New Designs for School
New Designs for School

We’ve all had the experience of truly purposeful, authentic learning and know how valuable it is. Educators are taking the best of what we know about learning, student support, effective instruction, and interpersonal skill-building to completely reimagine schools so that students experience that kind of purposeful learning all day, every day.

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Primary Contact Name:
Morgan Alconcher
Award Date:
March 2016
Grant Type:
Regional Launch
Start Date:
Fall 2016
Startup Type:

School: ASCEND
Grades Served: K-8
Location: Oakland, CA
Operator: Education for Change Public Schools
Operator Type: Charter
Setting: Urban
Students: 450

Blended Model Type: Station Rotation, Individual Rotation

Key Features: Project-Based and Experiential Learning, Flexible Learning Spaces, Next Generation Staffing Model, Higher Education Partnership

The Operator

Education for Change Public Schools’ mission is to provide a superior public education to Oakland’s most underserved children by creating a system of public schools that relentlessly focuses on their students’ academic achievement. They believe that high quality instruction, and its continuous refinement, will lead to success for their students. When their students succeed, they will be prepared to make thoughtful and informed choices that will set them on a path for a successful life.

The Academic Model

  • Multi-age instructional blocks in reading, math, and social-emotional learning
  • Learning expeditions in social studies and science
  • Arts-integration in art, music, technology, and dance
  • Cultivation of student agency through consistent goal setting and reflection systems
  • Intentional focus on early literacy and language development
  • Rotational model in core subjects that supports personalization
  • Technology utilized for personalization through adaptive programs and content creation

The Organizational Model

  • Moving to a 1:1 technology ratio
  • A dynamic staffing model with year-long teacher residents from the University of California, Berkeley and Mills College, lowering the teacher: student ratio to 1:13 and creating a new teacher pipeline
  • Transforming to the new learning model by scaling existing pilots and launching new pilots.

Showcase Presentation

Photos from Pilot Year

Creation Time Presentation

Multi-Age Community Time & Guided Reading Presentation

Learn more about the NGLC Regional Fund for Breakthrough Schools program that supported these grantees by visiting the NGLC in Oakland grant page.