Check out a fascinating new public school in Salt Lake City called Innovations High School. A first-of-its-kind program, Innovations allows public school students to sample every type of educational model currently available. According to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune, kids in grades 9 – 12 can blend online and in-classroom learning, choosing courses in traditional subjects as well as technical programs from community colleges.
The purpose of Innovations is to give students and their parents more flexibility when it comes to progressing through coursework. The personalized nature of the Innovations experience also lets kids get exposure to well-paying career options they might otherwise miss in a more structured high school program.
I apologize if my summary sounds like a paid advertisement –it isn’t – but the flexibility seemingly provided by an Innovations education makes too much sense to be ignored. Too many kids aren’t allowed to fit their education around their interests and abilities. The result is often a one-size-fits-all widget system that pumps out graduates who know a little (or in many cases very little) about many things, but have no depth or experience in anything.
It should be noted that Innovations is not a charter school. Rather, it’s a project by school administrators to use the changes wrought on education by technology to create new opportunities for local students currently in public, private, and home school situations. If quality and flexibility are the norm, then Innovations might represent one area where traditional public schools can entice high-performing students back onto campus.