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    Greg Hart is the author of Magnettech Highlights. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are my own and not necessarily those of my employer(s). See my Disclosure Policy for more info.
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Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

Innovation in Magnet Schools

Posted by magnethart on November 9, 2010

In an interview with Dr. Tom King (@ProfTK), Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell) focused on what defines and innovative school.  The school used as an example is The Saturn School of Tommorrow, a Magnet School in existance from 1989 – 2003.  Shelly summarizes what innovation looks like in 8 points based on The Saturn School in her blog, Teacher Reboot Camp.

How did the Saturn school differ from the norm?

  • was a magnet school serving students in grades 4 – 8, many at risk, and parents could choose to send their children there instead of the local public school
  • noted for its innovative uses with technology at a time technology not as highly developed
  • visited by the current president at the time, President George Bush Sr., who spoke with the children
  • used local resources such as the public library, the science and art museums, state and local government
  • established mentorships and apprenticeships with businesses and agencies
  • had differentiated staffing: a lead teacher, associate teachers for curriculum, generalist teachers, intern teachers
  • had a longer school year, ungraded, no report cards or textbooks, instead had student portfolios
  • had a school council of staff, parents and students

                                                 From What Does the Innovative School Look Like? Interview with Dr. Tom King

After reading these eight points, I am glad to see that Magnet Schools and even the district as a whole in Hillsborough County strive to meet several of these.  Now, my question would be whether or not innovative practices from 1989 still count as innovative practices in 2010.  True, some innovations practices never change.  Innovative uses of technology will always be innovative, but are different staffing methods such as the use of resource and lead teachers still innovative?  Maybe I’m biased because I have been involved with magnet schools throughout my whole education career.  Things that I take for granted are may be seen as innovative practices by others.


Posted in education, instruction, magnet schools, teachers | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »