Why?

Innovation is essential to creating and sustaining a teaching and learning culture that will prepare students for success in a rapidly changing college and career landscape. Arkansas schools are reimagining and transforming teaching and learning to prepare students for a future we can only imagine. Schools of Innovation are part of this transformation.

There are compelling reasons why many communities are seeking the transformation of our schools. We believe that innovation is essential to creating and sustaining student focused learning and a culture that will increase students' readiness for life after secondary school, in college, career and community.

Schools struggling with student achievement, student attendance, and graduating students who are college and career ready may seek innovation, rather than reform or incremental improvement, to engage in practices intended to improve academic performance and learning for all students. The process of going from a culture of improvement focused on addressing current problems, to a culture of innovation that devises and tests new solutions, is extremely challenging and requires different ways of thinking (Duty and Kern, 2014)

Where do I start?

Early innovators have shared some of their lessons-learned with us. The four most important lessons they have learned may help you avoid discomfort down the road, and even prevent you from experiencing a derailed innovation!

  • Figure out what, or whose, needs you are trying to meet with the innovation.
  • Figure out your innovative learning solution before you select your technology.
  • Consider student fit, teacher fit and leader fit-one size does not fit all!
  • Monitor and measure your efforts and results.

Arkansas School Of Innovation

The primary purpose of the Schools of Innovation plan is to give schools a new or creative alternative to the existing instructional and administrative practices that is intended to improve academic performance and learning for al students.

The eligible employees of each proposed school of innovation shall vote on whether the school shall be designated a school of innovation. A minimum of sixty percent (60%) of the eligible employees voting in support of the school’s designation as a school on innovation is required.

In developing the plan a school council of innovation must be in place consisting of individuals from a current or aspiring school of innovation composed of teachers, classified employees, the buildinglevel principal or his or her designee, parents, community members, a minimum of two (2) students form the school of innovation, and other interested parties selected by the council to participate.

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