WASHINGTON — XQ: Super School Project awarded 10 schools approximately $10 million each on Sept. 14. The project, created by Laurene Powell Jobs (wife of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs) and the nonprofit Emerson Collective, launched in September 2015 in an effort to encourage architects to rethink and redesign the American high school to be more collaborative and technologically advanced.
Roughly 700 applicants applied for the funding award, which originally was intended to provide five school model designers with $10 million over the next five years. However, ultimately $102 million was awarded to 10 “super schools” as well as several runner-ups. The 10 super schools awarded for their creative curriculums include:
New Harmony High School (New Harmony, La.)
The XQ: Super School Project funding will go towards the school’s “school on barge” concept, which will teach students real-world skills in relation to coastal restoration and urban planning. Students will study these concepts on a working barge in the middle of the wetlands of Plauqemines Parish.
Furr High School (Houston)
Furr will use its funding for more place-based and project-based learning, hoping to enhance its environmental curriculum and teaching students about the preservation of natural resources.
Grand Rapids Public Museum School (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
The $10 million award will go towards renovating the 80-plus-year-old Grand Rapids Public Museum into a new high school for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
RISE High School (Los Angeles)
This new charter school, envisioned by Los Angeles Teachers Kari Croft and Erin Whalen, will be designed for homeless students and foster children. The RISE model will consist of three to four physical sites sharing space with existing nonprofits is as well as an online learning system Additionally, a school bus will serve as a mobile resource center, bringing Wi-Fi, a washer and dryer and homework help to needy students.
Powderhouse Studios (Somerville, Mass.)
Nonprofit Sprout & Co. will team up with Somerville Public Schools to create a year-round space for students to pursue projects of their own personal interest throughout the school year.
Brooklyn Lab High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
The school will use the $10 million award to create partnerships with local nonprofits, cultural institutions, businesses and universities to help students gain career experience and bridge the gap between students and the economy.
Design-Lab High School (Wilmington, Del.)
Opened in August 2015, the public charter high school offers a STEMD (science, technology, engineering, media and design) curriculum to its students.
Vista Challenge High School (Vista, Calif.)
The school will use the funding to promote flexible learning environments that provide personalized learning beyond the traditional classroom walls.
Washington Leadership Academy (Washington, D.C.)
Washington Leadership Academy will use its $10 million in funding to provide computer science classes, requiring that students take computer science all four years of high school.
Summit Elevate (Oakland, Calif.)
Summit Public Schools plans to open the new Summit Elevate school in the fall of 2018 with its $10 million. The charter system teaches a curriculum based on a personalized-learning platform.