Schools of Innovation

What is a School of Innovation?

The primary purpose of the Schools of Innovation plan is to give schools a new or creative alternative to the existing instructional and administrative practices that is intended to improve academic performance and learning for all students. read more

How does my school become a School of Innovation?

Interested schools will apply to the Arkansas Department of Education. The school must create a plan that will increase academic performance by improving teaching and learning. read more

Why be a School of Innovation?

Are your student's needs being met or are only partially met through your existing practices or programs?
Do you have problems you are trying to solve to enhance conditions or routines that support instruction and student learning? read more

Frequently Asked Questions

OIE's primary goal is to create an ecosystem where members can learn, teach and realize shared goals through innovative strategies and shared programs. Collaborative channels for communication and sharing of knowledge is vital for schools of innovation to succeed, the first step in the process is to build relationships. We look forward for you to be a member of our ecosystem. read more
Teachers are the driving force for innovation in the classroom. If we're determined to break out of the box and do new things, we will. But it's certainly easier when we have inspiration, support, tools, and connections. The Office of Innovation for Education is designed to provide those things. Our blog will bring you new ideas and information each week, but we also want to get to know you better, too.
Everyone is talking innovation and if you aren't part of the conversation you find yourself wondering if you are missing out on something. How do you navigate the overflowing stream of information, resources, and opportunities that have your head spinning? The Office of Innovation for Education is here to help you navigate the swiftly running waters of educational innovation. We specialize in connecting you to those who know more about the areas of innovation you may be interested in exploring. Contact us and let's get started discovering and exploring opportunities together!

What is the challenge?

Teachers and leaders are talking about 21st Century Learning Skills and the importance of these skills to students' success. What are 21st Century Learning Skills? What do these skills mean for my child? My community?

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills provides a Framework for 21t Century Learning that explains the learning outcomes for students, as well as the components of the system that support 21st century teaching and learning.

Student outcomes include
  • Mastery of core subjects and application to interdisciplinary themes
  • Learning and innovation skills
  • Information, media and technology skills
  • Life and career skills

What does 21st Century teaching and learning look like?

Schools are incorporating 21st Century teaching and learning strategies in different degrees. In Arkansas, teachers are implementing Common Core State Standards and preparing students for Next Generation Assessments that align with the framework of 21st Century learning. The new teacher evaluation system, TESS (Teacher Excellence and Support System), will provide thoughtful support to teachers and leaders as they adapt their instructional systems to support 21st Century learning.

Join us in connecting innovation and education

Get engaged! Complete the Parent/Community Page polls and contribute to our Parent/Community blog on innovation for education. Share

  • Innovations that are happening in your community schools.
  • Innovative approaches you'd like to see in your community schools.
  • Learn more about innovation in your school district by participating in
  • School board meetings for your local district
  • School improvement committees at your local schools
  • Parent engagement activities at your local schools
  • Share your passion for innovative educational opportunities with your legislators.


Traditional instruction focuses on classroom learning with teachers conveying knowledge to students through lecture, reading, and hands-on experiences.

Blended Learning

Blended learning combines traditional classroom instruction with online instruction and other types of learning such as small groups and self-directed study.

Project Based

Project-based learning centers on student-directed projects, both individual and group, with supervision and support from teachers.

Virtual Learning

Virtual learning takes place online. Sometimes called "distance learning," this is an approach to education that can be similar to traditional classrooms or completely different.


Homeschooling is instruction of kids at home by their parents. A homeschool might use any of the approaches described here, or they might choose "unschooling," a completely student-guided style of learning.

Early innovators have shared some of their lessons-learned with us. The four most important lessons they've learned may help you avoid discomfort down the road, and even prevent you from experiencing a derailed innovation!

  • Figure out what, or whose, needs you are trying to meet with the innovation.
  • Figure out your innovative learning solution before you select your technology.
  • Consider student fit, teacher fit and leader fit-one size does not fit all!
  • Monitor and measure your efforts and results.

Think and plan before you innovate to improve your fit! These four steps provide a recipe to improve your likelihood for success in innovating education in your school or classroom! Details for each step and reflection questions to jumpstart your thinking are provided below.

read more

The OIE posts information on new ideas regularly through its Blog and Facebook page. The resources page on the top menu houses important links and tools to get you started

We Want to Hear from You!

Are you planning a School of Innovation?
Yes. We want to start by fall of 2016.
Yes, but we won't be ready until the 2016-17 school year at the earliest.
What is a school of innovation?
No. We aren't planning a School of Innovation.
Poll Maker

What barriers to innovation do you encounter?
Lack of time
Lack of resources (other than time)
Resistance from colleagues, families, or community
Fear of lower test scores
Preference for traditional methods
Poll Maker

What are schools of innovation doing?

Arkansas Schools of Innovation Plan

The primary purpose of the Schools of Innovation plan is to give schools a new or creative alternative to the existing instructional and administrative practices that is intended to improve academic performance and learning for al students.

The eligible employees of each proposed school of innovation shall vote on whether the school shall be designated a school of innovation. A minimum of sixty percent (60%) of the eligible employees voting in support of the school's designation as a school on innovation is required.

In developing the plan a school council of innovation must be in place consisting of individuals from a current or aspiring school of innovation composed of teachers, classified employees, the buildinglevel principal or his or her designee, parents, community members, a minimum of two (2) students form the school of innovation, and other interested parties selected by the council to participate. Schools with a ten percent (10%) or greater minority student population shall have minority representation on the council. read more

Office of Innovation webinar

Q and A on Schools of Innovation

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