Work Underway On LYNX Program

FCPS says it’s a new experience for high school students.

When the new Frederick High School opens next year, it will be more than just another classroom building. The new school will offer a brand new high school experience for students and teachers. The Linking Youth to New Experiences–or LYNX–will have more flexibility, according to School System spokesman Michael Doerrer. “Flexibility in scheduling; flexibility in curriculum. It’s individualized instruction for students. It is incorporating business into the school building through mentorships and internships,” says Doerrer.

The School System managed to get some legislation from the General Assembly which eases off on some requirements, such as testing, in order to put this type of program in effect. But Doerrer says students will still need to meet certain requirements before they graduate. “The curriculum, the fundamental requirements of getting your high school education are still in place. We’re talking about redesigning how we achieve that, and layering in new skills, new ideas,” he says.

The School System has applied for a grant to help fund the LYNX program. It’s a $50-million competition that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, has announced. It’s called XQ: Super School Project. “The concept is now fleshed out enough that we made through the first round of the grant competition,” says Doerrer. “Right now, we’re in the second round which is all about building the details, working out the specifics of what the proposal is going to be.”

But Doerrer says the LYNX program is not dependent on a grant. “Winning the grant would make things a lot easier, and that’s our goal,” he says. “But I don’t think it’s dependent.”

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Theresa Alban, says citizens are encouraged to watch out for opportunities to participate and provide feedback as LYNX is developed. “Our community–parents, families, businesses, civic organizations–will have vital roles to play in developing LYNX; talking about a vision for the school is an important first step in developing partnerships that will make the LYNX school a reality,” Dr. Alban says in a statement. “We’re excited to be able to share the vision for the school.”

She encourages citizens to visit the LYNX website at www.fcps.orga/lynx.

The New Frederick High School is scheduled to open in August, 2017.