Innovation zone application for west virginia stem

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Due via e-mail on or before 4:00 p.m. December 1, 2015 to Rebecca Derenge

Section 1 – Applicant Information:

Applicant(s): School 1




Grant Contact Name & Title



Applicant(s): School 2




Grant Contact Name & Title



West Virginia students have a greater interest in STEM jobs than most of their peers across the nation. According to the ACT's The Condition of STEM 2014 report, West Virginia is one of the top performers in the percent of high school graduates who took the ACT and are interested in a future career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

"This is extremely encouraging news as we work to reach our One Voice, One Focus: All Students Achieving Vision Plan goal of increasing graduation and attendance rates," said Michael Martirano, West Virginia superintendent of schools. "The latest ACT STEM data tells us that high school students are engaged in the STEM fields. This data not only helps the West Virginia Board of Education and the department set the course for future STEM initiatives but also links into the West Virginia job market and the West Virginia Council on STEM recommendations."


Identify the school(s) or consortium’s leadership team.

(add additional lines as necessary)




Please ensure you have all of the supporting documents required completed and attached to the end of this application:

______ Record of Commitment from Staff, Parent, and LSIC
______ Local Educational Agency Report of Support or Concerns
______ Community Partner Records of Commitment

Section 2 – Overview:

In his 2015, State of the State, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin reiterated the importance of West Virginia following the recommendations made by the final report from the West Virginia Council on STEM. The council's report highlighted the urgency for an increase in STEM education to meet future workforce demands and recommended specific ways to best address this growing need.

ACT's The Condition of STEM 2014 report also looked at the percentage of test takers ready for college level courses. The ACT college readiness benchmarks are scores used to indicate a student has at least a 50 percent chance of getting a grade of B or higher in first-year college courses.

According to the ACT report, the percentage of West Virginia students interested in STEM meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmark for English exceeded the nation. Seventy percent of state students met the benchmark compared to 68 percent nationally. The percentage of West Virginia students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmark for Reading was equal to their national peers (48 percent). More students across the nation interested in STEM met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in Mathematics (50 percent) than did West Virginia students (37 percent). The report found that more West Virginia males interested in STEM met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in Mathematics (45 percent) than did their female classmates (30 percent). Nationwide, more students interested in STEM met the ACT College

Design Principles:
The STEM Innovation school is designed to help young people from broad and diverse backgrounds use their minds well, take charge of their lives and learning and succeed in a global age.

  • Personal mastery of WV Next Generation Standards and 21st century skills (critical thinking and problem solving creativity and innovation; communication and information; collaborations; contextual learning; and information and media literacy).

  • Engage the power of science and mathematics as the international language of innovation and engineering and technology as the language design.

  • Learn how to create, acquire, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, understand and communicate knowledge and information in a global context.

Engage Partnerships to Accelerate Capacity and Broaden Opportunity

  1. The STEM Innovation school is designed to build system capacity, spread innovation and serve the greater common good.

  2. Serve as a knowledge network for innovative and evidence-based teaching, learning and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  3. Deliver professional development and technical assistance in effective strategies and practices for STEM Education.

  4. Bring together middle school, high school and high education faculty and STEM oriented businesses to align and enrich education, workforce and economic development strategies and resources.

  5. Develop higher education partnerships for mentoring and fostering a college aspiration and success culture.

  6. Develop partnerships with businesses to engage students in meaningful mentoring and apprenticeship experiences.

Set a Positive Tone with High Expectations

  • Set explicitly high expectations built from a personalized learning environment.

  • Innovative and flexible use of time. Long blocks of time in integrated courses and student allow for deep inquiry and the development of strong student/teacher and peer-to-peer relationships.

  • Build a civic community in the school and ensure each student has an adult who serves as her or his advocate.

  • Use service learning, problem-based learning, peer-to-peer learning and internships to feed the imagination and to support self-directing learning.

  • Facilities are tailored for personal and small group learning including networking learning, project rooms, inquiry studios and exhibition spaces.

