Innovation High Facts

Kent ISD and its Superintendents opened Innovation High in the fall of 2011 to create a learning laboratory for teachers and administrators wanting to implement innovative ways of teaching and learning. They created Innovation High to be an "innovation incubator" to model and export the best and most innovative practices to all of our schools. 

The school is a part of the Kent Intermediate Superintendents' Association Secondary Redesign Committee, whose goal is to research and implement innovative instructional models to help boost achievement for all students.

The Committee developed nine guiding principles. They narrowed those principals to three essential components for a new learning environment:

  1. Personalized learning for all students
  2. Increased relevance to improve student engagement
  3. Cultivating student voice to enhance student ownership of their education

Research into best practices nationwide led to our affiliation with the New Tech network of high schools. These schools feature:

  1. A project-based learning environment
  2. Multidisciplinary core content classes which integrate the 21st Century skills of teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, communications, leadership and accountability
  3. A high degree of student voice, involvement and ownership of school administration and the learning experience

  • The school opened with a freshman class of 100 students in the fall of 2011. Full four-year enrollment is expected to be 400 in 2014
  • The school is located in a redesigned wing of the Kent Career Tech Center as a separate facility
  • Students come from local districts, charter schools and some are homeschoolers
  • Recruiting is done cooperatively with districts to eliminate competition for students
  • The student application/acceptance process was developed so that the student population represents the socioeconomic and ethnic composition of our region
  • The school is funded in part through Career and Technical Education (CTE) funds from our charter millage because of the direct relationship between the instructional model we use and real-life projects adapted from business and industry
  • Students spend two thirds of their school day on this campus and the remainder at their home district, where they have the opportunity to take electives and participate in extracurricular activities
  • The school is part of a statewide initiative that seeks to establish as many as 12 New Tech high schools by the end of 2012
  • Six New Tech Network high schools opened in Michigan in the fall of 2010
  • Our concept is unique among the New Tech models opened in Michigan, as the goal of Kent ISD and the districts it serves is to bring the professional development and concepts used by New Tech high schools to all of the schools in our service area