We are excited to share that Franklin is one of 6 schools selected to participate in an innovation zone for our district. We are currently in the process of creating an innovation plan with the help of students, staff, community members, and experts from across the state. Below you will find some common questions regarding Innovation and what it means for our school.
What is Innovation?
For years, schools have used a traditional approach to education (sometimes referred to as the “factory” model). This model worked well in the past but as our economy has shifted, so have the educational needs of our workforce. Innovation allows us to combine the best aspects of the traditional model with new approaches to teaching and learning that better prepare students for the future.
For the last several years, our school has ranked low across the state in Academic Achievement and growth despite our best efforts to improve. Innovation status supports new opportunities to implement strategies and programs that are more effective in positively impacting student achievement and growth.
What will be different?
The four initiatives below describe the identified innovations for our zone schools. We are also looking at modifications to our school calendar, teacher recruitment and training, assessment methods, and other elements. These modifications will help to ensure that our teachers have the best possible training and skills to teach using new systems.
What does it look like?
The Elementary schools at the elementary level have identified four initiatives to begin implementing next year:
EVERY CHILD, COLLEGE READY- Regardless of whether every student chooses to go to college, every child ought to have college as an option. AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) builds a culture of high expectations that sets students on a rigorous path of learning. Teachers utilize consistent instructional strategies across all grade levels that help students to organize, analyze, and collaborate in their content areas.
PERSONALIZED, 21st CENTURY LEARNING- Students come to school with a wide range of knowledge and skills, even when they’re in the same classroom. By adopting a blended learning model, schools within the zone will utilize technology and online learning to customize learning for students during their day. Blended learning doesn’t replace the teacher, but rather allows them to use technology to meet the specific needs of each of their students. Students that are behind will benefit by being able to catch up more quickly, and students who are ahead won’t be slowed down! As a result, learning becomes more meaningful and more relevant for students. You can find out more about blended learning here.
HELP STUDENTS TO DREAM- We want our students to discover more about their community and more about their world! The creation of an Extended Learning Opportunities Program will allow them to learn a new skill, pursue a passion, and connect with the community through unique and exciting programs. Extended Learning Opportunities will be offered in an after school or end of day format and we’ll be working with the community to find people willing to share their interests. This article from the National Education Association describes the impact of Extended Learning Opportunities.
STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY- Today’s students are tomorrow’s citizens. We want to ensure that our community thrives and is revitalized by our students. Through a partnership with CSU Pueblo, we’ll create a special program for teacher candidates to partner with master teachers within the innovation zone. This will ensure that our future teachers have the skills necessary to succeed in our schools.
What are the next steps?
Innovation status is a process that requires several steps including approval by school staff members, the local school board, and finally the State Board of Education. We welcome your questions, ideas, and comments throughout this process. Please ask your child’s teacher, Mrs. Palumbo or Mr. Trejo if you have additional questions. In addition, we are seeking individuals who are interested in being part of a parent advisory. Please email the principal at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in serving on a parent advisory committee.