HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Two Hutchinson USD 308 elementary schools were named as Apollo schools by the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday. The state board approved Wiley Elementary School and Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen as Apollo schools.
Under the program, districts designate schools to be redesigned around five outcomes that include improving graduation rates, post-secondary success, kindergarten readiness, individualized learning and social-emotional skills.
“Wiley is thrilled to be a part of re-imaging what education could look like,” Lynette McLean, Wiley principal, said. “We are so thankful for district encouragement and the support we will receive from ESSDACK and KSDE as we begin this journey. “
The Hutchinson Public Schools Board of Education approved the Apollo application at its March 11 meeting. For HMS at Allen, the redesign process fits the model it has used since transitioning to STEM in the 2012-13 school year. The elementary is the district’s STEM magnet school.
“We are really excited to start the process to look at school non-traditionally,” Alma Henry, HMS at Allen principal, said. “We know kids learn best through hands-on experiences.”
In 2017, the state board designated the first seven districts, referred to as the Mercury 7 in honor of the nation’s space program for school redesign. The next two phases were named Gemini I and Gemini II.
Schools participating in the Apollo program plan to launch a new school redesign in the 2020-21 school year and will serve as a future demonstration site for other districts in Kansas to study, learn from and visit.
The Apollo program includes 41 schools from 19 districts. Tuesday’s state board announcement brings the total number of schools taking part in the redesign process to about 150, representing 66 school districts.