www.Education At Lake Nona.com

Strategic Projects

Once the core of the Collaborative Education Master Plan was completed (mission, vision, goals, and principles), we then began work on action planning.  The strategic projects are the unique collaborative actions that promote accomplishment of our goals.

1. Early Childhood Development Network.  A group of 15+ professionals from 8 organizations have begun the process of developing an Early Childhood Development (ECD) plan for Lake Nona.   It has been initially determined that there will eventually be a need for about 15 ECD Centers in Lake Nona (i.e., as soon as 2015).  The group has focused on establishing a network of providers and users that can work together to ensure immediate, intermediate, and long-term needs are met.  To begin, the group has recommended focusing first on establishing an employer based provider for the medical city organizations.  

2. Workforce Development Program.  At the moment, there are a number of major employers coming to Lake Nona with a significant and diverse set of workforce needs.  A comprehensive plan for addressing the needs has not be developed.  The following recommendation has been made:

  1. Conduct a workforce needs assessment.
  2. Develop a Workforce Development Plan.
  3. Prioritize key actions to take in the short, intermediate, and long-term.

3. Education Village/City.  Surrounding the OCPS High School is the possibility for creating a community of education providers and related services including:

  1. Community College, Professional Colleges, and Other College/University Offerings.  Discussions are under way with Valencia Community College to establish a new, comprehensive 2-year college campus on the Education Village site.  Beginning in a shared facility with the high school, the campus will grow to serve 5,000 to 7,500 students in general academic programs and in a palette of life science, physical sciences, and related programs.  These programs will be designed to connect with the unique vision for the medical and bio-life sciences in Lake Nona. 
  2. Private School Options.  In addition to the current Lake Nona high school, the goal is to provide a portfolio of high school options, including private.  The Catholic Diocese of Orlando has land in the Lake Nona area and is strategically planning to build their high school in the community.  In addition, the other leading private high schools in Central Florida are also exploring options for offering their education programs in Lake Nona as well.  Two particular options are. 1. have a complete private high school located in the Education Village, and 2. to offer a shared facility for the area private schools to have a satellite campus. Our aim is to bring the best of the best to the Lake Nona community.
  3. Housing for Students, International Students, Families, and Teachers. Find creative ways to connect housing to the various groups to ensure it is accessible and conducive to education.
  4. Retail & Fitness. Attract retail and fitness organizations that promote education and wellness.
  5. The Arts. Create diverse arts programs that connect education with the broader community enriching the quality of life.
  6. Outdoor Parks & Recreation. Develop a set of parks and playfields that promote wellness through community events, sports, and more.
  7. Technology. Use technology to allow for greater learning collaboration among students locally and beyond (e.g., virtual campus, internet, fiber optics, and wireless).
  8. Spaces for Dialogue & Reflection. Create open spaces and venues (coffee shops, court yards, etc.) where people can gather, study, and learn.

4.Collegiate Academy.  During Charrette #3, Valencia with OCPS proposed an innovative idea that could lead to more than 25% of the students graduating from the Lake Nona High School with a two-year degree and another 25% graduating with 24-30 college semester credit hours.  This has led to The Collegiate Academy at Lake Nona High School, developed in partnership with Valencia Community College.  It is an accelerated academic program that provides Lake Nona High School students with a variety of opportunities that range from experiencing one or two college-level courses to completing a full Associate in Arts degree (A.A.). The level of participation in the Collegiate Academy is determined by student goals and academic needs. The programs offered will encourage a combination of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment credit that allows students to build a highly competitive academic program that challenges them beyond the opportunities currently available through traditional high school programs. This unique partnership with Valencia Community College provides Lake Nona High School students with unprecedented educational opportunities.

