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:
Seth Andrew
Award Date:
April 2014
Grant Type:
Regional D.C. Planning
Start Date:
Fall 2016
Startup Type:
New School

School: Washington Leadership Academy
Grades Served: 9-12
Location: Washington, DC (Capitol Hill & Ward 8)
Operator: Revolution Schools
Operator Type: Charter
Setting: Urban
Students at Start: 100
Students at Capacity: 400

Hallmark Feature: Civic education, residential school for upper grades

Washington Leadership Academy (WLA) aims to reimagine high school education in America with a unique personalized learning model, an innovative mandatory technology curriculum, a blended-learning approach, and service-learning opportunities in American government to give its students an immersive experience in the democratic process. WLA’s mastery-based academic model will leverage state-of-the-art technology to provide rigorous and personalized learning experiences while producing top tier academic and civic content to share with the world.

  • Revitalizing Civic Education. Civic education in America is failing. WLA aims to reverse that trend that by opening a cutting-edge blended-learning high school in our Nation’s capital focused on preparing young citizen-scholars for lives of public leadership. WLA will engage students with hands-on experience in American government through projects and internships, as well as rigorous academic preparation for college success to become civic leaders who address our country’s toughest challenges.
  • Skills for Tomorrow. WLA will offer students a four-year mandatory computer science program, where students will gain the technological background required for success in the 21st century job market. Additionally, WLA will provide its scholars with a robust non-cognitive education program through its Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Course, designed around social justice and entrepreneurship themes.
  • Impact Beyond Our Nation’s Capital. WLA’s founders believe all young people should be able to participate in civic life, thus the WLA’s impact will extend far beyond Washington, as students throughout America will be able to engage in WLA’s world-class coursework online, via both synchronous and asynchronous Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and Virtual Reality content. This will also allow students nationwide to participate virtually in WLA’s unique speakers series, allowing them to interact virtually with Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, White House officials, and more.
  • Personalized Academics. WLA students will have personalized education with an emphasis on developing the knowledge and skills to succeed in the more autonomous internship environment on Capitol Hill, and college. Not only will they engage in a rigorous academic curriculum including English, math, science, history, civics, foreign language and more, but they will use technology every day in every class, practicing become content creators as well as consumers. As students prepare for their junior and senior year internships and capstones, underclassmen scholars will be involved in WLA trips, job-shadowing opportunities, and frequent college visits.

In 2016, Washington Leadership Academy was selected as one of 10 XQ Super Schools and awarded $10 million to support the school's launch.