Q and A About Innovation Zones Scheduled Across the State

September 30, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia educators are encouraged to attend one of several Innovation Zone informational meetings. The West Virginia Department of Education will be hosting meetings across the state beginning in mid-October.

 The School Innovation Zones Act is designed to encourage 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 that become Innovation Zones essentially become learning laboratories with the flexibility to try innovative teaching strategies. The approach can vary, from changes involving all math teachers in a school or county, for example, or it could be a broader initiative involving the entire school, such as altering the structure of the school day. Eighty percent of those impacted by an Innovation Zone must agree to the transformation.
The possibilities for innovation are endless!
Dates and locations for the informational meetings include:
·         Oct. 13 - Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, W.Va.
·         Oct. 14 – Tamarack, Beckley, W.Va.
·         Oct. 15 - Clay Center, Charleston, W.Va.
·         Oct. 16 - Bavarian Inn, Shepherdstown, W.Va.
·         Oct. 20 - West Virginia High Technology Foundation Research Center, Fairmont, W.Va.
Two sessions are scheduled at each location. The first session will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The second session will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you are interested in attending any of the sessions, please go to http://wvde.state.wv.us/innovationzones to pre-register.
Representatives from schools or groups of schools are invited to attend, including teachers, building administrators, business/community/parent school partners, and central office staff. Members of higher education institutions and other educational stakeholders are welcome to attend as well.
The sessions will be interactive and include collaborative brainstorming of possible ideas for innovation. The components of the Innovation Zone initiative, the application process and phases will be shared and technical assistance will be offered.
For more information, contact Donna Peduto at 304-558-3199, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.

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