Albemarle County Public Schools, a Finalist in Competition for $10 Million Grant to Redesign High School Education

Albemarle County Public Schools has been selected as a finalist in a nationwide competition to redesign high school education. The XQ Institute, chaired by Laurene Powell Jobs, will select five applicants next month, each to receive grants of $2 million per year for up to five years. The purpose of the grants, according to the Institute, is to “rethink school in America in order to create new learning opportunities for young people and to open up the possibilities of a wider world.”

In a note to the school division, Russlynn Ali, the Chief Executive Officer of the XQ Institute, said the following:

“We have found ourselves awed by the quality of your ideas, the depth of your dedication, and the breadth of your accomplishments. Tens of thousands of people raised their hands to lend their expertise. More than a thousand teams dove into what has become the largest open call in history to rethink high school.” – Russlynn Ali

Over the past year, nearly 10,000 people from across the country, comprising some 700 teams, offered concepts for new or redesigned high schools. The XQ: Super School Project will enable five of those teams to turn their ideas into “Super Schools,” the Institute says.

From the nearly 700 teams that submitted applications in September of 2015, Albemarle County Public Schools is among the final pool of 50 applicants. Called CONNEXT, its proposal would provide each student with an individual learning advisory committee, consisting of teachers, parents, members of the community, and mentors. Each student would receive onsite and in-the-field learning opportunities developed by their committee. A central school-based location would serve as a hub for some classes, but a student also would incorporate such community resources as libraries, businesses, and civic, environmental, and public service organizations to learn and develop skills and competencies outside the school building.

Ms. Ali said the following of Albemarle County Public Schools’ XQ proposal;

“There were many compelling and innovative ideas, making the task of selecting Finalists a difficult one. Your selection as a Finalist is a testament to your extraordinary commitment to build a better future,” – Russlynn Ali

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