ISD Academies Honored as Education Innovator of the Year

Posted November 14, 2017

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce named the Academies of the Independence School District the Education Innovator of the Year. The award is given to one educational institution or program demonstrating forward-thinking strategies to better prepare students for their futures.

The Independence School District (ISD) is one of only 19 school districts in the nation chosen by Ford Next Generation Learning to implement the Academy model.  The ISD operates in a wall-to-wall Academy model, allowing every high school student at the district’s three high schools the opportunity to choose their Academy, earn dual credit, an Industry Recognized Credential and an Associate’s Degree if they choose. The ISD offers more than 90 courses for college credit with more than 400 college credit hours available.

ISD high school students are starting businesses, flipping houses, teaching classroom lessons and running a bakery. In the Industrial Technology Academy, students are turning blighted houses into homes by rebuilding, remodeling and selling them. In the Business Academy, ISD students launched a student-operated clothing store and a bakery. The students manage and run operations including marketing, sales and promotion. We have student teachers leading early education and elementary classrooms in our Professions in Teaching program in the Arts and Education Academy.

In 2017, 72 percent of ISD students graduated with dual credit or an Industry Recognized Credential, increasing by more than 50 percent in just two years. We are building our future workforce and inspiring future Independence business leaders. The ISD is proud to be making an economic impact through innovative practices, engagement and leadership within our community.

ISD Superintendent Dr. Dale Herl accepted the Education Innovator of the Year Award at the Missouri Business Awards on November 16, 2017 at Busch Stadium.