The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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GAIN Academy chosen as finalist for XQ Super School project

Logo Courtesy of Dr. Rita Fischer
GAIN Academy hopes to redesign the current high school system, focusing on preparing students for the future through solving real world problems.

GAIN Academy, a progressive conceptual school designed by students and staff of District 128 and the other surrounding districts of Grayslake District 127, Leyden District 212, and Maine District 207, has been named one of 348 finalists for the XQ Super School Project, sponsored by Emerson Collective.

The XQ Super School Project’s goal is to design a new wave of high schools; these schools will better prepare students for the rapidly changing future of careers and lifestyles.  XQ believes the current high school system poorly prepare students for the future because they are stuck in the past.  

According to the XQ website, most of today’s high schools were designed to train students for the industrial workforce, and despite the evolving job fields available for workers today, the high schools have not changed.

XQ is choosing five winning high school concepts to receive $10 million in funding for their creation.  As of now, there are 348 concepts left in the running, and GAIN Academy is among them.

According to Dr. Rita Fischer, District 128 assistant superintendent and a leader of the GAIN Academy project, the district’s entry to the XQ contest is a school in which students will learn about math, science, English, and social studies, but through real-world application instead of regular classes.  Students will have opportunities to work on real-world problems, learning valuable skills in the process.

Whereas most high schools today  focus on regular classwork, lectures, and homework in order to prepare students for the future, GAIN Academy will prepare students through projects, both short and long term, and focus on local, nationwide, and worldwide problems.  

Dr.  Fischer noted that the concept was partially inspired by a new goal of Stanford University: “to reimagine the college experience as… ‘a mission, rather than a major.’”  The goal of GAIN Academy will be for students to discover their own personal mission, a goal which, in the philosophy of XQ, is unattainable with the current high school system.

If GAIN is chosen as the winner of the XQ Super School Challenge, the 2016-2017 school year will be used to fully develop implementation.  The school would span across nine separate high schools in the four districts involved with the idea’s conception.  The first students eligible to participate would be the freshmen class during the 2017-2018 school year (current seventh graders).

Dr. Fischer gave three aspects unique to GAIN Academy that could improve their chances of winning over the other 347 schools left in the running.

The first is that GAIN is a collaborative effort between four separate districts, spanning across nine high schools.  If GAIN is successful in their efforts, the model can be replicated by public school districts spanning across the country.

The second is that the students of GAIN will be familiarized with the Global Goals, a project launched by the United Nations to help solve problems currently facing our world such as poverty, hunger and climate change.  In order to best prepare students for the future, learning about the different perspectives and possible solutions for the toughest problems facing civilization will be vital.  

The third and final unique aspect of GAIN, according to Dr. Fischer, is its partnership with the College Board, along with companies and corporations.  These connections can help students earn credentials for future education and employment, in addition to aiding the students in the discovery of their personal mission.

Correction: This story was updated on May 31, 2016. The story initially said there were 70 finalists remaining, but there are actually 348 finalists. 

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
GAIN Academy chosen as finalist for XQ Super School project