  • The tone of the school should explicitly and consistently stress values of trust, fairness and respect.

  • Parents, students and teachers should be key collaborators and vital members of the learning community.

Make STEM Literacy Attainable and Desirable for ALL

The STEM Innovation school applies evidence-based approaches to a trans-disciplinary curriculum using project-based learning, differentiated instruction, and authentic assessment of mastery. The school is designed to bridge the gap between how we live and how we learn in the 21st century by blending formal schooling with cooperative learning experiences involving postsecondary education, work and informal education.

  • Trans-disciplinary academic curriculum for all students (math, science, social studies, language arts and a foreign language).

  • Make curriculum relevant and engaging through the practical, problem solving processes and tools of engineering and technology.

  • Complete alignment between high school STEM instructional program and high education and workforce standards.

  • All students are expected to succeed, therefore student learning styles and needs help shape the pace of coursework and instruction.

  • All students again mastery before proceeding to the next level.

  • All students will attain early college credit through independent research, group projects, Internships, coops and/or dual enrollment coursework.

  • Prepare students to pass both standardized and performance based measures.

  • Full participation in co-curricula and enrichment activities that strengthen and enhance STEM mastery.

Drive Scalable and Sustainable Innovations

  • The STEM innovation school is designed and supported by a public and private partnership involving K-12 schools, an institution of higher education and a private sector entity with expertise in STEM fields. The school is designed to be meaningful, useful and catalytic.

  • Participating school districts and educational systems received tangible returns on investment for their participation with the school. Districts benefit from the research and professional development connected to the school; STEM teachers are trained and cycle back to participating districts; and Innovations are shared

  • Participating higher education institutions, 2-year and well as 4-year, work with the school to improve the quality and access to STEM related dual enrollment and early college credit options. With the WEST Virginia STEM Innovation Labs and other critical partners, they also design and deliver a shared research, professional development and technical assistance agenda and infrastructure.

  • Participating businesses make real, tangible and sustainable commitments.

  • Public and private partnership creates a high accountability/high autonomy environment to create and to take to scale evidence-based innovations in STEM in high school education across the region and state.


  1. Outreach – includes, but is not limited to:

  • Engage younger students in career awareness and planning

  • Engage community including parents, civic organizations, retail businesses, service agencies, PTO, and workforce with information regarding STEM

  1. Co-curricular – includes, but is not limited to:

  • Competitions such as Science Fairs, Math Field Day, Robotics competitions, etc.

  • Guest speakers to include experts in the field of Math, Science, Engineering, Health, etc.

  1. Extra-Curricular – includes, but is not limited to:

  • Extended day and extended year activities and/or clubs that focus on the math, science, computer and engineering components such as: LEGO, Robotics, MineField, SimCity, etc.

  1. Partnerships – includes, but is not limited to:

  • Partnerships with local businesses and industry to explore entrepreneurships possibilities along with possible internships and experiential learning opportunities

  • Both face-to-face and online partnerships

  • Higher Education partnerships to explore option to incorporate college credits into the STEM project

  • Business experts share life experiences in related fields as careers

  1. Technology – includes, but is not limited to:

  • On-line tools and applications

  1. Innovative Use of Time and Classes– includes but is not limited to:

  • Saturday programs

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Extended periods

  • Embedded credits


Provide not more than three (3) page only project summary that briefly describes the school’s vision, goals, activities (from selection listed above), and key features for student success in STEM that will be addressed and how the project will be sustained over time.

Section 4 - Waiver Requests:

Requires that no exception be granted to assessment programs administered by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), provisions of NCLB or other federal law, nor exception from WV Code §§ 18A-2-7, 18A-4-7a, 18A-4-7b, 18A-4-8, 18A-5-8b. However, exceptions may include a proposal to require that a candidate for a teaching vacancy in an innovation school possess qualifications over and above those stipulated in statute if approved in a county-wide school staff election process.

