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News | 4 min read

Gov. Youngkin celebrates VCU x CodeRVA Lab School launch

January 18, 2024

Gov. Youngkin celebrates VCU x CodeRVA launch

RICHMOND, VA – Gov. Glenn Youngkin today celebrated the launch of the Commonwealth’s first lab school, the VCU x CodeRVA Lab School. Last year, Gov. Youngkin secured $100 million for this lab school initiative from the General Assembly and is delivering on his lab school commitments.

“Today, we celebrate the launch of the VCU x CodeRVA Lab School. Through Virginia’s first lab school, we are unleashing opportunities and giving parents new options for their kids to learn in innovative and creative ways,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “We can break the status quo of a one-size-fits-all education and provide every student in the Commonwealth access to an extraordinary education.”

“VCU x CodeRVA is a testament to the power of partnership and innovation to open doors to opportunity,” said Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera. “This inaugural lab school brings together two proven models that will increase our numbers of tech-savvy teachers and students who are ready to meet the demands of our digital economy.”

“Lab schools are the R&D side of public education,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Lisa Coons. “The untraditional model here at VCU x CodeRVA Lab School is going to help innovate new approaches, develop new ways to better prepare students for high-demand careers, and offer a unique option for a diverse set of students who are interested in succeeding in high school and beyond.”

“The VCU x CodeRVA Lab School supports students and future educators. This partnership empowers more Virginia students to discover their potential in computer science careers,” said Dr. Kim McKnight, Director of the VCU Center for Teacher Leadership at the VCU School of Education and Executive Director of RTR Teacher Residency. “Teacher residencies and innovative teacher preparation will help amplify and embed these innovative education approaches statewide. CodeRVA, with its impressive track record of graduating students since 2017, and VCU’s RTR Teacher Residency, a proven program that is the largest and longest standing teacher residency program in the Commonwealth, join forces in the VCU x CodeRVA Lab School to create a powerful alliance.”

“After seven years of being one of the most innovative school models in the Commonwealth, CodeRVA is excited to enter into its next phase as Virginia’s first lab school,” said Dr. Kume Goranson, CodeRVA’s Executive Director. “Our partnership with VCU will enable our teachers to train educators just entering the profession in both our signature instructional model and the integration of computer science across the curriculum. Our students will benefit from their access to VCU’s resources and cutting-edge research. We look forward to partnering with divisions across Virginia and we welcome their visits!”

The VCU x CodeRVA Lab School is a joint venture between the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center for Teacher Leadership at the VCU School of Education RTR Teacher Residency program and the CodeRVA Regional High School. The VCU x CodeRVA Lab School provides an innovative computer-science focused comprehensive high school education to a diverse student body, serves as a training site for teacher residents, and affords professional learning opportunities for educators across the state.

CodeRVA Regional High School has been preparing students for college and careers through personalized, integrated, and applied project-based learning since 2017. CodeRVA students acquire real-world work experience through an internship program that starts in eleventh grade.

VCU’s RTR Teacher Residency Program (RTR) is a proven undergraduate and graduate teacher residency program that places aspiring teachers with highly qualified mentor teachers while they earn an education degree from VCU. The program integrates research with best practices to equip residents with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be effective teachers and more likely to stay in the profession. RTR is the largest and longest standing teacher residency program in Virginia and has prepared over three hundred teachers to work in high-needs schools.