Board of Education recognizing Staunton City Schools for innovation

Board of Education recognizing Staunton City Schools for innovation

STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Board of Education has recognized Staunton City Schools as an Innovative School Division.

According to a press release, Staunton has been distinguished for supporting high-quality instruction through numerous initiatives, fostering authentic learning experiences including work-based learning, and multiple efforts focused on equity and inclusivity.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, James Lane, said in the release that he plans to visit the 15 recognized school divisions to see how their innovative practices are transforming teaching and learning.

State Board of Education Recognizes

Innovative School Divisions

RICHMOND — The state Board of Education today recognized 15 Virginia school divisions as “School Divisions of Innovation” for designing and implementing alternatives to traditional instructional practices and school structures that improve student learning and promote college and career readiness, and good citizenship. The divisions are the first to earn the designation, which was authorized by the 2017 General Assembly.

“I think it is fair to say that innovation has never been more important in public education than today as schools across the commonwealth and nation focus on improving distance learning in the face of a pandemic, while addressing inequities in opportunities and outcomes,” Board of Education President Daniel Gecker said. “I congratulate the leaders of all these school divisions for creating innovative plans to address the challenges in their schools and engage their students in deeper learning across the curriculum.”

The divisions recognized by the Board of Education — with highlights of their innovative programs and practices — are as follows:

Buchanan County Public Schools

  • Fostering student engagement and student-centered learning
  • Developing a collaborative online professional learning platform focusing on student engagement and learning
  • Implementing project-based final exams for high school students
  • Implementing project-based innovation courses

Goochland County Public Schools

  • Developing a “Deeper Learning Index” to measure depth of student learning
  • Expanding authentic work-based experiences

Hampton Public Schools

  • Implementing a Freshman Academy
  • Implementing college- and career-themed academies
  • Implementing Extended Enrichment Learning Programs

Henrico County Public Schools

  • Promoting student use of real-time data and formative feedback to inform learning
  • Implementing a plan for students to share learning through a pre-K-12 portfolio

Hopewell Public Schools

  • Supporting deeper learning through project-based learning
  • Enhancing student voice and choice to develop academic mindsets and leadership
  • Implementing a 9th-Grade Academy
  • Implementing a balanced calendar providing year-round education
  • Implementing unitive justice practices in high school

Loudoun County Public Schools

  • Implementing learning walkthroughs for personalized and project-based learning
  • Implementing performance assessments
  • Supporting equity through culturally-responsive professional development and instruction

Middlesex County Public Schools

  • Opening the Compass Academy, a blended-learning school focused on increasing student engagement in learning and service to the community
  • Building strategic regional collaboration to increase deeper learning, identify college- and career-readiness skills, and provide teachers with opportunities for collaboration

Montgomery County Public Schools

  • Creating and offering new information technology curricula through dual enrollment
  • Creating new associate degree pathways
  • Developing an alternative model for professional studies
  • Embracing and supporting work-based learning experiences

Poquoson Public Schools

  • Building strategic regional collaboration to increase deeper learning, identify college- and career-ready skills, and provide teachers with opportunities for collaboration
  • Implementing an American Studies course that integrates learning for U.S. History and English 11
  • Embracing and supporting authentic assessments and work-based experiences

Roanoke County Public Schools

  • Implementing multiple approaches and opportunities supporting deeper learning
  • Focusing on improving climate and culture through innovations in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Salem Public Schools

  • Implementing standards-based grading and reporting
  • Providing opportunities for extended summer learning
  • Facilitating expanded opportunities for career exploration
  • Expanding computer science curriculum and learning opportunities

Staunton Public Schools

  • Supporting high-quality instruction through a multitude of initiatives and improvements
  • Facilitating opportunities and supports for authentic learning experiences including support for performance assessments and expansion of work-based learning
  • Focusing multiple efforts supporting equity and the development of an inclusive culture and community

Virginia Beach Public Schools

  • Implementing a Personalized-Learning Framework to support student engagement and authentic learning including performance assessments
  • Expanding learning opportunities in technical and vocational areas
  • Increasing access to early-college courses
  • Implementing multiple approaches to supporting high-quality instruction

West Point Public Schools

  • Implementing performance learning and performance assessments
  • Expanding opportunities for personalized experiences including additional opportunities for work-based learning
  • Facilitating a culture of teachers serving as lead learners and lead collaborators

York County Public Schools

  • Developing elementary and middle school high-tech makerspaces and a high school learning commons
  • Expanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs with a particular focus on computer science and engineering

“Virginia’s 132 school divisions have a history of sharing innovative and promising practices to improve student learning and outcomes and the School Division of Innovation recognition program is a means of institutionalizing this collaborative process,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “I look forward to visiting all of these school divisions to see how their innovations are transforming teaching and learning.”

To earn the School Division of Innovation designation, a local school board must submit a plan meeting criteria set forth in the Board of Education regulations governing the recognition program. Divisions earning the designation must submit an annual report to the Virginia Department of Education on progress toward meeting the goals and performance targets in their plans. Divisions retain the School Division of Innovation designation for three years.

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