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28A.300.545  <<  28A.300.550 >>   28A.300.555

RCW 28A.300.550

Innovation schools — Identification — Web site — Publicity.

(1) The legislature finds that innovation schools accomplish the following objectives:

     (a) Provide students and parents with a diverse array of educational options;

     (b) Promote active and meaningful parent and community involvement and partnership with local schools;

     (c) Serve as laboratories for educational experimentation and innovation;

     (d) Respond and adapt to different styles, approaches, and objectives of learning;

     (e) Hold students and educators to high expectations and standards; and

     (f) Encourage and facilitate bold, creative, and innovative educational ideas.

     (2) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall develop basic criteria and a streamlined review process for identifying Washington innovation schools. Any public school, including those with institution of higher education partners, may be nominated by a community, organization, school district, institution of higher education, or through self-nomination to be designated as a Washington innovation school. If the office of the superintendent of public instruction finds that the school meets the criteria, the school shall receive a designation as a Washington innovation school. Within available funds, the office shall develop a logo, certificate, and other recognition strategies to encourage and highlight the accomplishments of innovation schools.

     (3) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall:

     (a) Create a page on the office web site to highlight examples of Washington innovation schools, including those with institution of higher education partners, that includes links to research literature and national best practices, as well as summary information and links to the web sites of Washington innovation schools. The office is encouraged to offer an educational administrator intern the opportunity to create the web page as a project toward completion of his or her administrator certificate; and

     (b) Publicize the Washington innovation school designation and encourage schools, communities, institutions of higher education, and school districts to access the web site and create additional models of innovation.

[2011 c 202 § 2.]

Notes:

     Finding -- Intent -- 2011 c 202: "(1) The legislature finds that Washington has a long history of providing legal, financial, and political support for a wide range of innovative programs and initiatives and that these can and do operate successfully in public schools through the currently authorized governance structure of locally elected boards of directors of school districts.

     (2) Examples of innovation schools can be found all across the state including, but not limited to:

     (a) The Vancouver school of arts and academics that offers students beginning in sixth grade the opportunity to immerse themselves in the full range of the arts, including dance, music, theater, literary arts, visual arts, and moving image arts, as well as all levels of core academic courses;

     (b) Thornton Creek elementary school in Seattle, an award-winning parent-initiated learning option based on the expeditionary learning outward bound model;

     (c) The technology access foundation academy, a unique public-private partnership with the Federal Way school district that offers a rigorous and relevant curriculum through project-based learning, full integration of technology, and a small learning community intended to provide middle and high school students the opportunity for success in school and college;

     (d) Talbot Hill elementary school in Renton, where students participate in a microsociety program that includes selecting a government, conducting business and encouraging entrepreneurialism, and providing community services such as banking, newspaper, post office, and courts;

     (e) The Tacoma school of the arts, where sophomores through seniors form a cohesive, full-time learning community to study the full range of humanities, mathematics, science, and language as well as build a broad foundation in all forms of the arts, culminating with an in-depth senior arts project that showcases each student's talent and interest;

     (f) The SPRINT program at Shaw middle school in Spokane, an alternative learning community for students in seventh and eighth grade proposed and created by a group of parents who wish to be very actively involved in their students' education;

     (g) Puesta del sol elementary school in Bellevue, offering a diverse multicultural program and Spanish language immersion beginning in kindergarten;

     (h) The Washington national guard youth challenge program operated in collaboration with the Bremerton school district that offers high-risk youth a rigorous and structured residential program that builds students' academic, social, and emotional skills, and physical fitness while providing up to one year of high school credits toward graduation;

     (i) The Lincoln center program at Lincoln high school in Tacoma, an extended day program that has virtually eliminated the academic achievement gap and significantly boosted attendance and test scores for racially diverse, low-income, and highly mobile students;

     (j) Delta high school, a science, technology, engineering, and math-focused school option for students in the Tri-Cities operating in cooperation with three school districts, the regional skill center, local colleges and universities, and the business community; and

     (k) Aviation high school in the Highline school district, offering a project-based curriculum and learning environment centered on an aviation and aeronautics theme with strong business and community support.

     (3) Therefore, the legislature intends to encourage additional innovation schools by disseminating information about current models and recognizing the effort and commitment that goes into their creation and operation." [2011 c 202 § 1.]