Innovation School FAQ

  • Amesbury Innovation High School



    Who can attend AIHS?

    AIHS was established to meet the learning needs of students who struggle in a traditional high school setting for a variety of reasons. Amesbury Public Schools Students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply to AIHS. Out of district students can attend AIHS on a tuition basis. For more on the application process visit our enrollment page


    Can out of district students also attend?

    School districts inquiring about out of district placements and families inquiring about enrollment tuition should contact principal Eryn Maguire directly.


    Do students need to be on an IEP to attend?

    No. While the small classes and familiar environment do meet the needs of many special education students, students do not need to be on an IEP to attend. Special Education staff are integrated into the regular education classes, allowing those students who require special education support to receive the majority of supports in the classroom.


    What is an Innovation School?

    -          An in-district public school that can operate with increased autonomy and flexibility related to the following areas: 

    1)      curriculum

    2)      budget

    3)      school schedule and calendar

    4)      staffing policies and procedures

    5)      district policies

    6)      professional development


    -          It receives the same per-pupil allocation as other district schools, and operators can raise additional funding from public or private sources.

    -          It may be established as a new school or as the conversion of an existing school.

    -          The approval process is entirely locally based; authorized by the local school committee.


    Is the Amesbury Innovation High School a new or a conversion school?

    -      The Amesbury Innovation High School is a conversion school. The Amesbury Innovation High School converted from the former Amesbury Academy Charter Public School(also formerly known as the Academy of Strategic Learning). AACPS was a Horace Mann Charter and had it's own LEA. Amesbury Innovation High School is now an in-district school of the Amesbury Public Schools. 


    According to G.L. Chapter 71, Section 92—Innovation Schools:

    •           Shall receive each year from the school committee the same per pupil allocation as any other district school receives.
    •           May retain any unused funds and use the funds in subsequent school years.
    •           May establish (or retain) a non-profit organization that may, among other things, assist the school with fundraising.
    •           A district shall not reduce its funding to an Innovation School as a result of the school’s fundraising activities.
    •           Shall operate in accordance with the law regulating other public schools except as the law conflicts with this section or any innovation plans created thereunder.


    In addition, nothing in the Innovation School statute prohibits an Innovation School from serving students from 2 or more school district provided that all of the provisions in the statute are met by each school district. (Please see attached G.L. Chapter 71, Section 92—Innovation School).