Minnesota Flex Academy is a Fully Authorized School!
Minnesota Flex Academy is fully authorized by Innovative Quality Schools
IQS aims to be a model of authorizing excellence and to serve as a model not only for the chartered sector of public education but the district sector as well. While the authorizing process of IQS will be rigorous, it will also be fair, forward thinking and transparent. A key aspect of IQS is its search for innovation and redesigned models of schools and schooling. Although the schools authorized by IQS will not be required to use specific curriculum, learning program or methods, IQS will require that some aspect of the school be innovative. IQS will require a research process for determining the impact of this innovation so that it is credible and can be disseminated. IQS sees chartering as the R&D sector of public education. The schools authorized by IQS will be required to perform at high standards which will be reflected in student learning, parent and student satisfaction, teacher professional satisfaction, recognition of the schools success and by state and national acknowledgement of IQS as one of the nation’s premier authorizers.
Mission of Innovative Quality Schools
The sole Mission of Innovative Quality is to…
- Authorize a variety of models of chartered schools in both urban and greater Minnesota
- Hold authorized schools accountable for achieving high standards as exemplified by each student being a successful learner prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century
- Pursue schools that foster innovation in public education.
The Vision of Innovative Quality Schools is…
to be a model of chartered school authorizing excellence in Minnesota and the nation as evidenced by having IQS authorized schools excel in improving student learning and where the schools will be the research and development arm of public education.
Goals of Innovative Quality Schools
- Through a rigorous authorizing process, Innovative Quality Schools will authorize up to 30 high quality chartered schools that result in meeting the individual needs of the students served as defined in the authorizer/school contract. As provided by law for “single-purpose authorizers,” the schools authorized will not be restricted to specific designs.
- While proposals with a strong research base will be welcomed by IQS for consideration, all schools authorized by Innovative Quality Schools must include a focus on innovation in one or more aspects of its operation and will competently research and disseminate the results of that innovative practice(s).
- Because of its unique “Single Purpose Sponsor/Authorizer” design, Innovative Quality Schools will strive to serve as a model of authorizing for Minnesota and the rest of the country by disseminating the impact of this authorizing model and assisting other states implement this authorizing design.
Schools authorized by IQS will share values
Sharing the values of IQS is important for any school that wants to be authorized by IQS. These values are communicated to assure that only high quality schools with missions aligned with these values are authorized. In order to ensure that the schools authorized by Innovative Quality Schools will provide outstanding learning environments for students which results in high levels of learning, they will be selected in part if they demonstrate commitment to the following values:
- The individual needs, capacities and aspirations of each learner are paramount. IQS believes that schools authorized must provide better learning opportunities than what is currently available to students.
- Learning at high levels is key for all students. IQS believes that rigor and high levels of attainment are the purpose of 21st century schools. We also believe that individuals do not all need to learn the same things at the same high levels. Our schools will offer students the opportunity to excel in their areas of interest.
- Innovation is evident in some aspect of the school design. IQS will be an authorizer which fosters the development of new and different learning models. While some of these will not have a strong research base, they will have a strong set of hypothesis which they are testing. These schools will be the incubators of new improvements for the future. All schools authorized will be required to have at least one aspect that is innovative and is being researched.
- A small, safe learning environment is provided for students where families are welcomed and cultures are valued. IQS believes that a small learning environment is conducive to learning and that schools must be safe environments for the students in today’s world where all students from the world’s rich cultures are welcomed. Critical thinking, creativity and self directed learning are necessary learning outcomes. IQS believes that these results are key aspects of the new models of achievement and will encourage schools to address these features.
- Learning is recognized and validated wherever and whenever it occurs using new and different evaluation models and establishing new forms of accountability. IQS recognizes that in today’s digital world, students are learning significantly online and from their experiences in the community. This learning needs to be validated. The primary purpose of assessment is to provide information used for improving instruction and learning. IQS recognizes the importance of formative assessment and encourages schools to use data to improve the learning for students.
- A collegial professional learning community is provided where shared decision-making is evident regardless of the leadership model at the school. IQS supports the practice of teachers taking responsibility for assuring the schools they develop and in which they practice their profession have a professional environment. Students, staff and boards expect and value being held accountable for results. IQS believes that all involved in the learning process must value being held accountable for their work.