Winter Hill School Approved as Innovation School
The Innovation School model gives autonomy to school administrators to manage curriculum, staff and budgets.
The Somerville School Committee officially voted Wednesday to designate the Winter Hill Community School as an "Innovation School," according to an announcement from Somerville Public Schools.
Innovation Schools were created by the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 and they give teachers and administrators more flexibility in managing curriculums, staffing, budgets and school policies.
Somerville Schools Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi said the Winter Hill school will officially be an Innovation School when it opens the new school year this fall.
At Innovation Schools, autonomy over the school's governance and curriculum is given to a board of directors, Pierantozzi said. This is distinct from the normal way of governing schools, where decisions are made in the school district's central office.
"I look forward to it," said Pierantozzi about the new model at the Winter Hill School.
The key to Innovation Schools, he said, is that they "continuously develop" and learn about what's successful at the school level.
The Somerville School Committee voted unanimously to approved the Winter Hill Community School as an Innovation School for three years, the superintendent said.
The announcement says two other Somerville schools are "in the early stages of the Innovation School development process."
These include the John F. Kennedy Elementary School and a "community-based proposal to create a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy" within Somerville High School, the announcement says.
"I believe the art of our business is done in the classroom," Pierantozzi said, supporting the Innovation School model as a way to give more control to local school officials.