Other Schools We Need

These schools reach students by focusing on more than direct instruction. They have innovative programs and have been successful reaching a broad range of students, including hard to teach students and others that have not been successful in a traditional school program.

CPESS (Central Park East Secondary School, New York, New York)

This is the high school made famous by Deborah Meier's The Power of Their Ideas. She has transformed several elementary and high schools through what she calls "democratic education," involving the students and families in making these the kind of schools they want.

A Great Story About What High School Can Be

Here is a new article from Edutopia about one young lady's experience in two different schools (one of which was CPESS). Perhaps we can learn something from her experience that will help us think long and hard about the way high school should be.

EVC (The Educational Video Center, NY, NY)

This school gives students the opportunity to learn through documentary making.

The Met & The Big Picture, Co.

Metropolitan Regional and Technical Center (commonly called simply The Met) is the brainchild of Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor. The Met believes that schools must be personalized, educating every student equally, ONE STUDENT AT A TIME. Each student’s learning plan should grow out of his or her unique needs, interests, and passions.

CART - The Center for Advanced Research and Technology

The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) is an award winning Project Based Learning high school in Fresno, CA. CART was recognized in 2005 by the US Department of Education as an exemplary high school based upon 6 years of outstanding student achievement. CART is a high tech school serving students from the Fresno and Clovis school districts. It's curriculum is organized around career labs.

Radnor Middle School

Radnor Middle School is probably best known for one of their innovative teachers: Mark Springer. He and the wonderful teachers who work with him and have followed in his footsteps have created three student-centered programs. These include the Watershed program for 7th graders and the even more engaging program for 8th graders: Soundings.

Minnesota New Country School
MNCS is a pioneering charter school based in Henderson, MN. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Minnesota New Country School as one of the top 8 Charter Schools in the Nation. Even though the approaches are somewhat different, much of MNCS's work and approaches have been used as models for the work at the Academy School.

EdVisions Schools
EdVisions has as its mission to create and sustain small, project-based, teacher-led, democratic schools. The program is modeled after the program created by the Minnesota New Country School, which was recognized recently by the U.S Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement as a charter school that has been successful in meeting the achievement challenge. Schools created by EdVisions adhere to basic design essentials taken from the MNCS model. Because the model fosters both teacher and student empowerment, each school has a measure of autonomy in meeting their mission. (Note: click on the EdVision Schools link to get a list of schools using this approach.)

Career Academy Schools and Links

The Career Academy Support Network
The Career Academy Support Network (CASN) offers comprehensive support and staff development for Small Learning Communities and Career Academies at which students can fulfill requirements for college entrance while learning to relate their academics to the world outside high school. (Note: click on the Academies Directory to get contact information for career academies across the country.)

FAQ about Career Academies
A good list of top questions about “Career Academies”

The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) is the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art education reform effort at the secondary level to date. The CART combines rigorous academics with technical, design, process, entrepreneurial, and critical thinking skills.

Biotech Academy: Challenging Assumptions and Changing Lives
“More familiarly known as the Biotech Academy, this "school-within-a-school" was founded in 1999 as part of Andrew P. Hill's medical magnet program. It serves approximately 125 students out of the total school population of 1,923 students. Since the career academy model has proven to be especially effective at reaching students with socioeconomic and academic challenges, over 50 percent of the academy students were selected because of their at-risk status. "The goal of the program isn't to accept 'C' and above (students). I am looking for that 'D' and 'F' student who is capable of being able to do the work but who is, for some reason, not doing it," says Director Mary Metz.”

Alternative Schools and Links

El Colegio Charter School
El Colegio, a high school opened in the fall of 2000, is committed to changing the traditional high school experience. We serve a diverse group of 85 students grades 9-12. Major areas of focus include the arts, environment, and technology, with a continual focus on Spanish / English bilingualism. Students work with advisors to develop their own curriculum consistent with Minnesota's Graduation Standards. Students achieve knowledge in all subjects through project-based learning.

Nova Alternative School
Nova is a small alternative high school in the Seattle Public School District, created in 1970 by students and teachers. Nova is an alternative school whose mission is to be a democratically governed learning community of broadly educated, diverse, creative and independent thinkers who work collaboratively and demonstrate a high degree of individual and social responsibility.

The New School
The New School was founded on the belief that small, innovative, challenging, community-based schools are a necessity for southern Maine and for younger people all over the nation. We are a democratic school with small class sizes and individualized attention for each student

. We are committed to the belief that 
schools and communities can be joined into a rich place of mutual learning for all ages.

 Young people need hands-on experiences in real world situations with people and places that are not available to them in a formal classroom.

River Heights
Located in West St. Paul, Minnesota, River Heights Charter School is open to any student who is looking for a challenge in learning. Our students design their own curriculum, in the form of projects, and develop independent learning skills to complete the entire scope of standards required for graduation. This student-centered approach is demanding, but also exciting for the student who is tired of the traditional classroom.

The Schools We Need Project

Because some students need more than direct instruction.

The Schools We Need Project is a joint project of the Maine Center for Meaningful Engaged Learning at the University of Maine at Farmington
and ResulTech Educational Services