Kenton County School District applies to be District of Innovation

The Kenton County School District is one of 17 districts across Kentucky applying to become a "District of Innovation," whic is a new designation that allows districts to waive some established education statutes. It's part of an effort to push educational boundaries and reimagine education.

State lawmakers enacted the innovation program in 2012, and school districts should know if their applications have been approved by early June.

If approved, Kenton County could speed up work already begun through its Kenton County Academies of Technology and Innovation, where high school students study informatics, media arts and the biomedical sciences in-depth. This is the Academies' first year.

If approved, the district could move more quickly to allow students to do more work outside of the classroom, including internships and project-based learning, without asking for state waivers, says Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey.

"Some of what we're doing was not envisioned when the statues were written—for instance, project-based learning is based more on demonstrating mastery of a subject than sitting in a seat for a certain number of hours," she says.

The district has 18 schools, including three high schools. Next year, two of the academies of innovation will be at the former J.D. Patton Career and Technical Center in Edgewood. The remaining two will be at Simon Kenton High School and Dixie Heights High School. It's expected that 400 high schoolers will be accepted into the academies this year through an application process.

By Feoshia H. Davis
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