Indicate the specific type(s) of policy or code that prohibit or constrain the design that you wish to request a waiver from:
____ Specific waiver requested of county policy

____ Specific waiver requested of WVBOE policy

____ Specific waiver requested of WV code/statute

WV Code Waiver Request

(Specify section and article)

Impact of the waiver

What will the waiver enable the school to do differently?

WVBOE Policy Waiver Request

(specify section and article)

Impact of the waiver.

What will the waiver enable the school to do differently?

County Policy Waiver Request

(specify section and article)

Impact of the waiver.

What will the waiver enable the school to do differently?

Section 5 - Goals, Objectives, Evaluation, Timeline:


Identify the measureable objectives that will be used to determine success in achieving these goals

(Must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals SMART)

Develop activities for each objective that are: Creative and innovative; Impact student success; Allow for greater flexibility; change the way the school(s)/district currently operate

Indicate the name and title of personnel that will be responsible for the activities.

Identify the timeline for the activities (include month/year)

Indicate budget requirements (include formulas used to derive totals in budget sections e.g. 3 subs @$143/day=total)

The allocation for the Innovative STEM Application is $266,144. These funds will be awarded in one competitive grant process and applicants must prepare proposals and accompanying budgets for one (1) year to be considered the foundational year.  The budget should support the activities described in the above application goals and activities. Major item requests must be supported with activities within in the application. The budget range for each proposal is $75,000 to $80,000 for the first year 2016-2017 due on December 1, 2015. Successful candidates who implement the first year as outlined in this application will be eligible to submit an application for continuance for the 2017-2018 school year and a possible third year based on successful completion and implementation of the first two years. (Funding for these grants are subject to legislative appropriations.)

FY January 1, 2016 - January 1, 2017


Amount Requested

In-Kind (Optional)


Professional Salaries

Fringe Benefits



Professional Development





Record of Commitment

Use this form to report the staff commitment regarding the innovation application and plan. A copy must be forwarded to the Innovation Zone Committee with the application and the plan.
School: ___________________________________________________________________

Department (if applicable): _____________________________________________________

Notice of Meeting (Date provided to faculty or department/subdivision): ______________________

Meeting Date: ______________________________________________________________

Faculty Senate Elected Officers:

President: (Name) ___________________________Signature: ____________________________

Vice-President: (Name)______________________ Signature: ____________________________

Secretary: (Name) ___________________________Signature: ____________________________

Treasurer: (Name) ___________________________Signature: ____________________________

Other: (Name) ______________________________Signature: ____________________________

Service Personnel Representative:

Name: ______________________Position:________________Signature:____________________

Parent Representatives:

Name:__________________________ Signature:________________________________________

Name: __________________________Signature: _____________________ _

LSIC Representatives:

Name:__________________________Signature:______________________________________ _


Name:__________________________Signature:______________________________________ _
We certify that 80 percent of the faculty affected by the application/plan has voted to support the application/plan. (This Report Certification is not required of institutions of higher education in their application or plan).
Local Educational Agency Report of Support or Concerns
Use this form to report the county board or boards and superintendent’s support or concerns, or both, about the innovation to the principal and faculty senate. A copy must be forwarded to the Innovation Zone Committee.
School: ___________________________________________________________________

Department (if applicable): _____________________________________________________

Date of School/Department/Subdivision Receipt of Application: ____________________________

Date of Regularly Scheduled County Board of Education Meeting: ___________________________

County Board of Education Elected Officers:

President: (Name) ________________________Signature: ___________________________

Vice-President: (Name) __________________ Signature: ___________________________


Name: _____________________________ Signature: ___________________________

Name: _____________________________ Signature: ___________________________

Name: _____________________________ Signature: ___________________________
Support: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Concerns: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(Report of the Local Education Agency must be forwarded to school/department/subdivision for submission to West Virginia Board of Education with the application/plan).
(This Report Certification is not required of institutions of higher education in their application or plan).
Community/Business Partner Support
Use this form to document community organization/agency support

and partnership for the innovation dropout plan/project.

