Education
8:18 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Here Are the Finalists in Jefferson County Public Schools' School of Innovation Competition

Credit Hanna-Barbera

The finalists in Jefferson County Public Schools' School of Innovation competition are The Catalpa School, the Louisville Reach Academy, the Metro Museum Magnet School and the Next Generation Community School. 

The Catalpa School would be based on Waldorf education principles. The Louisville Reach Academy would offer K-8 education plus family services such as medical, therapy and dental plus small class sizes. The Metro Museum Magnet would be a collaboration between several Louisville museums. The Next Generation Community School would offer flexible schedules and supports such as internships. You can find more about the finalists and the 12 semifinalists here.  You can hear their presentations here.

JCPS got 48 submissions in the School of Innovation competition and named 12 semifinalists in February. On Friday, the semifinalists presented their ideas to a panel choosing the finalists and the community.

The semifinalists came from a handful of teams of JCPS educators, directors of several Louisville museums, a former school-based therapist and others.

Announced last year, the School of Innovation competition solicited submissions from the community for ideas for a new school intended to open in the 2o15-16 academic year. It's part of the state's Districts of Innovation initiative. Seven school districts have won the District of Innovation designation, which frees those districts of some state rules and regulations in an effort to promote new ideas.

The semifinalists and finalists were chosen by a review panel.

The Jefferson County Board of Education will choose which of the finalist ideas will start the process toward becoming a JCPS school. The board is expected to make its decision this summer. The finalists will get support in the meantime to further develop their ideas with baseline budgets, operational structure and other details, the school system said.

And JCPS is accepting feedback from the community on the School of Innovation ideas here. Jonathan Lowe, the school district's student assignment director, said components from ideas that don't win the competition may still be used in the future.

We'll have more on the School of Innovation initiative on Tuesday.