Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education
Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX: 601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2017
State Board Approves Plans for Two New Districts of Innovation
JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) today approved plans for the Grenada School District and a collaboration between Baldwyn and Booneville school districts to become Mississippi’s two newest Districts of Innovation.
The Grenada School District’s “Walls to Windows Innovation Plan” will expand its pre-K program, establish blended learning opportunities for middle school students, open career pathways through career academies, establish an early college program with Holmes Community College and implement Project Lead the Way in grades K-12 in the areas of engineering, biomedical science and computer science.
Baldwyn and Booneville will collaborate on the “Building Bridges” program, which will enable students to access specialized courses in both districts. Baldwyn School District will provide students the opportunity to take career and technical courses and earn industry certification in industrial maintenance or furniture manufacturing. Booneville School District will offer students the opportunity to take online Advanced Placement courses taught by Booneville High School teachers who have AP certifications.
“The collaboration with Baldwyn School District ensures that students from both districts will be prepared for tomorrow's opportunities,” said Dr. Todd English, superintendent of the Booneville School District. “The collaboration leverages each district’s strength, respectively, with the student being the primary beneficiary of the collaboration.”
Legislation passed in 2015 allows districts to apply for District of Innovation status, which enables them to request exemptions from state regulations to achieve performance targets.
Mississippi’s other Districts of Innovation include Corinth, Gulfport and Vicksburg-Warren, which earned the designation in 2016.
“These districts have demonstrated a commitment to improving education for all students and they are taking different approaches to providing an educational experience to better prepare their students for the future,” said Jean Massey, executive director of secondary education at the Mississippi Department of Education.