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Meet Our Team


Workshop School Logo

Nearly 15 years ago, we set out to invent a new kind of high school focused on authentic learning, real-world skill building and a deep sense of community. We believed that each student has unique gifts, interests and talents. Our job as educators was to help them discover and cultivate those gifts and carry them forward into adulthood. In the wake of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation this work was especially needed for the most disadvantaged students, who were being subjected to endless testing, remedial curriculum and “zero tolerance” discipline policies. 

That vision became the Workshop School, which we founded in 2012. The school is housed within the School District of Philadelphia, a large, bureaucratic organization that many believed could not sustain innovation. Unlike many progressive schools, the Workshop serves students facing high levels of adversity both in and out of school. It is organized around a real-world curriculum featuring project based learning, hands-on work, internships and dual enrollment opportunities.


It is a place where students routinely report that the work they do is relevant to their lives and their futures, and where they know that adults care about them. And it shows: Workshop School students consistently outperform peers in demographically similar area high schools, and our waiting list tops 500 students. In 2021, students achieved an 86.8% graduation rate  compared to 74.1% in demographically similar high schools (our pre-pandemic 2020 graduation rate was 98%). 60% of Workshop School students have 95% or better attendance versus 35% of students at high schools district-wide, demonstrating student connection and engagement in their learning environment.


The experience of launching the Workshop over a decade ago has taught our team that bold, ambitious change is possible, even in systems with scarce resources. These hard-won lessons in school creation and development gives us the solid foundation from which to launch Workshop U.

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