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MDE announces two new Schools of Innovation for 2024-25


For Immediate Release:  March 7, 2024

MDE announces two new Schools of Innovation for 2024-25

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has approved plans for Western Line Collegiate Academy in the Western Line School District and New Albany Middle School in the New Albany School District to become Schools of Innovation for the 2024-25 school year.

The SBE approved a revised renewal of Hattiesburg High School Middle College as a School of Innovation and the Oxford School District as a District of Innovation for next school year. Mississippi will now have 21 Schools of Innovation. The state currently has 11 Districts of Innovation.

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.

Western Line Collegiate Academy will be a middle college program of 11th and 12th grade students from O’Bannan High School and Riverside High School participating in order to gain an associate degree or advanced national certification along with their high school diploma. The goal is for 85% of students to complete the program and earn a degree. Besides GPA, ACT scores will be continually monitored to assure students are eligible for College Algebra and English Compositon. In the future, students will have the opportunity to take the ACT at least twice a year beginning in ninth grade. The Accuplacer practice test will be given once a month for those already enrolled and for future students who may not reach the benchmark ACT score needed by the 11th grade.

New Albany Middle School is proposing modifications to the instructional time and master schedule. The schedule change will allow the school to provide both remediation and enrichment opportunities for all students, tailored to their specific learning needs. New Albany Middle School has set annual goals of increasing proficiency 0.5% overall, 1.5% in growth for all, and 2% growth in the bottom 25%. The goals are set with the intention of meeting or exceeding them over the course of five years.

To see complete plans and goals for the new and renewed District and Schools of Innovation, go to March 7 SBE Board item materials.

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Media Contact:

Jean Cook, APR
Chief of Communication

Shanderia Minor
Public Information Officer