Innovative School

Our First Day

Innovative Schools by MCPS on Exposure

Innovative School Calendar



Imagine a school where students have an extended academic year filled with interactive learning, enrichment and social-emotional growth. That is what the MCPS Innovative Schools initiative is all about. In its second year of implementation, Roscoe Nix and Arcola will operate as Innovative Schools. For these two schools, students start 30 days earlier than most. Their academic year began on July 6, 2020 and will continue until June 14, 2021. This early start reduces summer learning loss, gives students a jump-start on their school year, and provides students with an opportunity to connect with their peers and explore new concepts through Project-based Learning (PBL) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The innovative school calendar follows a similar structure as the traditional school year calendar. There will be four academic quarters or marking periods. Holidays and most other closings are the same, with slight differences for summer break, early release days, parent conferences and the last day of school.

Signature Programming

Project Lead the Way Launch offers hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Students work in teams to collaborate and develop problem-solving skills. Students become scientists. They become the engineers! Equipped with new insights and tools, teachers and staff will enhance instruction with high-quality enrichment opportunities in the arts and in all core content areas. Another tenant of Innovative Schools is to connect learning with the real world. Field trips, community service and other collaborative projects will let students explore their communities, both big and small. Another Signature Program is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is about paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. It helps students self-regulate their emotions and foster an attitude of curiosity, openness and acceptance. Mindfulness improves their social-emotional well-being. Students use breathing exercises to reflect, relax and refocus, so they are ready to learn and reach their full potential. This year both schools will implement Eureka Math and Benchmark Advance alongside the signature programs. As education continues to evolve, Innovative Schools is a thoughtful way to alter our approach to learning - - giving us more time to try new and innovative ideas.


Watch the Board of Education Presentation from March 12, 2019

Overall Safety

Presentation Slides from March 12

Presentation Memorandum from March 12

Innovative School Program Video in English

Innovative School Program Video in Spanish