12 JCPS Innovation Design semifinalists announced - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

12 JCPS Innovation Design semifinalists announced

Kristen Thomas Kristen Thomas
Joyce Booth Joyce Booth
Jonathan Lowe Jonathan Lowe

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County school district leaders have narrowed 48 innovative school designs down to a dozen as the competition moves into the semifinals.

What started as an idea for Kristen Thomas is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

"We are looking to provide access to things like medical care, mental health care, dental care, vision care," said Thomas, a first grade Brandies Elementary instructor.

Thomas and a group of colleagues are now one of twelve semi-finalists in the JCPS School of Innovation Design competition. The contest called on the public to develop a brand new school concept.

"The title of our project is the Louisville Reach Academy," began Thomas. "Our primary goal was to be a full service community school."

While Thomas' idea aimed to increase accessibility to resources many low income students often lack, another JCPS instructor's semifinalist qualifying idea aimed to tackle low reading levels.

Noe Middle School science instructor Joyce Booth joined with a group of teammates to create the Adams Entrepreneurial Annex.

"It's named after my sixth grade teacher," said Booth.

The program would provide incoming sixth graders focused instruction outside of their home middle schools for a year, as well as exposure to the art of enterprise.

"The students would, in addition to their academics, be working on projects that would ultimately by marketable," began Booth, "putting young people in a position of running a business like activity."

"It was amazing to get to the 12 semifinalists," said Jonathan Lowe, JCPS Student Assignment Director. "There were a lot of really compelling, innovative, excellent ideas."

While pleased with what he'd seen so far, Lowe said only one idea would be crowned winner. The decision would be made after the public had a chance to learn more about each of the semifinalists.

"Friday, March 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., we're going to have a public forum where all 12 semifinalists will be able to present their proposals," said Lowe. "Then there's a finalist election committee that will make selections."

Finalist will be announced Monday, March 10 at the JCPS Board of Education meeting. The competition winner is expected to be announced this summer. The winning concept could be implemented as soon as fall of 2015.

To view a list of the semifinalist school concepts, click here.

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