Already existing innovation schools may pursue organizing into an innovation zone for shared learning. Innovation zones are a structure established under state statute for innovation schools that share common interests to create their own network or “zone.”
Starting a new iZone
Creating a new innovation zone:
- Innovation Zones with Governance Innovations: This type of zone operates separately from the district network structure and is overseen by an external organization and its board. This board is responsible for support and oversight of the member schools, although the district maintains ultimate legal responsibility.
- Innovation Zones within District Network Structure: This type of zone would allow schools the opportunity to organize around common interests, while remaining within district networks and reporting structures. Some additional autonomies would be available to these schools, but many decisions would still be made by the district.
Joining an existing iZone
There are currently two existing innovation zones with governance innovations:
- Luminary Learning Network (LLN): The district’s first iZone is designed to empower school leaders and teachers with the autonomy needed to design and run excellent schools. The LLN currently has five member schools.
- Northeast Denver Innovation Zone (NDIZ): The district’s second iZone is designed to empower innovation schools in Northeast Denver to collectively leverage flexibilities, resources, and human capital in order to deliver an excellent education to students in schools that are committed to inclusivity. The NDIZ currently has four member schools.
At this time, neither iZone is accepting applications to join. However, when iZones are accepting applications, interested schools will have their readiness assessed by the iZone and DPS, which will also consider the iZone’s capacity to take on additional schools.
For more information, please contact Maya Lagana, Senior Director of Portfolio Management.