Innovation school forums announced
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Two public forums are planned Thursday, Feb. 4, for families of students at Beryl Henry Elementary School and Yerger Middle School interested in participating in the “school of innovation” under development by the Hope Public Schools for fifth through eighth grade students.

The approximately 45 minute programs are set for 6 p.m. in the Beryl Henry cafeteria and at 7 p.m. in the Yerger cafeteria.

“We want parents to help us in the design and implementation of this process,” HPSD Superintendent Bobby Hart said. “The more input received in the planning stages, the better the product and service to our students and families this fall.”

Hart said the HPSD will provide families of students who are interested in enrolling their children in a rigorous public service-minded school the opportunity to realize that choice, beginning with the explanatory forums.

“They have said this is what they want,” Hart said.

Each forum will require about 45 minutes for an explanatory presentation and questions, he said.

Families of potential students will learn about the kinds of curriculum expectations they should anticipate, and the performance expectations which will be required of students in the new school.

Hart said the concept has been under development for about a year, and is based upon input from district principals, administrators and a series of meetings with district patrons last Fall.

He characterized the “school of innovation” concept as the first of two phases in a comprehensive review of the educational model of the Hope Public School District. Based upon the outcome of the first phase, modified applications at the BHE and YMS main campuses could be developed, Hart said.

He said the two public forums are designed to answer as many questions as possible.

“There are probably things we haven’t thought of yet,” Hart said. “We want to hear from multiple stakeholders.”

Hart said the “school of innovation” concept is also part of a larger initiative called “Imagine Greatness” under development at Hope High School, based upon input from students, teachers, civic clubs and other district patrons.

He said he anticipates opening the “school of innovation” after renovation and modernization of the Garland campus, which will carry the name of the new school. Hart said plans call for opening the new school in the Fall, 2016, semester.