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Innovation Award

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“Innovation is the successful exploitation of ideas, generated at the intersection of invention and insight, which leads to social or economic value.”

This definition of innovation by Futurelab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovation in education, is one of the best that exists among all others.

Minnesota's public charter schools are, by law, expected to be labs of innovation in terms of creating different learning opportunities for students, teaching methodologies, formats for measuring outcomes, formats of accountability, and professional opportunities for teachers.

Minnesota's charter schools are required to declare the innovative purposes each school intends to address in its ongoing operation and to report on the implementation of those innovations.

The school's annual report must document the implementation of the school's innovative practices.

The MN Association of Charter Schools invites all of Minnesota’s chartered public schools to apply for the annual MN Charter School Innovation Awards. The Awards were established in 2016, in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of Minnesota’s first in the nation charter school law to recognize and document innovation.

All Minnesota Chartered Public Schools are encouraged to apply regardless of membership with MACS. All Innovations submitted must have been implemented for at least two years. 

Applicants can submit their Innovation in one of five (5) areas as dictated by the MN Charter School Law:

  • Increasing learning opportunities for all pupils
  • Encouraging the use of different and innovative teaching methods
  • Creating different and innovative forms of measuring learning outcomes
  • Establishing new forms of accountability
  • Creating new professional opportunities for teachers

The 2024 MN Charter School Innovation Award Application is now available. Applications will be accepted starting on January 3rd, 2024. The deadline to submit applications is February 9th, 2024. Please contact Michael Padgett, Member Relations Director, at if you have any questions.

Click Here to Download the 2024 MN Charter School Innovation Award Application 

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