School Startup works with teachers across disciplines in a design process modeled after the startup industry. In the startup world, accelerators and incubators accept applicants with good business ideas that have potential, then provide mentorship, support, resources, and opportunities through an intensive program centered around human-centered design.
School Startup is an educator accelerator, modeled in a similar fashion as startup culture, but for teachers who have innovative ideas pertaining to deeper learning and classroom practice. School Startup applies entrepreneurial philosophy to professional growth for teachers by engaging teachers as instructional leaders inside a school context and applying a design process to cohorts of cross-discipline teachers who work on individual classroom-based deeper learning projects.
During the 2017-18 school year, 8 teachers from Fern Creek High School formed the first School Startup cohort. These teachers have completed the following activities, among others--
-Met regularly with instructional coach, Ashley Lamb-Sinclair-a former Kentucky teacher of the year-to plan and implement a startup cycle (Disrupt-Discover-Seed-Build-Break-Bridge-Demo)
-Shadowed and interview students to understand barriers to student engagement
-Tested out mini-projects that were inspired by student input and supported by the instructional coach
-Shared initial results through a WDRB news feature, website (http://www.schoolstartup.org/), and partnerships with
-Presented at a local chapter of a national conference, ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching)
-Will present at a national conference in San Diego called Deeper Learning at world-renowned high school, High Tech High. Of 140 proposals, 50 were selected, including School Startup.
Funded by Louisville, KY (June 2018)