Not only did the Park Hill School District just win approval of its $110 million bond issue in the April 4 election, it also announced the location of its LEAD Innovation Studio for high school students.
Late last month, Park Hill superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd announced the fledgling program will begin in an office building at 10150 N Ambassador Drive near Kansas City International Airport. Built in the late 1980s, the black glass building — one of a pair of matching office buildings off Tiffany Springs Parkway — houses a travel agency and several law offices.
LEAD, which stands for “lead,” “empower,” “aspire” and “dream,” is a full-day high school program billed with immersing students in a flexible, personalized learning environment. The program came out of the district’s long-range planning process to relieve overcrowding at Park Hill and Park Hill South high schools, as well as to offer additional programs to students.
Park Hill district coordinator for curriculum and student services Dr. Ryan Stanley was recently named as the principal of LEAD, which will start in the 2017-18 school year and be phased in over the next four years. In the program, district officials say students will take an active role in their learning, while teachers will provide the support and mentoring all students need.
Cutting-edge technology will allow students to work toward individual goals with teachers facilitating their learning.
The program will start with freshmen, while 11th and 12th graders will be able to enroll in a half-day program, including professional studies internships, fanning out across the community to learn directly from professionals in the fields that interest them.
During the next four years, the full-day program at the LEAD Innovation Studio will expand to include sophomores, then juniors and then seniors with the upperclassmen continuing to experience professional studies internships.
While students will take all their classes at the LEAD Innovation Studio, they will still be Park Hill Trojans or Park Hill South Panthers, and they will be able to participate in activities at their home high schools, such as band, sports and dances.
All incoming freshmen can apply to attend the LEAD Innovation Studio, and incoming juniors and seniors can now enroll in the professional studies internships.
LEAD is one of the projects funded through the $110 no tax increase bond passed by voters last week. More than 80 percent of voters came out in support of the measure, which needed more than a 4/7 majority to pass.
The bonds will fund construction of a new elementary school, a new middle school, the LEAD program, a support services facility, improvement projects at existing schools, and, if economic conditions permit, a transportation facility and other maintenance projects.
More information about the proposed bond projects is available at the district website at parkhill.k12.mo.us.