Education
3:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

JCPS Competition to Design a School Getting Greater Than Expected Participation

Officials with Jefferson County Public Schools anticipate they’ll get more proposals than expected for a competition to design a school.

School of the future according to the hit TV show The Jetsons.
Credit Hanna-Barbera

It’s a good mix of applicants, says Jonathan Lowe, who heads the district’s School of Innovation Design Competition.  The winner will receive help from JCPS to see their dream school become a reality.

Lowe says more than 80 groups or individuals have expressed interest in submitting a proposal to design the next JCPS school. This includes teachers, community members, education groups and entrepreneurs, Lowe says.

The large interest has led JCPS to revisit the competition's process. Before, all proposals would be presented to the school board in February. Now, the district will decide who gets to present their preliminary proposals to the board.

“My expectation is that we’ll have a wide range of responses and some of them are going to be absolutely stellar and then others may be needing a little bit of work," Lowe says.

Those proposals that stand out will move forward, he says.

About  one-third (on Friday it was 24) of the proposals are being led by teachers. Others are from education groups, community members and entrepreneurs.

The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 31.

Funding for new schools remains a challenge for public education. But Lowe says a decision on how to pay for the school of innovation won’t be  made this year.