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Springdale School Reinvents High School Experience

The School of Innovation offers kids a chance to earn an Associate's Degree by the time they graduate high school.
Springdale -- The city's newest school aims to reinvent secondary education.

Principal Joe Rollins says everyone involved in the School of Innovation spent the last year asking "What if?"

"What if we could offer students a more personalized experience?" he says. "What if we could offer them hands on experience before they graduate?"

On Friday, the first class of 8th graders were invited to tour the new school, housed at the Jones Center. The school will use a flexible learning schedule, allowing students to move at their own speed.

"It's a great opportunity, especially for the kids who works at a slower pace, or works at a faster pace," says Tiffany Green, whose son is attending the school. "It's a great opportunity for both sets of kids."

Every lesson will be recorded for online review.

"They can see their own teacher," says Rollins. "They can hear the same examples. They can watch that as many times as it takes for that lesson to stick."

Each child left student-teacher night with their own Google Chrome Book, but it's what they have the opportunity to leave with in four years that really makes the School of Innovation unique.

"When he starts 10th grade, he'll be working on his Associate's Degree and his high school diploma," Green says.

The school offers concurrent credit that allows kids to achieve enough college hours for an Associate's Degree by the time they graduate high school.

"We're getting past simple high school credits," Rollins says. "Now we're talking about redefining what a community can look like, and the impact that these kids can have right after graduation."

Classes start Monday, and the school plans to add another 200 students each year.
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