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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Through the Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools initiative, CityBridge Education leads Breakthrough Schools: D.C., a Washington, D.C.-based school design challenge that mobilizes teams of educators to redesign their schools for personalized and deeper learning.

Managed by CityBridge Education, Breakthrough Schools: D.C. began in 2013 as one of the regional challenges modeled after the highly successful NGLC national competition, which has awarded grants to innovative schools around the country. It was selected through a competitive process to join the Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools.

CityBridge Education believes that the continuation of this regional competition has the power to accelerate student achievement in Washington, D.C. through a systemic shift to new, personalized, mastery-based learning models.

With 13 school design teams, representing 16 new or redesigned schools, awarded grants in its third round of funding in December 2016, Breakthrough Schools: D.C. is committed to incubating 25 transformational schools over the next five years.

  • Round 1, April 2014: Six schools were awarded planning grants.
  • Round 2, December 2014: Seven schools were awarded planning grants.
  • Round 3, December 2016: 16 schools were awarded planning grants.

Breakthrough Schools: CityBridge Announcement


Contact: Caroline Hill,

Breakthrough Schools: D.C. on the CityBridge Education website.

Washington Post article on Breakthrough Schools: D.C. grant recipients.

December 2014 Summit Highlight Reel

Podcast: Listen to Margaret Angell and Scott Cartland discuss personalized learning in Washinton, D.C. Produced by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Our Partners

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CityBridge Education

Regional Funds

At CityBridge, we are guided by an unshakable belief in the equal worth of every person: Regardless of station, regardless of calling, every individual has equal value and deserves access to abundant opportunity. For us, this belief translates into service to the children of Washington, D.C., where the majority of schoolchildren face some disadvantage or adversity. We believe schools are the best and most promising settings to address these inequities. CityBridge Education represents the early stage of the school development pipeline: In partnership with D.C.’s traditional public (DCPS) and charter sectors, we incubate and launch new schools and transform existing ones. Our goal: 25 in Five—redesign or launch 25 innovative public schools within five years in our nation’s capital.