School of Innovation semifinalists present ideas to public audience


Joey Feldman presents his school, “Educating for Life: Portland Promise Neighborhood.” photo by Margo Morton.

Margo Morton

Joey Feldman presents his school, "Educating for Life: Portland Promise Neighborhood." photo by Margo Morton.
Joey Feldman presents his school, “Educating for Life: Portland Promise Neighborhood.” Photo by Margo Morton

The 12 semifinalists of The School of Innovation Design Competition presented their schools at a public event in the Durrett Auditorium at Gheens Academy on Friday, March 7. JCPS is one of four Kentucky school districts chosen to be a Kentucky Department of Education District of Innovation. Brief summaries of the proposed schools for JCPS can be found here.

Each presenter had ten minutes to give an overview of their schools. Teams of teachers, parents, and education policy professionals created schools that would “engage and energize the entire city through a dialogue and an investigation of the profound social and communal challenge of creating the very best opportunities for educational success for our children,” according to the project overview.

JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens believes the competition has done just that.

“This has been a catalyst for discussion,” Hargens said. “I’m in awe.”

“You could tell [the teams] have worked together a lot due to the quality of presentations and teamwork,” JCPS Board Member David Jones said. “People love the schools. That’s one thing about Louisville.”

The School of Innovation Design Competition Finalists will be announced at the March 10 Board of Education meeting at 7 pm at the VanHoose Education Center. These finalists will have several months to work with JCPS specialists and external experts to create action plans and the ultimate winner will be decided in the summer. The first JCPS School of Innovation is set to open in August 2015.

“We’re not worried about money, but who’s going to learn the most,” Hargens said. “I can’t wait to find out.”

The semi-finalists can be found here.