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:
Justine Welch
Award Date:
July 2013
Grant Type:
National Planning
Planned Start Date:
Fall 2014
Startup Type:

A charter-district partnership integrating college readiness and blended learning

School: School had not been identified
Grades Served: 6-8
Location: Southeastern TX
Operator: PHILO
Operator Type: Nonprofit
School Type: District
Setting: Urban
Students: 500

HALLMARK FEATURE: Turnaround partnership

Created by KIPP Co-Founder Mike Feinberg, PHILO brings the best of KIPP and other high-performing charter schools to partner with school districts to turnaround failing schools. PHILO seeks to dramatically improve public middle and high schools across the nation to prepare students in these schools to graduate high school ready for college and career. For this planning grant, PHILO will partner with an underperforming school district in the southeast Texas region to turnaround a middle school by integrating the successful KIPP model of charter schools with the innovative power of student-centered, personalized blended learning.

PHILO’s turnaround approach will focus on strong leadership, effective teacher teams that possess the power to lead, a college preparatory environment, and a blended learning approach for core classes. The blended learning model will integrate differentiated learning via station rotation and a strong teacher who will provide direct, concentrated instruction with small clusters of students. Real-time data from online learning will help teachers assess each student’s individual growth on a daily basis. PHILO believes that the combination of online learning and strong teachers will provide effective Response to Intervention (RtI) learning opportunities to the at-risk students served by the school.

PHILO will recruit high-potential school leaders, cultivate a strong pool of effective teachers, and invest in retaining and developing great teachers. As it grows, PHILO will explore talent pipeline approaches such as residencies and differentiated roles.

PHILO strives to be the partner of choice for districts across the nation that believe all students can graduate from high school college-ready without the need for remediation and have the conviction to try bold efforts to turn around their lowest performing schools. PHILO seeks to emulate the success of the KIPP network: 45% of KIPP alumni have earned a degree despite 90% coming from underserved backgrounds, a rate that is five times greater than the national average for the lowest-income students.

Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Public domain