Reinventing education

SCPS wins one million dollars to create a new high school

Dr. Walt Griffin tweeted

Dr. Walt Griffin tweeted "$1,000,000 awarded to SCPS for our XQ Super School Project, PSI High! Congratulations to our students and teachers!!" The money will be used to bring PSI High to life.

Emily Cosio, Staff Reporter

The past few decades the basic structure of high school has remained the same, while the rest of the world is constantly improving.

“We as a district recognize the need to redesign the concept and function of our current high school models, the current model is over 100 years old, to reflect the current global society we are living in,” teacher Lindsey Spalding said

Students were given the opportunity to create a super school for a national competition. The designs would redesign America’s high schools for today. This competition was made by The Super School Project.

Seminole County Public Schools was a finalist for XQ: The Super School Project and received the Re-Think Award. On Sept. 15, SCPS was also given $1 million dollars to bring the super school to life.

The school the board designed is the Problem Solving Incubator High, where students can earn credit and learn information for graduation by solving real world problems. For an example, PSI High will work closely with an organization, Dot Decimal. They create fake human tissue to help cancer patients, students will be able to help with measurements and earn high school credit.

“Because teenagers now are the most informed and socially-conscious students in history, the curriculum in this program will be simple: students learn by solving real problems in the community and world,” project manager Derek Jensen. “We believe that high school students have the capacity for creative problem solving and can thrive in an environment that values imagination and freedom.”

Spalding and junior Julian Mousseau were selected from Hagerty to be on the committee. They helped brainstorm, gave input and worked with students to create and communicate the design idea. Spalding asked all of her students last year to come up with ideas for her present to the board.

The purpose of The Super Schotweetol Project was to create new and to improve schools throughout America. XQ was able to fund several schools with millions of dollars, thanks to Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of the late Steve Jobs.

“I knew right away that this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. We’ve been given the chance to create a revolutionary school that will fulfill the needs of generations to come,” SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin said in a press release.

The nation-wide competition had 40,000 participants and over 700 teams that entered applications. The top ten designs were each given $10 million to create their school and the finalists received $1 million.

The winning teams were given grants during a live broadcast, featuring President Barack Obama, Jill Biden, Laurene Powell Jobs, Russlynn Ali, MC Hammer and many others. The top ten schools had ideas from rebuilding communities, to having school in a museum, to helping students who aren’t connected to school.

A person’s IQ (Intelligence Quotient) measures how people process information. An EQ (Emotional Quotient) is the ability to relate to other people’s emotions. Both are important but the Super School Project wanted to create their own quotient that’s essential for success in the new era of the world, XQ.

“We are currently in talks with XQ: The Super School Project and finalizing our own timeline. We anticipate starting with a small pilot in the 2017-2018 school year and expanding from there,” Jensen said.

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