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Kingsport pulling out of Innovation Academy

November 7th, 2013 11:55 pm by Rick Wagner

Kingsport pulling out  of Innovation Academy

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport school system has pulled its half of the plug on Innovation Academy, but Sullivan County may continue to operate the award-winning city-county STEM program.

The city school board Thursday night voted 4-0 with one absent to withdraw from the joint agreement with the county to operate Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee, a STEM or science, technology, engineering and math school for grades 6-8.

That will end the city’s involvement in the school after the current 2013-14 school year.

Immediately after the IA vote, the BOE voted to send county Director of Schools Jubal Yennie a letter asking the county to work cooperatively with the city on a school condition study of selected city and county schools.

City BOE member Betsy Cooper, also a member of the IA Governing Board, made the motion at Thursday night’s regular BOE meeting to withdraw from the joint agreement “and just pursue it on our own.” 

The city and county won federal Race to the Top Funding of $1 million in start-up funding for the school over two years, ending this year, and East Tennessee State University won $500,000 to become the regional hub for IA, helping support it and disseminate its best practices of “minds-on, hands- on” learning in Northeast Tennessee.

IA was “a two-year experiment, if you will,” BOE President Carrie Upshaw said. “What we set out to do, we accomplished.” 

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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