Depot, Inc. Partners with Austin Independent School District to Develop High School Innovative Entrepreneurship Classroom

Modern Learning Environment Designed to Foster Creativity and Innovative Thinking

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 9:00 am EST

Dateline:

BOCA RATON, Fla.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
ODP
US6762201068
"We didn’t want a traditional classroom setting"

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP), a leading global provider of office supplies and services, today announced an expanded partnership with Austin Independent School District (AISD). The company recently worked with the district to develop an innovative entrepreneurship classroom at Crockett High School, located in Austin, Texas. Students enrolled in the school’s entrepreneurship program utilize the innovative learning space, which teaches future-focused skills such as creative thinking, problem solving and collaboration.

This entrepreneurship program follows curriculum developed by INCubatoredu, a national program that teaches entrepreneurism through hands-on learning. Classes feature real-world entrepreneurs and business experts who serve as coaches and mentors, guiding student teams through the process of ideation, market research and business model development. In the innovative classroom space, set up to resemble an authentic work space, students can work individually or in small groups, while also accommodating large group presentations.

Office Depot, Inc. works with school districts around the country to design classrooms with new technology and furniture to help meet the changing needs of students today. For the incubator space at Crockett High School, the company provided full turnkey services from visioning to implementation of the furniture, which can be arranged in various configurations to address students’ unique and changing needs.

“The demands of the 21st century workforce are dramatically changing the way students learn in the classroom,” said Becki Schwietz, senior director of K-12 Initiatives for Office Depot, Inc. “With Austin ISD, we wanted to simulate a business atmosphere so students can connect learning with real life. Our design experts worked with educators and learners to create a space that will provide students with the necessary skills to prepare them for future success.”

Students journey through the entrepreneurial experience in the more than 1,500 square foot re-envisioned classroom. The space facilitates distinct teams through product ideation to launch.

Office Depot, Inc. was able to use its diverse furniture and technology portfolio to create a space that best responds to this unique modern learning scenario. Writable surfaces facilitate ideation and brain storming. Soft seating disrupts conformity of the old learning regime by encouraging inter- and intra-teaming collaboration. Digital displays provide access to virtual resources and a place for students to team on digital products, business spreadsheets and marketing materials.

This non-traditional learning environment models those increasingly more common in the global and technologically driven world, notably in Austin, thus providing access to authentic, future-forward skillsets.

With the goal of optimum student engagement, Office Depot, Inc.’s educational team, which includes designers, educators, furniture experts and technology innovators, at the request of Crockett educators, created a survey for students so they could provide input that led to the development of the incubator space. A student committee evaluated and ultimately helped select the furniture and the entire finished package.

“We didn’t want a traditional classroom setting,” said Sissy Camacho, interim principal at Crockett High School. “We wanted an open space designed for students to collaborate, create, and innovate. Office Depot helped create and flawlessly execute our vision.”

Office Depot, Inc. collaborates with school districts and other educational institutions through the company’s “Committed to Learning” initiative, which consists of a national team of education experts and partners across disciplines. In developing this team, the company provides instructional solutions and professional development for educators to enrich the learning experience, in addition to forging partnerships with thought leaders in the industry, including INCubatoredu, to focus on early literacy, cognitive computing, entrepreneurship, project-based learning and innovative learning spaces.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

As of our most recent filed annual report for fiscal year ended 2015, the Company had annual sales of approximately $14 billion, employed approximately 49,000 associates, and served consumers and businesses in 59 countries with approximately 1,800 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The Company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax and Grand & Toy. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and HighMark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ODP”.

All trademarks, service marks and trade names of Office Depot, Inc. and OfficeMax Incorporated used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Office Depot, Inc. and OfficeMax Incorporated, respectively. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

About AISD

AISD is the largest school district in central Texas, serving more than 83,000 students at 130 schools. Follow AISD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/austinisd, Instagram at @austinisd or on Twitter at @AustinISD.

Contact:

Office Depot, Inc.
Julianne Embry, 561-438-1451
julianne.embry@officedepot.com
or
Edelman
Sarah Hoffman, 512-634-3651
sarah.hoffman@edelman.com