CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to award $500,000 to 19 schools or consortiums in 16 counties seeking to become the state’s first School Innovation Zones. At least one school in all eight Regional Education Service Agencies was selected for funding.
The School Innovations Zones Act, adopted last year, encourages pilot projects at schools around the state. The law allows for waivers to certain state laws, rules and policies to give teachers and principals greater local control over the curriculum, schedule and staffing in their schools. Schools designated as Innovation Zones essentially become learning laboratories with the flexibility to try innovative teaching strategies.
The board approved funding for the following projects:
“Giving teachers the opportunity to make changes in their schools is an important step to implementing research-based 21st century teaching and learning, an essential component of West Virginia’s 21st century improvement plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Innovation zones allow schools to adapt to changing times and embrace new ideas and new teaching strategies so that our children prosper in the global economy of the 21st century.”
Applications for funding were evaluated by a committee, which looked at many factors including creativity and innovation; staff commitment; parental and community support; sustainability; and potential for success.
To view the applications submitted by the 19 awardees visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/innovationzones/awardsmap.html
To view all the applications visit: http://wvde.state.wv.us/innovationzones/espptdocs.html
For more information, contact Donna Peduto, Innovation Zones coordinator, at 304-558-3199, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.