The start of the school year is such an exciting time, full of possibilities for students and educators alike. And for a handful of schools partnering with us at Microsoft Education, everything really is entirely brand new this year.
The schools have been on a journey with us as part of the Microsoft Flagship School program and are opening their doors to students and educators now for the first time. We launched the program last September to transform education from the ground up, guiding K-12 and higher-education leaders through the vision of designing, building and launching new schools in their communities.
It’s been a learning journey for all of us, guided by the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework (ETF) and the 12 School Tenets, and we are grateful for the opportunity to get to work alongside our Flagship School program participants.
Although construction is ongoing at most of the schools in our first cohort of Flagship Schools, the following five are ready to serve students now:
- The Flint Cultural Center Academy in Flint, Michigan. The school will serve 300 students in its first year in grades K-5 with a goal to enroll up to 650 as more grades are added. It’s located near the Flint Cultural Center to provide students with immersive, well-rounded learning experiences. The public, nonprofit charter school has worked to incorporate Microsoft Education tools into the curriculum with an eye toward using technology to improve instruction.
- Bertha Park High School in Perth, Scotland. The first new secondary school to be opened in Scotland in 20 years, this school has leveraged the ETF and 12 Tenets to inform its decisions throughout the design and construction process and continues to reference the framework to guide technological learning experiences for students. The school values growth mindset and is designed to fuel student creativity with access to technology tools, digital media and STEM.
- Zespół Szkół nr 8 in Gdynia, Poland. Previously a high school, Zespół Szkół nr 8 has merged with a primary school to serve grades K-12 and more than 1,200 students. School leaders have leveraged the ETF throughout the design and building process to help shape the school, along with embracing a rich set of productivity tools and devices to bring together learning environments to foster collaboration and creativity.
- The University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. The University of Central Florida Downtown is opening the doors of its 15-acre campus to 7,700 students today! This transformational project in partnership with Valencia College, will bring together the community and spark innovation in higher education, leading students on the path to a successful future. The new shared campus will incorporate innovative technology to create a 21st-century learning environment.
- DIGITAL Mittelschule St. Leonhard, Austria. And finally, this primary and secondary school has focused on implementing digital technology into its curriculum, creating an innovative new digital lab which will support student creativity and engagement in the new school year.
The Microsoft Flagship School program seeks to create a clearer connection between places to learn and places to work. We’re collaborating with partners who are thought leaders in design and space. Throughout the Microsoft community, we’re grateful for their support and commitment to this effort.
By working together, we can reimagine what great education looks like and bring innovation to our schools. We’re not simply helping to coach these schools and those who lead them but are helping to build bright futures for a new generation of learners across the globe.