New Floyd County School of Innovation gives students control of their future

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A Floyd County school is breaking new ground by allowing its students to take control of their educational future with the new Floyd County School of Innovation.

“We knew that we wanted to provide more pathways focused on continued computational thinking and provided to all of the children in the Floyd County area,” said Denise Isaac, chief information officer of Floyd County Schools.

Her vision for students in Floyd County came from a trip to Pittsburgh back in 2017.

“I will never forget the feeling I got when I was able to observe those students doing what they were doing with those STEM devices. I wanted my kids in Floyd County to be able to do that. We do not want to take kids through the eighth grade and drop the pathway, so being able to serve all students in Floyd County we began calling it our Stem Academy.”

An academy that would grow to become the Floyd County School of Innovation.

“We will be able to serve Prestonsburg High School, Betsy Layne High School and Floyd Central High School. It truly is going to be innovative for the students in this area,” said Isaac.

Providing students the control to decide their own educational future, a group that educational leaders say are forgotten.

“The middle group of kids who are our diverse learners. They are hands-on learners they need to be up active moving around the classroom and that is one thing that the school will allow,” Isaac says.

Movement. One thing math teacher and now new principal of the school, Christina Crase, says she is all about.

“School of innovation is going to be that for so many kids in this county. We are going to have kids coming from all three high schools and this can be there why. There why they get up to come to school in the morning, it can be why they want to learn again,” says Crase.

Three different pathways will be offered. Pre-engineering, computer science and heavy equipment. Each area of study partnering with a local business or educational institution.

“We want to focus on that group of kids who maybe would not go to college, who will be able to go to work straight out of school,” she says.

“Computer science has a lot of pathways underneath that topic. Kids are going to be able to 3-D print,” said Isaac.

A whiteboard hangs in Crase’s office. She likes to call them her thoughts written down that will and are manifesting.

“And having these ideas and knowing that all of this is going to come to life it blows my mind. Like seeing our simulators for heavy equipment. I mean I was on cloud nine I could not wait to play with it myself,” she said.

The simulator of a dozer will be used with the heavy equipment pathway. Giving students the feel of being inside and operating a dozer before they actually get in one.

“Everything up here is for some kid in our county, any kid who wants to be here. We will have 3-D printers, we’ve got some circuits, we’ve got some drones coming, we got some bass machines which means they can get their hands in and do some 3-D activities.”

“Our computer science pathway we are partnering with the Dell tech initiative and they are going to get trained to basically fix our computers that we had issues with in the county,” said Crase. A reminder that this school will not only benefit students in grades 9-12 but also surrounding businesses.

“We want this to be about the school and the kids but also our community because this school is not going to survive without our community. And so we want our community businesses to partner with us and say if you have a problem, ‘what is your problem?’ Tell us what your problem is and let our kids, our innovative kids in our county fix your problem,” Crase said.

The extra part of this? All of these skills are abilities employers are looking for in future employees. Students will have the opportunity to leave this program with industry certifications and dual credits that count towards college.

Something for everyone and anyone, who wants to take control of their future.

The deadline to apply is July 10th and there are only 100 slots available.

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