Laurel High School approved as School of Innovation

Pine Belt

LAUREL, Miss. (WHLT) – On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) approved plans for Laurel High School to become a School of Innovation. They also approved the continued innovation status for Corinth School District, Gulfport School District and River City Early College High School in the Vicksburg Warren School District.

Laurel High School will partner with Jones County Junior College to operate a middle college program. It will allow high school juniors and seniors to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time. This model provides up to 60 hours of college credit transferable to universities, and/or an industry certification credential. 

Corinth School District will continue its Cambridge International curriculum and extending the school year by scheduling its 180 instructional days across most of the year. The modified calendar provides opportunities for internships and remedial and accelerated learning. Corinth will also offer project-based learning in middle and high school, gifted education opportunities to all students in grades 2-8, and dual credit/dual enrollment options. To reward teachers, it will use local funds to provide performance-based pay supplements.

Gulfport School District will continue its career pathways model, in which students starting in grade 4 combine rigorous academic work with goal setting and career exploration based on academic strengths. The district will continue offering high school courses in middle school, district-wide ACT testing to sophomores, and open enrollment for Advanced Placement classes with district-financed testing. It also offers a middle college program for high school juniors and seniors in a community college setting. Its five-period academic day in high school provides opportunities for training, internships and externships in highly skilled areas, such as shipbuilding, transportation, logistics and electricity.

River City Early College High School will continue partnering with Hinds Community College to provide students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and transferable college credits through concentrated dual credit opportunities. High school teachers teach grade 9 and 10 students on the Hinds campus. Juniors and seniors are fully enrolled in Hinds working toward a career and technical education degree, an associate degree, or two years of college credit in their selected career pathway.

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