The deadline to submit proposals for designing the next Jefferson County public school has passed, and officials say 48 individuals or groups are moving on for review.

Initially, more than 80 groups expressed interest in the School of Innovation Design Competition—which set out to change the look of public education. 

The final 48 submissions will be more than enough to determine a set of strong semi-finalists, says Jonathan Lowe, who helps lead the project for JCPS.  

The proposals are mostly led by JCPS teachers and staff, but business leaders and even outside education policy organizations have also submitted proposals, says Lowe.

The next step is for a 27-member review panel composed of teachers, parents and community leaders to review the proposals over the next few weeks, and then it will announce semi-finalists on Feb. 26.

Lowe says he expects the strongest proposals to naturally emerge from the competition.

“We’ll have a really strong set that we can bring forward for everybody to see,” he says.

And everybody can see those proposals when groups present their ideas at a public forum on Mar 7, which will also be live streamed online, Lowe says.

Finalists from that group will work with JCPS staff over the next several months to develop final plans aligned with state and district mandates that will be presented to the school board this summer.