Dr. Jo Ann Simmons, Superintendent

Dr. Jo Ann Simmons, Superintendent

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

I would like to welcome you to The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy. The Innovation Academy is excited about the partnership between The University of Texas at Tyler and the opportunities this affords students, parents, and the community abroad.

The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy is a public university Charter School that was established in 2012 to provide students with a hands-on approach to learning by incorporating technology and innovative teaching methods. We are innovating at all levels – in Project-Based Learning, the flipped model classroom, and technology. Our mission is to prepare students to be college ready.

The Innovation Academy incorporates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education into daily curriculum. The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy works to help students gain the skills necessary to succeed in these fields. As a STEM school, students are required to complete rigorous and challenging coursework specifically designed to prepare them for a seamless transition to higher education. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM careers have grown three times as fast as jobs in non-STEM careers over the past ten years.

We believe that learning is both engaging and social.  Therefore, all content is taught through project-based activities.  Students are organized into small groups to collectively learn and master a very challenging curriculum.

We believe that students can and should learn 21st century skills, such as problem solving, communication, research, and collaboration.  These skills are incorporated into projects designed from the state standards, ensuring that students are learning the material that they need to know to be successful.

We believe that learning is an ongoing process, and we strive to extend learning beyond the classroom.  One way we extend learning is by providing at home assignments.  Students in the UT Tyler Innovation Academy spend roughly half as much time with teachers then they would in a traditional classroom.  The remainder of the time is spent away from school working independently on virtual assignments.

We believe that education should be individualized for all students.  Projects are developed with the intent of allowing students to operate at multiple grade-levels.  Furthermore, we encourage students to work ahead on their own or address weaknesses that they have identified with the help of their teachers and parents.

The UT Tyler Innovation Academy is dedicated to implementing the newest and most promising practices in education. This commitment is evident as you walk our halls and visit our classrooms. I encourage you to view our website, watch our videos, and come see our schools.

Jo Ann Simmons, Ed.D.

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