Virginia’s first lab school chosen
The lab school will combine two already-successful programs to create a collaborative and innovative learning environment for both college and high school students.
VCU has partnered with CodeRVA Regional High School for computer-science-based curriculum.
Last year, Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia legislature created a pathway for private colleges and universities to open College Partnership Laboratory Schools, creating more opportunities for kids to learn. These lab schools not only bring practical education and experience to students, but they provide parents with options beyond traditional public schools.
Earlier this month, the state approved the first lab school developed from the initial $100 million allocation. Virginia Commonwealth University will be partnering with CodeRVA Regional High School to train teachers while also providing computer-science-based curriculum to high school students.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin, in a public statement, said, “Lab schools are a critical part of restoring excellence in the Commonwealth’s education system. During the first month of my administration, we launched a partnership between colleges and universities to establish K-12 lab schools across the Commonwealth and I’m pleased we’re delivering on that promise today. This is the first step in giving parents new options for their kids to learn in innovative and creative ways and break the status quo of a one-size-fits-all education.”
The measure narrowly passed last year with Lieutenant Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears casting the tie-breaking vote. Despite its narrow victory, Youngkin and others are excited for what it means for the state of Virginia, where voters overwhelmingly support school choice. As Youngkin wrote, “Education is the gateway to opportunity.”
The lab school will combine two already-successful programs to create a collaborative and innovative learning environment for both college and high school students. VCU’s Center for Teacher Leadership is a teacher residency program that provides free tuition for teachers who will teach in hard-to-staff districts. CodeRVA Regional High School is a magnet school offered tuition free as an alternative to traditional public schools to help prepare high schoolers for careers in computer science.
The new lab school at VCU will merge the mission of both schools by utilizing teachers in training to help teach students from CodeRVA gain pathways to jobs in artificial intelligence and technology.
According to a statement made by Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, “The vote to approve the Commonwealth’s first lab school is a win for students, teachers, and parents. In this innovative model, not only will students benefit from high-quality computer science education, but the next generation of teachers will learn how to be best-in class instructors.”
There is no set date for when the lab school will open, but the approval is a significant step forward.