Springfield City Schools set to open School of Innovation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Springfield City Schools open School of Innovation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Springfield City School District is opening up a school of innovation and repurposing Keifer Academy.

The new school will give Springfield students an opportunity to take part in a project-based learning curriculum that teaches students how to solve real-world problems and complex questions using the tools they learn in class.

“Students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful project,” Springfield Superintendent Bob Hill said. “Project-based learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.”

MORE: Springfield schools get new ‘houses of knowledge’ for reading

Hill said SCSD always looks for ways to give students new opportunities, and the school is another example.

“In our experience across the District for the past several years, SCSD learned that students, parents, and teachers strongly support project-based learning in the classroom,” Hill said. “As we continually work to identify cutting-edge programming that excites and energizes our students in settings that push them to their maximum learning potential, the idea of the School of Innovation was created. The School of Innovation is another opportunity and venue to help meet the needs of all students.”

The new school will open this year in place of Keifer Academy, which served as an alternative education setting. Hill said the school began experimenting with project based learning last year.

“In just one year, the District witnessed students speaking with confidence, learning to problem-solve with friends and community partners, and enjoying the school day,” he said. “Those same students were volunteering to enter competitions and we’re proud of their work. It was not long after, that students from the high school asked if they could take the PBL courses that were being offered, even though they were not a Keifer Academy student. At that point, it was obvious that the District could serve more students, offering several non-traditional programs by providing a school focused on individual needs and desires, allowing students to have a more significant voice and choice in their education.”

EXTRA: 5 things to know about Springfield City Schools

Keifer previously provided opportunities for students who needed a smaller setting, online coursework, potential additional supports, or who were placed there as an alternative to expulsion and then transitioned back to a traditional setting, Hill said.

READ: Springfield schools set to hire new treasurer

Those students will still be served, he said.

“The Springfield City School District will continue to serve all students in the most appropriate learning environment for individual student needs,” Hill said. “SCSD students have many educational settings from which to choose, including Springfield High, OnCourse, CTC, and now the School of Innovation. Our students also participate in our OHSAA sanctioned Division I athletic programs, award-winning music program, after-school programming at The Dome, and an extensive selection of clubs. SCSD truly offers something for everyone.”

The Springfield News-Sun provides the best coverage of the Springfield City Schools and local education in Clark and Champaign County.

By the Numbers:

7,800: About the population of Springfield City Schools

338: Students who attended Keifer Academy in 2017-2018, according to the Ohio Department of Education

31: Teachers at Kefier academy, according to the Ohio Department of Education