5. Resource Synergies Round Tables.  During the Charrette #4, a common feedback was that many of the education professionals had not worked together or met each other before the Charrette process.  Through the dialogue, a major issue was diminishing funding and the changing economic model.  The group began exploring a variety of ways to leverage resource synergies.  Here are a few ideas generated that are being explored or have already occurred:  

  1. Facilities Sharing.  At the OCPS HS, they have committed to share facilities with Valencia in order to accelerate the development of the Collegiate Academy and educational offering to the community.  Valencia will be housed in a wing of the high school that will include 10 classrooms and two wet labs.  Valencia and UCF will be offering college courses from this leased facility.  Then, Valencia will move to an adjacent campus within three to five years – pending respective needs.
  2. Orange County Library System.  Another resource synergy identified is the establishment of a community library that also serves as the Lake Nona and Valencia library.  There are several ways to leverage the library’s programmatic core competencies (after school programs to sharing search engines).
  3. Course and Program Sharing.  The schools have also explored ways to offer courses (in-person and via distance learning) that would enable students from multiple high schools to take a course together.  These course may be offered by one of the high schools and made available to the other schools.  For example, the Orlando Diocese suggested that they could offer religion courses for students who are attending the Lake Nona High School.  Another possibility being explored is shared programming such as band, sports, after school programs, and more. 
  4. Technology Sharing.  The area of Lake Nona is going to have some of the best technology infrastructure available in the world in order to support the advanced life sciences research and medical school.  The various schools are utilizing a variety of technology such as Wi-Fi, search engines (OCLS above), and more.  The possibilities are currently being explored as a way to find significant savings through such collaborative ventures.

6. Field Exposure Program.  We have designed an integrated program offering a variety of field experiences: publishable research projects, workshops, case studies, visiting scientists in classrooms, mentoring, and more.  The key will be to coordinate this as a unified program with the medical city partners.

7. Integrated & Aligned Curriculum.  There is a state initiative underway to create an integrated curriculum. Valencia is working with OCPS and UCF to create a seamless curriculum providing educational pathways from Pre-K through College.  One area of focus will be to model the curriculum integration in the Lake Nona community. 

8. Biotechnology Center (BioNet).  Valencia and UCF are partnering to develop a grant proposal that will forge the creation of the center. This regional project will enable Valencia and its partners to assume a leadership role in developing the technical workforce required to support the emerging life sciences industry in Central Florida.

9. Schools Emergency & Event Communication Hub.  This will be a multifaceted central communication and coordination tool designed to coordinate such things as emergency response, event planning, and problem solving among the schools and broader community.

10. Enterprise Performance Management & Learning SystemNew York City-based SchoolNet, a privately held company, has specialized in helping to managing the performance of schools and school systems for over a decade. SchoolNet’s award-winning web-based application provides a cutting edge platform for the educational community of a child to share best practices, instruction and instructional management, student information, assessments, achievement data, formative testing results, student portfolios (such as drawings and writing samples), interventions, and responses –to-interventions (RTI’s).

11. Education Web Portal.  A website for the Lake Nona Education Initiative has been developed.  From here, the aim is to create a one-stop Internet shop for people to:

  1. connect with all the education opportunities,
  2. learn about all the educational benefits to living in Lake Nona, and
  3. contact key education partners, and develop a customized family or personal education plan that can be achieved in Lake Nona. Lead – Lake Nona.

12. Education Marketing Campaign.  Because education is one of the top reasons people choose where they will live, it has been recommended that a specific marketing campaign be developed and implemented.  This includes creating the necessary collateral (e.g., brochures, videos, etc.) and training necessary to ensure that all partners can competently sell the collaborative education system in Lake Nona.  The focus is on attracting employers, families, students, and more to Lake Nona.

13. Center for Excellence in Education & Economic Development.  Create a joint team charged with the responsibility for securing resources and sponsors to support collaborative education ventures. The scope will be framed broadly to include a variety of related activities for Medical City.

14. Lake Nona Education Consortium.  It has been recommended that a formal organization be established to continue the collaboration and implementation of the Collaborative Education Master Plan.