Notes From The Workshop

Student leadership: Allowing students to have real agency

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...

Rethinking the achievement gap (Part 3)

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...

Rethinking the achievement gap (Part 2)

I didn't really know it at the time, but this graph would change the way I thought about the achievement gap. Before opening the Workshop School, for two years we ran a small pilot project called the Sustainability Workshop. It was basically an alternative senior year...

PYP Young Voice: Ajah Smith

Every year, our 9th grade students write monologues in English class and submit them to the Philadelphia Young Playwrights' Young Voices Monologue Festival. This year, 21 pieces were selected from more than 400 submissions to be performed by professionals, including...

Rethinking the achievement gap (Part 1)

There are a lot of ways to think about equity, and a lot of ways to think about achievement. In ed reform world, the most common is what we call the achievement gap: the quantifiable difference in test performance between poor and middle class kids. This concept has...

What brings us together? Stories, food, and stories about food

On Thursday, March 10th, Urban Nutrition's Miki Palchick spoke to the Workshop School Home School Alliance about the importance of eating and cooking well. Miki shared easy, nutritious recipes with the HSA, and conducted a cooking demonstration with students....

Videos: What works and what needs work

After Q2 Exhibitions, our students took a week-long break before immersing themselves in their Q3 projects. During that week, they took field trips, rebuilt their advisory cultures, and created short videos showcasing their perspectives on what we do well at the...

Dream It, Design It, Do It

This winter Ms. Rowe's advisory discussed the need for a peer mediation program at the Workshop School. Students desired to resolve conflicts on their own, and believed a program like this could help students who were struggling to get along with their peers. The...

Books For Students, By Students

Ms. Melville's 9th grade advisory know that stories are powerful: they tell us about our world, our selves, and our possibilities. When they looked for good books to share with a class of 2nd grade students at nearby Powel Elementary, though, they noticed that many...

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