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:
Erin Galfer
Award Date:
April 2014
Grant Type:
Regional Planning
Start Date:
Fall 2015
Startup Type:
Complete Redesign

School: Chicago Academy High School
Grades Served: 9-12
Location: 3400 North Austin Avenue, Chicago, IL
Operator: Academy for Urban School Leadership
Operator Type: Turnaround Authorizer
Setting: Urban

Students at Start: 135
Students at Capacity: 534

Hallmark Feature: Project-based Learning

This school will establish a culture of student ownership in learning using a variety of strategies, including having one device for every student, launching an advisory program and developing a learning management platform to monitor student growth and progress, that can also be accessed by teachers and parents.

  • Students will engage in cross-curricular, project-based learning to develop digital skills, as well as critical thinking and communication skills. This model will build on an approach created during the 2013 Summer Design Program.
  • Students will use online curricula in and out of school through MOOCs and technology-based projects.
  • Successful practices will be scaled across schools in Chicago’s Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) network, which manages 29 Chicago Public Schools serving over 17,000 students. AUSL schools operate within the CPS system and are built on the foundation of effective instruction, the right climate and culture, and high expectations and no excuses.
  • Chicago Academy is a small high school. It serves a diverse student population that is 84 percent low income, 55 percent Hispanic, 22 percent White, and 16.5 percent African American.

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