Several years ago, Greenville County Schools in South Carolina took an innovative approach to designing a new middle school to be named for our former superintendent, Dr. Phinnize Fisher. We threw out traditional building specs and came up with a new process to design the school around a focused curriculum: STEAM and project-based learning (PBL).

Like most districts, our building specs drove our school design. They were effective in providing standardization but not innovation. Under the direction of Deputy Superintendent (now Superintendent) Dr. Burke Royster, we developed a new way to design schools that has become the model for how we...

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  • About the Author:

    Jeff McCoy currently serves as the associate superintendent of academics for Greenville County Schools in South Carolina. He oversees the offices of academic support, academic innovation and technology, accountability and quality assurance, career and technical education, and early childhood education. He presents frequently around the country on the topics of personalized learning and innovation in education.