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IDEAS Academy Recognized In New Book Featuring Innovation in Education
Sheboygan’s IDEAS Academy, part of The Étude Group of charter schools, announced its work in bringing creativity into the classroom has been recognized in Dr. Robert Kelly’s, Educating for Creativity: A Global Conversation. The book profiles 20 schools from around the world that are on the leading edge of bringing creativity into the classroom.   

Dr. Kelly’s book explores how to bring the concept of creativity into daily educational practice. Schools ranging from the KaosPilots in Denmark, to the Tinkering School in California, and Sheboygan’s own IDEAS Academy are examined and demonstrate how a culture of creativity can be implemented across the educational spectrum.  

“In an increasingly global economy, creativity will become the most valuable commodity,” said Dr. Kelly, Associate Professor - Faculty of Arts, Adjunct Associate Professor Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada.  “We can no longer teach our youth only how to do things, we must give them the tools to create solutions we ourselves have not yet imagined.  These schools are leading the way with the active incorporation of creativity into mainstream educational practice.”

According to Dr. Kelly, the IDEAS Academy came to his attention in 2011, for its infusion of creativity and critical thinking across subjects, principles of school community, and use of teachers as collaborators-in-learning with the student.  

“When we founded our first charter school in 2006, we saw a need for a place students could come for a college preparatory program that integrated arts and interdisciplinary learning,” said Ted Hamm, Director of The Étude Group.  “Since the conversion to a full-day high school in 2010, we have evolved the program to be a project-based high school focusing on innovation, design, engineering, sciences, and humanities.”

IDEAS Academy, one of three schools in The Étude Group, is part of the Sheboygan Area School District but functions as a public charter school.  As a charter school, IDEAS Academy has a contract with the local school board that allows it to have autonomy in curriculum and budget allocation in exchange for specific results related to student behavior and learning. IDEAS Academy was started as part of the Sheboygan Area School District’s effort to provide a diverse set of educational offerings to meet the needs of the entire community. Like all public schools, it is free to residents.  
“We are very proud of what we have accomplished as part of the Sheboygan Area School District and find it quite an honor to be included in the company of these internationally known schools,” Hamm said.  “Our first class of alumni graduate from college this year, and we cannot wait to see what they accomplish.”

For more information about IDEAS Academy and The Étude Group, visit www.etudegroup.org or www.ideasacademy.org .  For more information, please contact Ted Hamm at thamm@sheboygan.k12.wi.us or (920) 459-3504.

About The Étude Group    
The Étude Group is part of the Sheboygan Area School District and operates three charter schools: The Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (grades kindergarten to five), The Mosaic School (grades six to eight), and IDEAS Academy (grades 9 to twelve).  The Étude Group focuses on teaching students the content and skills necessary to be successful in a world that increasingly values creativity and innovation.

About Robert Kelly
Author, artist and educator Robert Kelly is an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts and an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, where he teaches creativity theory and practice, studio art and design, and curriculum theory and design. www.robertkelly.ca

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
January 15, 2013