Parents get chance to weigh in on future of JCPS - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Parents get chance to weigh in on future of JCPS

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Friday night, JCPS parents will get the chance to weigh in on what Louisville's newest school will look like.

They are brand new teaching concepts in a first-of-its-kind competition, and now, we got a look at some of the finalists.

Learning comes to life at the Kentucky Science Center -- excitement that leaders hope to channel with a new Kindergarten-5th grade Magnet School on Museum Row.

"Imagine a school where students are choosing their learning adventures, first and foremost, and secondly, where this array of cultural institutions across many disciplines -- science, history, math, technology, ecology -- where all of those cultural assets are harnessed to bring to life these learning experiences for students," said Jo Haas of the Kentucky Science Center.

"And it's in this innovative and unique location called Main Street here in Louisville," she added.

The Catalpa school would be a K-8 neighborhood school in one of Louisville's poorest communities. Byck Elementary School teachers are basing it on the Waldorf concept, using art to teach all subjects.

"Content is taught through music, storytelling, drama, painting," said Jennifer Nelson, a Byck Elementary School teacher. "It takes a developmental view of the child...so it's a holistic approach to education."

A third idea: the dream school could be a K-12 project-based approach.

"Their learning is tied to them," said Alan Young, JCTA teaching and learning committee member. Young said, "It's things that are about their interest, their voice and their choice as developed in ways that they can create work that has meaning and power to impact their lives and world."

Altogether, 12 semi-finalists will present their ideas in the JCPS School of Innovation competition.

The state has given the district a special exemption from certain rules and regulations to re-think what education should look like. It's Kentucky's answer to the charter school.

"We get stuck sometimes in doing things the way that we've always done them, and this is a way to break out of it and say, 'let's find new ideas that could create new opportunities for learning for kids,'" said Jonathan Lowe, the JCPS Director of Student Assignment.

The pilot will not just create the newest school in the city -- it may also change education throughout the state.

Tonight's public meeting begins at 5:30 in Durrett Auditorium at the Gheens Academy -- that's just off Preston Highway near Male High School.

The school board expects to name the final four finalists on Monday.

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