Missouri Governor Visits ISD to Learn About College and Career Readiness Opportunities with ISD Academies

Posted August 20, 2019

Governor Mike Parson toured several of the college and career readiness opportunities offered to all high school students in the Independence School District on Tuesday, August 20. The governor visited the ISD Bank, located on the historic Independence Square. It is a partnership with Blue Ridge Bank, and is the first student-assisted stand-alone bank in the nation.

The governor met with ISD Superintendent, Dr. Dale Herl, to discuss the forward-thinking ISD Academies and workforce development. Governor Parson and his team also visited Van Horn High School, home to the district’s machine technology and culinary programs.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce named the ISD Academies the Education Innovator of the Year. The award is given to one educational institution or program demonstrating exemplary strategies to better prepare students for their futures.

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. The ISD has student teachers leading early education and elementary classrooms in our Professions in Teaching program in the Arts and Education Academy.

In the last school year, 73 percent of ISD students graduated with dual credit or an Industry Recognized Credential, increasing by more than 50 percent in just three years. We are building our future workforce and inspiring future business leaders. The ISD is proud to be making an economic impact through innovative practices, engagement and leadership within our community.

The Independence School District has also been awarded the MASA McKinstry Innovation Award which recognizes innovative practices in education. The ISD has been named the School District of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council. The student operated store All Things Independence was awarded Emerging Business of the Year by the Independence Economic Development Council.