Use a separate form for each community partner.


School/Schools/District: ______________________________________________________

District: _________________________________________________________________

Date(s) of School/District/Community Partner Dialogues: _______________________________

Name of Community Organization/Agency: __________________________________________

Contact Person: ___________________________________________________________________________

Contact Person email address: _______________________________________________________________

Contact Person phone number: _______________________________________________________________

Contact Person address: ____________________________________________________________________
Explain the community organization/agency’s commitment to the Plan/Project:


List the resources and contributions (not monetary) that the organization/agency is making to this Plan/Project:


Agency Representative (Name) ________________Signature: ____________________________

Title: _______________________________________________________

Innovation Zone Requirements:

  1. *Approval by 80 percent of faculty (those affected by innovation proposal)

  2. **Record of Support from Parents, LSIC, Business Partners, Students

  3. Record of School/LEA/County Board Report (Support and Concerns) on application

  4. Record of Support from Community/Business Partners


*To determine staff support, the innovation application and plan must be submitted to all employees affected by the design of the plan for a secret ballot vote at special meetings called to determine the level of commitment.

  • The meeting is called with two weeks prior special notice, and the vote is conducted and certified to the principal, superintendent, and county board president by a panel.

  • The panel must provide an absentee ballot to each employee eligible to vote who cannot attend the meeting.

  • The panel consists of the elected officers of the faculty senate of the school or schools; one representative of the service personnel of the school; and three parent members appointed by the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC).

  • At least 80 percent of the employees who are eligible to vote must approve the school’s Innovation Zone plan.

  • Any regular employee at a school applying for or designated as an Innovation Zone whose job duties may be affected by implementation of the Innovation Zone plan or proposed plan may request a transfer to another school in the school district. The county board shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate the transfer.

**Please make sure your application is submitted to your local board in time to receive their signature and supports/concern before the application due date. 
Application is due on or before 4:00 p.m. on December 1, 2015 to

Rebecca Derenge via e-mail at
Innovation Zone Grants are subject to funding


STEM Resources - ACT has connected with state STEM councils across the country to identify valuable STEM-related resources. These are the top resources suggested by STEM experts.

The Condition of STEM 2014/West Virginia can be found at:
stem premier logo

STEM Premier®

STEM Premier is a virtual platform that connects STEM students with higher education and the workforce. Students can showcase their skills, get ranked and rated, receive guidance, and find STEM scholarships while colleges, technical schools, and corporations can identify, track, and recruit STEM Premier talent.

stemconnector webpage image

stemconnector logo


STEMconnector is the “one-stop shop” for STEM information. With several products and services, STEMconnector supports its members in the design, implementation, and measurement of their STEM strategies. Since its launch in 2011, STEMconnector has been the leader in leveraging a network of STEM stakeholders to “make things happen.” STEMconnector’s charge is to identify, inform, and connect entities working in STEM education/careers to assess smart STEM investments and results

usa science and engineering festival logo

USA Science and Engineering Festival

The USA Science and Engineering Festival attracts thousands of K–12 students, parents, teachers, and STEM professionals in the largest national celebration of STEM. The fourth annual conference will be held April 15–17, 2016, in Washington, DC.

national science teachers association logo

National Science Teachers Association

The National Science Teachers Association, founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Va., is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership of 55,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education. 

learning blade logo

Learning Blade®

From the creators of ACT KeyTrain®, Learning Blade is an interactive, online system designed to foster interest in high-demand STEM careers among middle and early high school students. Its unique methodology includes game-based “missions,” using Common Core–indexed math and English problems that educate students on STEM careers and technologies in a system validated by BattelleEd. logo has comprehensive coverage on STEM trends in education and careers. Its national leadership conference, US News STEM Solutions, is where employers and educators meet to effect change, take action, and make an impact. The 2015 US News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference is set for June 29–July 1, 2015, in San Diego, California.

West Virginia STEM resources at LEARN21:
Lessons and activities - Pre-K through 12:

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