Plan For Flexible State High School Program at Frederick High Moving Forward, Even Without $10 Million Grant

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is moving forward with plans to launch a new kind of high school experience called the LYNX High School at Frederick High, despite missing out on a $10 million grant. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

From The Frederick News Post,

School officials said Thursday that the Linking Youth to New Experiences (LYNX) school could be funded either through grants or by donations from Frederick County businesses. The school system doesn’t have specific business partners in mind yet, spokesman Michael Doerrer said.

Only Frederick High School students would enroll in LYNX, which would allow more flexible schedules. Students could leave school in the middle of the day or enroll in evening classes. More job shadowing, online classes and vocational opportunities would also be offered. LYNX would launch with the inauguration of Frederick High School’s new building in 2017.

Had the district won the $10 million “XQ: The Super School Project” grant, organized by the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, it could have relied on that money and not worried about the price of the different elements, Doerrer said.

“We’re not doing anything differently. We’re just moving forward with a few extra steps,” Doerrer said.

Superintendent Terry Alban has until Sept. 30 to give the Frederick County Board of Education the full details of LYNX, under a state law passed this legislative session that also waived some of the state’s regulations for public schools. The plan will be submitted to the Maryland State Board of Education in December.

The school system now will work to pick out possible funding sources, and determine how much the pieces of LYNX will cost, such as teacher training, which will be a significant expense, Doerrer said.

The program has been backed by one of the state’s most prominent names in education, former state Superintendent Nancy Grasmick, who has pledged to use her connections to launch LYNX, Alban said during a previous school board meeting.

LYNX would benefit many Frederick High students, who are racially diverse, and some of whom are disadvantaged and work to support themselves, Campagnoli said. But she said the program could appeal to the entire student body, even honor students, who could take advantage of new, advanced courses or area internships.

The school district’s communications office will arrange many forums, in person and online, for the public to weigh in on LYNX, Doerrer said. Those dates have not been determined.

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