A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beechwood Independent Schools unveils EDGE program, partners with national industry innovators

With the support and involvement of key industry leaders and state legislative representatives, Beechwood Independent Schools unveiled the EDGE program, the district’s answer to the question: How do we improve our schools in a way that leads to preparing students for success?

The EDGE program, which is exclusive to Beechwood, is rooted in the idea that all students in grades K-12 need educational design that is geared toward experience to then help with future career paths.

“This program represents our commitment to developing 21st-Century success skills in all of our students through high-quality experiences and a thorough exposure to the knowledge they need to succeed,” said Dr. Mike S. Stacy, Superintendent. “Our students need us to think differently and approach education differently so that they can have an edge in the global workforce. This program is uniquely designed to help each child be successful in school and in life.”

The district has garnered the support and involvement of university partners Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More University, Morehead State University and Xavier University, healthcare partner St. Elizabeth Healthcare and business partners Amazon and CVG.

These flagship partners are providing critical input into the construction and implementation of the program’s curriculum. Through extensive business, university and community involvement from more than 25 partners, the district will offer collegiate-like programming to high school students while continuing to expand experiential, nontraditional programming at the elementary and middle school levels.

“This new educational experience will undoubtedly be best-in-class curriculum for students as they prepare for the real world. This will also help produce healthcare leaders and providers of the future and help build a more robust workforce in our community,” said Garren Colvin, President and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

By incorporating involvement from experts and community partners, the goal is to give students real-world experience and perspective to help them become more globally-competitive, resilient and well-rounded learners and leaders in whatever path they choose.

“Being able to collaborate with the industry and university partners is the first step toward providing an education that is viable in 2020 and beyond,” said Justin Kaiser, principal at Beechwood High School. “Balancing rigorous content with rigorous experience puts us on that path. The world has changed – now it’s time for education to catch up.”

At the program launch event, district representatives provided an overview of the program at each grade level. Beginning in kindergarten, all Beechwood elementary students are introduced to the core concepts, which are skills that industry experts have identified are critical for students to master, and experience individualized learning opportunities; in middle school, all students participate in Seminar, a component of the EDGE program that develops the core concepts through a series of embedded experiences that begin to incorporate real-world interactions with regional partners; and in high school, beginning in the 2020-21 school year, students will participate in the minors component, in which there are eight specialized courses of study – from biomed to engineering to performing arts – that allow all students to develop the core concepts through an innovative curriculum that is designed around experience.

“At the core of education in the United States, we basically have the same type of education system that existed 100 years ago – English, math, science and social studies mixed in with gym, art, music, and library with a mix of content-specific electives added in throughout a child’s years in school,” said Stacy. “Think about your child’s middle school experience – is it any different than your experience? Traditional education is no longer going to prepare our students for the current or future world of work and the gap between what we teach and what students need to know grows larger each year.

“If we want our students to be competitive in today’s world, we have to evolve past the state-required curriculum and provide the facilities necessary to promote 21st-Century teaching and learning. And that is exactly what the EDGE program aims to accomplish.”

Beechwood Schools

Related Posts

Leave a Comment