Creating Space

Posted by on Jul 13, 2018 in General | No Comments

Like most people I know, I’m deep into the World Cup right now. There’s so much I love about soccer, but my favorite thing is that games often turn on where the ball isn’t. You can actually watch green space shift and move around the pitch as a match unfolds.…

Diversity, equity, and nextgen learning

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in General | No Comments

Philadelphia, where our school is located, has the dubious distinction of being on two top-ten lists you don’t want to be on: it is one of the most racially segregated cities in the nation and one of its most economically divided. And it has plenty of company: New York, Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee are all on both lists, and Chicago and Boston aren’t far behind.

Speak, John, Speak: Feeling the Power of Exhibitions at the Workshop School

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in General | No Comments

By Michael Clapper, Workshop School co-founder

Like many progressive schools, the students at the Workshop School, a non-selective high school in the School District of Philadelphia, present their work at the conclusion of each quarter.  By the time their sophomore year ends, they’ve presented eight times. Sophomore year finishes with the Gateway project, where they declare which of the upper houses they’d like to try: internship, college, construction, or shop.…

Students prepare for final presentations at Wharton

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in General | No Comments

Please join us the week of June 7-10 for the Fourth Quarter Exhibitions. As the fourth term of the school year comes to a close our students will present their work and projects to their peers, parents, guardians, and community members. We hope you will be part of this important part of the Workshop School’s educational process.…

Support the 9th Grade Play, Roman & Julie!

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in General | No Comments

Roman and julie Flyers

Roman & Julie, a Philadelphia love story
Written, organized, and performed by Workshop School 9th graders!

Curio Theatre, 4740 Baltimore Ave.
Friday, June 3, 2016
10-11:30am, Admission $3-10
6-7:30pm, Admission $8-20

Reserve tickets today: online RSVP
or call Ms. Katrina Clark (215-272-7091)
or email Jaquana McDonald (
Donate to our GoFundMe!…

Beginning with Trust

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in General | No Comments

The Workshop School has a very different vibe than most Philadelphia Public Schools. As a graduate student this year, I have had the opportunity to visit many schools in the area–public, charter, and private. The only school that I have visited this year that can be likened to the atmosphere at the Workshop School is a wealthy, private, suburban school, rooted in the Quaker tradition.…

10th Grade designing their own water filters

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in General | No Comments

The 10th grade has spent the last few weeks studying water filtration and the devastating water crisis in Flint, Michigan. After researching both the political and environmental problems in Flint, try students investigated how water becomes contaminated. Now, students are designing their own water filters out of recycled materials, and thinking about how to prevent more crises in the future.…

Ms. Matthews’ advisory envisions, creates, and runs health fair for Workshop students, staff

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in General | No Comments

Ms. Matthews’ advisory studied the body and nutrition during the third term. As a culminating project, the advisory created a health fair for the entire school. Students were responsible for designing and running their own health stations. The sophomores ran tables that taught visitors about healthy recipes, exercise techniques, nutrition labels, and mindful living.…

Student leadership: Allowing students to have real agency

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in General | No Comments

Many schools claim to give students leadership opportunities, but in many ways, these opportunities are just façades. Teachers say students are leading, but in reality, the adults are doing a lot of work behind the scenes. At the Workshop School, teachers make sure that the “behind the scenes” work is student-led as well because if we want students to really learn, they must be involved in every step of the process, not just the end product.…

Rethinking the achievement gap (Part 3)

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in General | No Comments

We focus intently on the achievement gap because we see closing it as the best way to combat poverty and inequality. As I argued here and here, this gets us into trouble when we define achievement too narrowly. But it actually oversimplifies poverty and inequality even more than it oversimplifies learning.…