CTL is excited to announce that Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky has selected a team led by CTL as one of 12 semifinalists in the district’s School of Innovation Design competition. Forty-eight proposals were submitted.
The competition is an outgrowth of JCPS’ status as a District of Innovation, designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to encourage a “re-thinking” of school design and improve student learning. Districts of Innovation are exempt from certain state and local school board regulations and policies. JCPS serves more than 100,000 Louisville area students in 155 schools, with more than 60 percent receiving free or reduced-priced meals.
Students in traditionally underserved areas of the city would attend CTL’s proposed Design for Learning Community Middle School, which would emphasize Project Based Learning and arts integration to contribute to community development. The student population would come from the four ZIP codes ranked lowest on the JCPS Equity Score Card, reflecting the city’s highest rates of poverty and lowest rates of literacy proficiency and college readiness. There would be a focus on closing learning gaps through more effective, engaging instruction and extended learning opportunities, and authentic work projects that benefit the community and build citizenship skills.
CTL developed the proposal in partnership with the Housing Partnership, Inc.; Simmons College of Kentucky, a Historically Black College located in Louisville; Actors Theatre of Louisville; the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; the Louisville Visual Art Association; and Educational Justice. a tutoring organization for at-risk students. All would contribute to the design and implementation of the school. Parents and other local organizations and businesses would also be key participants in instructional activities.
CTL would provide professional development on Project Based Learning and arts integration, and its original, tested summer reading program. As CTL President and CEO Dr. Deborah Walker noted to Courier-Journal reporter Chris Kenning, “For 20 years, we’ve talked about inequity of district achievement and poverty. We see this competition as a way to get serious…(and) do something different.”
At a public meeting on March 7, the CTL team and the other semifinalists will present their proposals. Finalists will be announced to the Jefferson County Board of Education on March 10, and the winner will be selected this summer.
CTL is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with community partners and contribute to the ongoing conversation about improving learning for all students.