Go Public button

JCPS School of Innovation Design Competition


Congratulations to the Catalpa School and the Louisville Reach Academy, winners of the School of Innovation Competition! Both schools are expected to open in the 2015-16 school year. Click here to learn about the preliminary location recommendations for each school.

The Metro Museum Magnet School and Next-Generation Community School concepts—finalists in the competition—are undergoing further evaluation by the district.

We thank all those involved in this unique contest. Our students will directly benefit from your contributions and dedication.


The following four teams were selected as finalists in the JCPS School of Innovation Design Competition:

Catalpa School
Louisville Reach Academy
Metro Museum Magnet School
Next-Generation Community School

View Streaming Video

All four finalists will present their concepts to the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mon., July 28, in Stewart Auditorium at VanHoose Education Center. Each team is allotted 30 minutes to present their School of Innovation concept and to answer questions about their proposal. The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live on public access television.

The JCBE will vote on a winner in the School of Innovation Design Competition at the 7 p.m. meeting on Mon., Aug. 11.

To read short summaries and to view the teams’ presentations, click here. To view community survey data about the School of Innovation Design Competition and the four finalists, click here. The four finalists will have several months to work with JCPS specialists and external experts to translate their ideas into action plans, complete with a baseline budget, operational structure, curriculum alignment, and other components.

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) is one of four Kentucky school districts selected by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to become a District of Innovation. This designation allows a school district the opportunity to break out of the traditional structures of public education and try new and innovative ways to improve student achievement.

As part of this initiative, JCPS is conducting a communitywide design competition to identify and develop innovative ideas for the creation of a new JCPS school concept—a School of Innovation. The process will move swiftly and coherently from concept to implementation, with community-based innovators collaborating with the district to bring their new vision of teaching and learning to life. The process will begin as an open-ended, anything-goes idea generator. The best, most powerful ideas will then be translated into concrete, actionable plans and, ultimately, into a real school or schools serving real students in the fall of 2015.


To view a School of Innovation Design Competition Application, choose (Word or PDF).

To view a School of Innovation Scoring Rubric, click here.


Phase I—November 2013 through February 2014
During the first phase of the competition, the teams will:

  1. Submit a letter of intent to apply.
  2. Submit an application.
  3. Present their proposal in a public forum.

A design review panel with broad community representation will select finalists, and those proposals will to be presented to the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE).

Phase II—February 2014 through June 2014
In the second phase of the competition, the finalist teams will have an extended time period to expand on their initial proposals, receiving technical assistance from JCPS staff members to move from a “Big Idea” to an actionable plan. JCPS staff will foster linkages between finalist teams and external experts to strengthen the finalist teams’ proposals. Teams will present their final proposals to the JCBE in June 2014, and the board will select the winner(s). (Note: As the governing body of the district, the JCBE retains the authority to select one proposal, more than one proposal, or no proposals.)

Phase III—June 2014 through August 2015
JCPS employees will implement all facets of the winning plan, and a School of Innovation could open as early as the 2015-16 school year.

To participate, interested teams must first submit a letter of intent to Jonathan G. Lowe, Director of Student Assignment, by Tuesday, December 10. The letter should include a brief statement about the team and its plans to submit an application by the Friday, January 31, deadline.

Twitter logo

Contact information
Jonathan G. Lowe
Director of Student Assignment
Jefferson County Public Schools
Lam Building
4309 Bishop Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40218
(502) 485-3676

Last modified May 7, 2015