One of the biggest obstacles to opening a new school is establishing an effective support network. The Alliance of Model Schools is a cost-free membership that provides resources, advocacy and networking for schools that implement a new school design. Learn more, click here.
Do you have specific questions about replicating a new school model?
If you don't see your question on the list, or would like to discuss a model further, email or call us! Dawn Downes, Director of Innovative School Models, 302-656-4737 or email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a school within a school, academies and houses, and pathways?
A school-within-a-school is a separate and autonomous unit formally authorized by the board of education and/or superintendent. It plans and runs its own program, has its own staff and students, and receives its own separate budget.
The academy or housing model are also typically subunits from the larger institution and receives autonomy to manage its own education program, but this can vary from school school to school.
Pathways are students grouped together in cohorts that maintain a symbolic and administrative identification with the larger school.
Because the school-within-a-school model replicates a small school more closely that the other forms of downsizing, it is most likely to produce the effects of a small-scale educational program.
Dewees, S. (n.d.) “The School Within A School Model.” ERC Online. Access 4/17/11. www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_School_within_School/
2. Does implementing a new school model mean that Innovative Schools is taking over my school?
No. We are your partner and are here to extend the capacity of LEAs to be able to implement new school models. It is a lot of hard work and can be taxing on a district or school should you choose to implement the model alone. Our mission is to support you with appropriate resources. We work with you to determine how that support should look.
3. What is the timeline for replicating a new school model?
Research and exploration of new school models typically takes 3-6 months to determine which model is the best fit and to secure buy-in from key stakeholders. This includes support from Innovative Schools in engaging the community, working with key stakeholders to attend Model School Tours, helping you to identify appropriate funding, and more. Some of the models also require you to complete an application.
The actual implementation of a new school model can take 4-5 years. Year 1 of implementation is dedicated to planning. This includes extensive professional development, curriculum alignment, continued community engagement and more. Years 2 through 4 or 5 are dedicated to actually implementing the model, starting with the lowest grade at the school and scaling up until the model is implemented in all grade levels.
4. What is the cost to replicate a new school model?
The cost for each model is different and will also depend on what resources are already in place in your school or district. Programs are not implemented as a “one size fits all,” but is customized to each school and district. Costs for all models include Innovative Schools’ fees to serve as your local partner and replication fees to implement the model you choose. Replication fees include professional development for the school leader and staff, on-going coaching, software, professional development, etc. Other costs that vary by model may include increasing your technology infrastructure and capital improvements. Fees for replicating a new school model are spread out over the 4 to 5 year period.
5. What is the level of parent engagement in these new school models?
Parent engagement is critical to selecting an appropriate model for your community and in engaging in the learning process after the model is in place. Please feel free to contact us for specifics about parent engagement expectations surrounding each of the models.
6. Will implementing a new school model require me to hire a new, specially trained teaching staff?
This decision is left up to the LEA. All models incorporate extensive professional development for both the school leader and teaching staff, and can therefore be implemented with an existing staff, if that staff is dedicated to the model. However, LEAs may ask their staff to re-apply for the new positions. Should an LEA be interested in hiring a new staff, our Innovative Staffing division can help. Click here to learn more.
7. Does the curriculum for new school models align with state standards?
Yes. All of the models reflected in the Innovative School Models portfolio will be aligned to Delaware state standards, as they are in every other state where the model is implemented. Innovative Schools will support your school through this process and will work with the Department of Education to ensure that necessary waivers are in place to ensure that each model can be implemented as designed.