Tonight, the Jefferson County Board of Education Hears ‘School of Innovation’ Proposals

Four groups who have proposed the next Jefferson County public school will make their pitches Monday to the school board, which next month will choose a winning design.

The JCPS School Design Competition was introduced to the community last year. After whittling down more than 60 proposals, district leaders worked with the four finalist groups. Monday night, the groups will present actionable plans that could be implemented by the 2015-2016 school year.

Find more information on the School Design Competition here.

Meet the finalists:

The Catalpa School proposal is led by several JCPS elementary school teachers. The school would be open for pre-schoolers to fifth grade, with the potential to grow into middle school. The heart of this program is a Waldorf-style education that “balances art, music, drama, movement, and experiences in nature to promote creativity and critical thinking.”

Louisville Reach Academy proposal is also led by a group of JCPS teachers. It would offer students a year-round school that serves kindergartners through eighth grade. The school would also have “wraparound services.” “The one site will include opportunities for medical and dental services, family therapy, government services, adult education, job shadowing, and family education workshops.” The program would also have small class sizes and iPads for every student.

The Metro Museum Magnet School proposal is led by several Louisville museum directors and other invested partners. would leverage the city’s arts and science cultures and allow students to learn first-hand from community partners and museums.

“Children will participate in a classroom that includes Louisville’s Museum Row,” and would “participate in theme-based projects using authentic objects, experiences, and resources,” according to the summary provided by JCPS. The program would be open for K-5 grades, with potential to open it to other grades in future years. This school was modeled after a similar program in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Next-Generation Community School proposal is led by educators from Michigan who work in a struggling district there. The highlight of this school would include “flexible” scheduling partnered with strong community partnerships, which would allow students to learn at their own pace. 

Instead of grades 9-12 (this school would be a high school), the school would be levels 1-4, which students would move through when they are ready. This means students could complete projects at a pace that suits them. For example, if a student had a job, he or she could complete assignments around that time. This would also prepare students to manage their time, which could prepare them for college level work.

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama host middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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