Radford City Schools recognized as innovative division

Families can choose how they want their student to learn for the rest of the school year.
Families can choose how they want their student to learn for the rest of the school year.(Janay Reece)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford City Public Schools has been recognized as a “School Division of Innovation” for designing and implementing alternatives to traditional instructional and school management practices, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

The department says the schools used integration of STEM content and computational thinking throughout K-12 curriculum to create well-defined career pathways for students and produce “life-ready” graduates. Helping them earn the innovation distinction.

“The Board of Education’s regulations and standards allow for innovation and flexibility. The board applauds Radford Public Schools for the thoughtfulness of its plan, and we look forward to following the division’s progress through implementation,” Vice President Tammy Mann said. Mann presided over the board’s April 20 business meeting in Richmond.

The plan, which was approved by the state board, includes the waiver of elementary and middle school history and social science Standards of Learning assessments. Instead, students in grades 3-8 will demonstrate acquisition of required content through performance assessments and integrated exhibitions. In addition, all high school seniors will be required to complete a capstone project before graduating.

Radford University, Virginia Tech and New River Community College are supporting the school division by providing relevant resources and experiences for students and teachers.

“The School Division of Innovation designation program is an opportunity for Virginia’s 132 school divisions to become laboratories of innovation and exchange creative and promising strategies to promote learning and improve student outcomes,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said.”

Radford is the 21st division recognized as a School Division of Innovation since the program was authorized by the General Assembly in 2017.

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