For Immediate Release: March 18, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has approved plans for Mannsdale Upper Elementary in the Madison County School District to be Mississippi’s newest School of Innovation and for Pascagoula-Gautier School District and Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District to be Mississippi’s newest Districts of Innovation for 2022-23.
The SBE also renewed District of Innovation status for Booneville School District and Grenada School District, which both received the status in 2016.
Mississippi will have 10 total Districts of Innovation in 2022-23. The other six are Hinds County School District, Oxford School District, Rankin County School District, Tupelo Public School District, Corinth School District and Gulfport School District.
Legislation passed in 2015 allows school districts and schools within a district to apply for District of Innovation or School of Innovation status, which enables the district or school to request exemptions from certain state regulations to improve student achievement. Through the innovative model, districts and schools have flexibility in areas such as seat time and teacher certification to allow for innovative scheduling and instruction.
Districts of Innovation and Schools of Innovation are intended to expand learning choices, implement rigorous standards, reduce achievement gaps, reduce student remediation post-graduation, increase student engagement and increase the number of students who are ready for college and/or career.
Mannsdale Upper Elementary’s goals include investigating a learning community where the general education teacher is team-teaching with a gifted education teacher; to create a self-sustaining gardening program that teaches students the steps to building either a career or college major in farming, entrepreneurship, food services or business management; and to create a school structure where teachers are compensated for mentorship.
Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s goals include expanding its career academies while providing students with opportunities to take the ACT WorkKeys and helping students graduate with an associate’s degree and earn national certifications. Students in the district will have the opportunity to earn their LPN license before graduation.
Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District’s goals include expanding its career academy model to include all high school students and provide preparation classes in elementary grades.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.