New Albany News

Research teams to seek feedback on findings Jan. 28


New Albany-Plain Local Schools officials are inviting community members to comment on innovative ideas that could become part of the district's programming.

The session is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 E. Dublin-Granville Road in New Albany.

Superintendent April Domine said the district formed four research and development teams in the summer of 2013, and they will present their findings Jan. 28.

Three teams focused on the arts, international studies and science, technology, engineering and math courses, respectively.

The fourth, called the IDEAL team, an acronym for Innovative Design Exploration Anthropologists for Learning, used the concept of "social justice based on community problem-solving," said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.

The teams included up to 100 people, Gallaway said, with at least 15 teachers, students or parents on each team.

Each team worked with a consultant who had expertise in the field, Gallaway said.

Domine said the district paid for the consultants from its $250,000 research-and-development fund.

During the Jan. 13 school board meeting, board president Mark Ryan said the teams will present their research Jan. 28.

Board member Natalie Matt said the teams will seek to incorporate public comments into more defined prototypes.

Ryan and Matt, who've participated in the team meetings, said the teams have high energy levels.

"We need to really try to get people to attend," said board member Laura Kohler.

She said the teams' research is "some of the most exciting work we're ever going to do in this school district."

As an example, Gallaway said, the arts team sought "to design a school where teachers and students collaborate with artists in an arts-infused environment (that) empowers them to become creative thinkers while exploring their artistic passions."

Arts team members believe the arts-infused environment could help the district further its mission by "better enabling students to become engaged citizens of the world," Gallaway said.