A few years ago, a small group of educators came together with an idea for a school that focuses on creativity, innovation and discovery. They created a school model that provides an integrative STEM-centered curriculum through a place-based, project-based, discovery and inquiry-based learning environment. One important focus is to support students as they develop a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). For that to happen students need to understand how STEM is being used all around them. In order to provide students with real world connections, community partnerships have been developed to allow students the opportunity to understand the STEM disciplines in action.
As the journey to becoming a public charter school began the details of the school model were worked out through reading research articles and education theory books, participating in trainings, attending conferences, having discussions with leading educational experts and continuing conversations with parents and community members. The focus has always been to prepare students for 21st century careers. Giving students the opportunities to engage in solving real world problems, becoming involved with the community where they live and learning to collaborate with others are skills students need to be successful in their school years and beyond.
These teachers all had expertise in one area or another but as they brought their strengths to the table they started to discover their passion for education was multifaceted. Through collaboration and celebrating each board member’s strength the idea of a school where students could learn and grow through hands-on activities became a reality. During this journey we had changes in board members but the vision that kids come first has held fast. One of our passionate founding board members was diagnosed with cancer and had to step down to take care of his health. His influence will continue to guide teaching instruction and its need to be researched based, engaging and innovative. The governing board continues to make sure CCID’s mission and vision drive all decision for the school.
The first couple of years involved meeting weekly to refine the school model and meet the requirements from the state to submit a charter school proposal and then a full application. The application was submitted February of 2016. The state school board ranked The Center for Creativity, Innovation and Discovery the #1 priority in the state to receive funding and move forward to open in Fall 2017.
CCID’s board continues to increase the scope of the philosophy of CCID through meetings with the Utah STEM Action Committee, visiting model schools for project-based education and continue building partnerships with community organizations and groups.