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Inside the Launch building

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Announces New Space to Encourage Entrepreneurship in Students

Fort Thomas Independent Schools (FTIS) has announced its creation of Launch, a new two-story space that is dedicated to introducing and developing students' innovation and entrepreneurial mindset through a more hands-on approach. 

The first floor of Launch has areas branded as Convening Center, Maker Studio, and Student Business Pop-Up Shop which will introduce elementary and middle school students to cutting-edge technology not typically found in classrooms. These areas will be used before and after school as well as throughout the summer and will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics related experiences. 

The second floor of the space will be a dedicated High School Professional Studies Center and will introduce Fort Thomas students to app development, entrepreneurship and business, and health innovations. These topics will be taught through partnerships with regional companies and will feature authentic projects and career-focused experiences. 

“Our goal is to provide a variety of opportunities for our students, both within our schools and beyond, so that they gain in-depth knowledge of careers for their future, both learning what they would like to pursue and what would not be a good fit.” said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent. “While developing our district Portrait of a Graduate, industry leaders emphasized the need for an entrepreneurial mindset-a critical attribute for the future. Launch will be a catalyst for developing this mindset from preschool through 12th grade.”

The space is FTIS's response to the lack of training in entrepreneurship, despite the approximately 72 percent of high school students who would like to pursue owning their own business.

"Students will immerse themselves in a process that provides relevance to their learning, builds relationships with others and meets the rigorous expectations cap of Fort Thomas Schools,” said Matthew Bertasso, Highlands High School Principal. “Teachers will be provided with the space and opportunity to integrate subjects and work more collaboratively with others.”

Support from business leaders throughout the region is growing.

-Staff report