New Specialty Small School In the Planning Stages to Open in Fall 2016

Posted by Community Relations on 5/20/2015

A new specialty small school with a focus on computer coding is in the planning stages. The school, located in a building under construction adjacent to Central High School on Central Avenue, will open in the fall of 2016.

The school will prepare students for a post-secondary path to highly skilled, high-demand careers and address the need for diversity for the tech industry. It will feature project-based learning, student-centered curriculum, coding integration, pathways toward careers and specialization, and partnerships with K-8 schools and industry experts, who can provide internships, teacher training, loaned executives and relevant equipment.

“We already have coding classes such as game development, web design, mobile app development, and traditional application programming at several schools. Careers requiring coding and programming are exploding, and our students are underrepresented in the industry. They are the next generation of coders,” Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said.

“This is an opportunity to engage in the greater community, provide more opportunity and choices for students and parents, and because of our past successes at Bioscience and Franklin Police and Fire, we know small schools work,” Associate Superintendent Dr. Althe Allen said.

A Core Planning Team started in the fall, and an Instructional Model Design Team made up of top STEM teachers, other staff, students and representatives from universities is working on curriculum, integrating tech themes throughout the course work. An Advisory Council of industry partners convened for the first time in March, representing such companies as Google, Cisco, Go Daddy, Microsoft, smaller tech and digital marketing companies, foundations, government and universities.

The building is scheduled to be ready by August 2015, and will be used to host coding camps, orientations, online learning and other activities to for students and the community in an effort to promote the school and its mission.