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Districts of Innovation

District of Innovation designation gives school districts additional flexibility in several areas governed by Mississippi Department of Education. School Districts that create programs to better engage students in learning through innovative structures that are limited by state statute are encouraged to work with the Mississippi Department of Education to create an innovative plan. These districts and/or schools may apply to become a District of Innovation, or a School of Innovation. Currently, Mississippi’s Schools of Innovation follow the Early College High School model.


The purpose of a District of Innovation or School of Innovation is to better prepare students for success in life and work. Districts offering innovative programs may need flexibility to meet goals and performance targets in the following areas:

  • Reducing achievement gaps among groups of public school students by expanding learning experiences for students who are identified as academically low-achieving
  • Increasing pupil learning through the implementation of high, rigorous standards for pupil performance
  • Increasing participation of all students or subgroups of students in various curriculum and instructional components and instructional components to enhance student achievement
  • Increasing the number of students who are college- and career-ready and reduce the number of students that exit high school in need of remediation
  • Motivating students by expanding curriculum choices and learning opportunities for students

Innovative Districts and Innovative Schools may request exemptions from regulatory areas. The District of Innovation law, section 2, includes areas of innovation which the State Board of Education could consider for exemptions. Districts or schools may request additional waivers if the waiver is needed to support innovative practices and does not violate federal regulations. Districts or schools are not allowed to request a waiver from state assessment requirements mandated by federal regulation.  

Current Districts of Innovation
Corinth School District 2016
Gulfport School District 2016
Vicksburg Warren School District 2016
Building Bridges Collaborative – Baldwyn School District and Booneville School District 2017
Grenada School District 2017
Hinds County School District 2018
Oxford School District 2019

Current Early College High Schools
Golden Triangle ECHS 2015
Natchez ECHS 2016
River City ECHS 2016
Coahoma Agricultural ECHS 2018
Greenville ECHS 2018
Jackson Public Schools ECHS 2018

Applications for District of Innovation or School of Innovation, including early college high schools and middle college programs, for 2019 implementation are due on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Districts interested in applying should contact Wendy Clemons for more information.


Dr. Lea Johnson

High School Programs and Innovative Programs, MVPS