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Home » Educator Support » Awards & Recognition » School Awards » Innovative Schools

Innovative Schools

OSPI is suspended the Innovative Schools designation in 2016.

Washington's Innovative Schools 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. To date, OSPI has offered the designation to 34 existing innovative schools.

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).

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.