Model Taskforce

In September 2017, President Benson charged the Model Taskforce with engaging Model stakeholder groups to develop recommendations for moving Model forward in the face of looming fiscal and facilities challenges. The Taskforce conducted a series of interviews, town halls, and small group discussions over a four-week period. More than 300 Model community stakeholders participated in these sessions, while 307 individuals completed a web-based survey. Generally, feedback indicates that the need for a new facility and stronger ties to the University are the primary areas of concern for stakeholders. Faculty, staff, students, parents, and community members indicate that strong academic programming, engagement, and sense of community are unique to Model. These characteristics form the foundation for the success of Model students and the School.

March 2, 2018

Update from the Charter Steering and Drafting Committee

Funding for charter initiatives is still being discussed in Frankfort. As a result, the Steering Committee charged with drafting the application is lengthening the timeline for completion to focus on the fundamental components of the charter application: a mission and vision, a governance model, and a budget.

Pursuing a potential “charter” authorization for Model Laboratory School requires bold mission, vision, and goals for the school. The steering committee has developed a draft mission and vision based on the comprehensive report from the task force, plus input from teachers at Model. Model leadership has developed the goals with steering committee members. Once the mission and vision are finalized, the goals will be edited and measurement processes established.

The charter school application requires a lengthy description of a governance model. While the EKU Board of Regents will be responsible for oversight, a separate board will be charged with the operational aspects of the school. This model has been developed by members of the steering committee and will be reviewed soon by the larger committee. This is a critical component of the application because this will tie Model closer to the University and vice versa.

Additionally, committee members have started work on a budget template that will adjust to enrollment numbers and other variables. With the assistance of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, we will begin identifying fundraising opportunities. In order to complete the application, the General Assembly must create and codify a funding mechanism for the school. EKU representatives continue to work with policymakers and monitor discussions concerning funding.

December 14, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 the EKU Board of Regents heard the Model Task Force recommendations and authorized the University to further explore a public charter school application. The approved recommendation included the appointment of Steering and Drafting Committees to produce and initiate a plan for a thriving, stable Model Laboratory School. The primary charge for these committees is to:

  • develop the mission, vision, and strategic plan,
  • implement a comprehensive fundraising campaign, and
  • draft the charter application.

Although there is a timeline in place which calls for all tasks to be completed by April 1, 2017, we recognize that this timeline is very ambitious. The possibility exists that a charter application could be submitted within the current fiscal year; however, we are mindful that the timeline is subject to change. Most likely, an approved charter contract would go into effect in Fall 2019.
With that in mind:

  • Current Model students will remain enrolled.  The current population of Model have protected enrollment per the Board of Regents resolution, whether or not the charter application is approved.  However, the impact for out of district students is still not clear.
  • For Fall 2018, screening and enrollment for Pre-K and Kindergarten will follow the same timeline as previous years. New students in all grades will be added according to the enrollment lists as has been the long-standing practice at Model.
  • The after-school program will continue as it has in previous years.

The Steering and Drafting Committees are made up of a combination of parents, Model faculty and administration, and EKU faculty and administration, several of whom are alumni of Model Laboratory School. This group will work diligently to represent the perspectives of all members of the Model community.  You can provide direct feedback to the committees through email to or by reaching out to committee members directly. We are committed to communicating our progress throughout the coming weeks. Please visit the Model Taskforce Website,, for information presented at town hall meetings and at the Board of Regents meeting in November.  
Committee members are:
Laura Dedic, Model alumna
Travis Marcum
Rodney Rhodus
Betina Gardner, Chair
Brooke Bowman Mitchel, Model alumna
Scott Johnson
Bethany Miller, Model alumna
Tanlee Wasson
Eric Parker (Model Lab Administration)
Laura Dedic (Model Lab Administration)
Carrie Ballinger (Model Lab Administration), Model alumna
Travis Marcum (Model Faculty, Middle School)
Rodney Rhodus (Model Faculty, High School)
Charlotte Smith (Model Faculty, Elementary)
Sherry Powers (Dean)
Richard Day (College of Education)
Ann Burns (College of Education)
April Blakely (College of Education)
Betina Gardner (Dean, Parent), Chair
Dana Bush (Chair, Early Childhood Education Rep)
Emily Watters (Finance & Budget)
Bethany Miller (Institutional Effectiveness & Research)
Tanlee Wasson (Institutional Effectiveness & Research)
David McFaddin (Regional Engagement, Stewardship, & Government Relations

November 28, 2017

A Town Hall meeting was held on November 27, 2018  with parents, faculty, staff, and community members to discuss what the November 15th Board or Regents vote means and the next steps in this process. The presentation slides and FAQ document are below.

Model Taskforce Town Hall Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions

November 15, 2017

Wednesday the EKU Board of Regents heard the task force recommendations and authorized the University to further explore a charter school application. There will be a lot of conversation moving forward to determine what is in the best interest of Model Laboratory School, its students and the continued partnership with Eastern Kentucky University. The Board recognizes there is great concern over the ability to allow current Model students to continue their education at the school they know and love, and any viable solutions moving forward will require accommodation of existing Model Lab students. We have a lot to explore in the weeks and months ahead.
The next steps in the process are to:

  • Conduct an open town hall on Monday, November 27th in the Perkins Building from 6-8pm.
  • Engage stakeholder groups in a strategic vision and planning initiative to guide the charter application process and transition.
  • Establish a Model Steering Committee and Charter Application Drafting Committee by December 15th.
  • Evaluate resources needed to ensure adequate support for the planning, application, and transition phases of the process.
  • The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will work to identify a fundraising team and dedicate staffing resources to the Model campaign.
  • Parent and alumni leaders will be asked to dedicate time and resources to working with the Development team to create a fundraising plan.

Model Laboratory School Taskforce Report to Board of Regents

You can also contact the taskforce with questions at

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