Innovative School Models
EVSC school leaders have visited a variety of school models across the nation and spent many hours in research during the development of the EVSC innovative school models initiative. Some innovative school models have already debuted and are in operation within the EVSC. As the corporation moves forward with the Strategic Plan, the door is open for other options that will provide opportunities for students and engage them in education.
Early College High Schools
The EVSC has a great opportunity to create synergy among the higher education community of Southwest Indiana. Through partnerships with the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University, EVSC students will have opportunities to engage in college classes and earn college credits up to an associate’s degree before graduating from high school.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academy
Helfrich Park Middle School began operating as a STEM academy in August 2008. This school model integrates science, technology, engineering, and math across the curriculum. To supplement the curriculum, students travel to college campuses, area businesses, and industrial sites to see practical applications for STEM topics, engage students, and show the potential career opportunities.
International Baccalaureate/International Studies
Currently offered at Bosse High School, this comprehensive and challenging pre-university course is designed for highly motivated juniors and seniors. The two-year curriculum covers a wide range of academic subjects and has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving graduates access to the world’s leading universities. This school model is also being investigated at the elementary and middle school levels.
Alternative education programs present new options for engaging students and focusing on individual learning needs. Formerly located in the Christa McAuliffe Alternative Middle School and the Henry Reis Education Center, EVSC alternative education programs will now be housed in the Alternative Education Center located in the current Harwood Middle School building.
Additionally, selected high school students at-risk of not graduating can attend the School of Academic & Career Development (formerly Stanley Hall Enrichment Center) and take advantage of personalized study plans and one-on-one attention. The School of Academic & Career Development is located at the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center.
Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center (SICTC)
The state-of-the-art Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center is the hub for the development and delivery of innovative career and technical education, workforce development and training, adult continuing education, and general education programs. Students receive classroom and hands-on training in 18 diverse areas of study using the latest emerging technologies and equipment.
Adult learners can improve their basic educational and living skills, develop job skills and/or technical knowledge, or earn their high school diplomas or GEDs through a variety of programs offered through the School of Adult Continuing Education and the School of Extended Academic Services.
K—8 and Other Grade Configurations
School models that include kindergarten through eighth-grade students within a single facility keep students, teachers, and families together for longer and eliminate transitions during a time that is often very difficult for many middle-school aged students. Four EVSC schools will operate within this model. Within the Bosse District, Lodge and Glenwood schools will become K–8 schools. In the Central District, Cedar Hall and Lincoln schools will become K–8 schools.
Year-Round School Calendars
While not a "new" school model, the decision to go to a year-round education model at Lincoln K–8 is one that has pleased members of the school community. The decision stemmed from observations by school staff and administrators that students seemed to have a difficult time catching up and adjusting after the long summer vacation.
Students at Lincoln attend school for 45 days and then receive 15 days off. The schedule is slightly modified to coordinate with holidays and vacation time of the traditional EVSC calendar.
During the three school weeks the students have off, the school offers two weeks of voluntary intersession or supplement learning time. Approximately 80 percent of the student body participates. During intersession, students attend classes from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with many hands on activities and often smaller class sizes. Intersession allows students to take the time needed to master a certain skill or problem area. This in turn, increases student confidence which ultimately leads to increased academic success.
New Tech High Schools
New Tech schools are a model that transforms the way students learn. It uses project-based learning in which instruction revolves around integrated curriculum. It also uses a one-to-one student computing ratio and the initiative of well-trained teachers. Students use computers to interact with course content and materials, conduct research, prepare reports and presentations, and work collaboratively to solve problems, all based on state standards. The model also gives students the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare them for college and the 21st century workplace.
Project CHILD (Changing How Instruction for Learning is Delivered) is a research-based, three-dimensional teaching and learning system for grades K-5. Emphasis is placed on reading, writing, and mathematics. Science and social studies topics are incorporated throughout.
Within the Project CHILD school model, grade levels in a school are divided into two clusters. Grades K-2 form a primary cluster and grades 3-5 form an intermediate cluster. Teachers are then divided into primary and intermediate cluster teams, with three teachers on each team. One teacher focuses on reading, another focuses on writing, and the third focuses on mathematics. The cluster teams then work with the same students for three consecutive years.
First studied in 1988 at Florida State University by Dr. Sally Butzin, annual updates and numerous independent studies continue to document the effectiveness of the CHILD instructional system. CHILD students are shown to have significantly higher academic achievement and better behavior than their peers in traditional classrooms. Parent support and enthusiasm is also very high.