program celebrates our most inventive and exciting school models and encourages bold, creative and innovative education. In accordance with RCW 28A.300.550, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction periodically accepts applications for the Washington Innovative School designation.
What is an Innovative School?
An Innovative School is a public school that approaches education from a new perspective. Although there are many types of Innovative Schools, they all share a set of common characteristics:
- Bold, creative and innovative educational ideas.
- High standards for students and staff.
- High level of parent and community involvement.
- High level of educational experimentation.
- Use of practices proven to improve student success.
- Evidence of increase in student success and closing achievement and opportunity gaps.
- Use of multiple approaches to address different learning styles.
- High level of staff morale and engagement.
- For STEM and A-STEM (Arts-Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) schools:
- High level of experiential learning.
- Partnerships that lead to industry certification or dual high school and college credit (for high schools).
How are Innovative Schools selected?
Schools can apply for the designation online. A panel of experts reviews applications and sends recommendations to the state superintendent. The state superintendent must certify the panel’s recommendations.
How are Innovative Schools recognized?
Schools that earn the designation receive a banner and award to display at their building. A map of Washington’s Innovative Schools along with school profiles is available on the OSPI website.
What about new Innovative Schools?
In accordance with E2SHB 1546, OSPI designated a group of new Innovative Schools and Zones in 2011. These schools began implementing innovative practices in the 2012–13 school year.
The application for Innovative School designation is now closed.
Thank you to all the schools that submitted applications.