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Welcome to Workshop

Here are important aspects of the Workshop broken up into the sections below. Please know this page is not all-inclusive and our team is here to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The Workshop Way

Day 0

Our Vision = Our Driving Force

We envision graduates who value learning and growth, build community, and know how to shape their lives and our world.

How We Accomplish Our Vision

Authentic Learning

Bring the real world into the classroom and get students out into the real world.

Ongoing Reflection

Give students frequent opportunities to reflect on their work and growth and to give and receive feedback

Competency-based Teaching and Assessment

Establish clear expectations for student learning tied to real-world skills. Assess students work based on demonstration of skills

Restorative Practices

A school-wide culture anchored by common values and shared norms. Systems and supports to help students and staff acknowledge and learn from setbacks

Shared Leadership and Accountability

Value and engage the expertise and lived experience of all staff. Be willing and able to have challenging conversations when needed

Our Students

Building on the vision, we define a Workshop School graduate as a thinker, a doer, a teammate, and a citizen. The prose form of our graduate profile can be found here in the WS Graduate Profile.

Graduation Requirements

The Workshop School operates under different graduation requirements than other district schools. Where other schools base graduation on accruing credits in content areas, at Workshop credits are tied to competencies. 


A summary of our grad requirements can be found here. The domains in which students earn credits are based on our learning progressions. Project-based “courses” within these domains are actually just portfolios. (Seminars are actual, rostered classes.) 


Portfolios serve as evidence that students have attained the skill level indicated in our learning progression. 

The Advisory Model

All of our project work happens in advisory, which facilitates interdisciplinary work and build a safe, supportive community that allows students to struggle and encourages them to voice interests, opinions or concerns. 

Advisory culture is critical to student success. A strong, healthy advisory has a family feel. Students and staff respect, support and hear one another even when they disagree. Shared norms, values and common language is critical. 


The advisor is a leader in their classroom. Their authority comes less from rules/consequences and more from the relationships they build and the example they set. 


Circle is foundational to building community - connecting with our peers, developing a sense of belonging, and ultimately feeling the value that each of us brings to the school family.

Best Practices

  • Start everyday with circle, no exceptions (make it a ritual) 

  • Set norms and stick to them

  • Make sure circle is actually a circle (or close to it) 

  • Mix it up (different activities, check in prompts etc.)

  • Many Advisors find it helpful to have a weekly “outline” for circle formats (ex. motivation on Monday, current events on Tuesday, game on Wednesday, etc.)

  • Invite students to lead or suggest themes/activities 

  • Circle Activity Ideas

Project Block

Interdisciplinary PBL provides three key opportunities that our model is based on

  • Authentic learning tasks are more meaningful. This builds engagement and  “learning value”. Learning by doing real tasks mimics the way work is done in the adult world. Why shouldn’t school do the same? 

  • Broad set of skills. Life is more than pondering Shakespearean sonnets or playing with the Pythagorean theorem. PBL naturally develops the skills that matter most.
    project format has the following components:

  • Sampling. Everyone has gifts/talents. One primary job of school is to help students discover and develop theirs. Projects expose students to lots of different things. Not only do they develop their skills through doing projects, but just as importantly, they also develop a deeper sense of who they are and what they want. 

Our project format has the following components:

  • Overview and final product/performance. Start with the end in mind. What is the point of this project? Where do you want to end up? Why does it matter?

  • Skills and big ideas. Projects are a vehicle for learning skills and ideas. What will students know and be able to as a result of this project? How will their work show that?

  • Launch/hook. How will you introduce the project in a way that is engaging and helps students understand what they will be doing and why?

  • Deliverables. What are you creating along the way to your final product? These graded products are called deliverables.

  • Calendar. Creating a timeline for a project helps to ensure deliverables are completed.

  • Daily lessons/activities. This is what it sounds like :-)

Project Block Best Practices

  • Plan together with your grade team.

  • Collaboration is a powerful tool. Make sure work is shared fairly.

  • Add your fingerprints. You have knowledge, life experiences, and interests/passions that can add depth to every project. Make the project your own.

  • Remember the calendar. Project management is a thing. Pacing to ensure deliverables are done and done well is not easy.

  • Overplan. Ninety-minutes can fly by. It can also drag on. Downtime is the “D” word. 

  • Plan for collaboration and sustainability. Write your plans so that you could share them with a colleague and they would be able to use them. Make sure to include links and supplemental resources if you are using them. 

Project Block: Real World Learning

Projects are huge, but they are just one form of real-world learning

  • Internships are site-based experiences in which students learn what it is like to work in a field/career of interest to them while gaining critical wayfinding skills. (All Workshop 11th graders are expected to complete an internship.) 

  • Dual (or concurrent) enrollment programs allow students to take college classes (ideally on a college campus) while in high school. At Workshop, dual enrollment is primarily offered to seniors. 

  • Entrepreneurship uses school as launchpad for student program or business ideas. Student business/program ideas often serve as a basis for senior projects. 

Project Block: Exhibitions & Gateway

Thoughtful, honest reflection is an integral part of learning and growth. At Workshop, this is enshrined in student exhibitions. 

  • Individual student presentations at the end of every trimester.

  • Paired with family conferences.

  • Format varies, but typically include 1) what the student worked on, 2) successes and challenges, 3) growth and learning, and 4) goals for the following term/year.

  • Exhibitions are evidence-based! Students should be talking in depth about their work.

  • Q&A/class discussion is a critical part of the process!

  • GATEWAY at the end of 10th grade focus on the student’s plans and goals for the rest of high school, centered around their choice of Advisory track for The Upper House. They have outside reviewers and are tied to a portfolio.


We may be progressive and competency-based, but literacy and numeracy still matter!

Deep dives in other subjects expose students to fields or types of work they might not otherwise experience. Helps them learn what they like/are good at. 
SDP and/or colleges require or expect certain classes on transcripts.

Seminar classes: 

  • English 1-4, College (dual enrollment) English

  • Integrated Math 1-3, Statistics, AP Calculus

  • Biology, Honors (pre-health) Biology, Physical Science

  • Career exploration, Auto Tech 1, Auto Body 1, Art

  • African American History


On The Ground

Day 1

Visiting the School

Generally speaking, the first floor of Workshop is dedicated to upperclass activities and our shops. The second floor is where the main office, the cafeteria, and under-house grades are housed.


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Internet Access

SDP provides our school with internet access under the PhilaSD Network. When first connecting to the network, you will need to enter the password philadelphia.

When you connect to the network, you will need to enter your PhilaSD credentials.

Printer Access

To access the black and white printer in the main office, you will need to add it to your computer using its IP Address ( You can find detailed instructions here.

Google Email

As a part of the Workshop team, you will have access to a personal gmail account. Your email will have the following format Any questions should be directed to Eloy Cano.

Important Documents

Following your access to your gmail, you should review and bookmark the following documents:

  • UD Agenda: Used for our weekly un-professional staff developments

  • Planning Calendar: Contains all Workshop events and scheduling notes

Where to Find Physical Things

  • Classroom and bathroom keys: see Ms. Walker.

  • Classroom Supplies: second floor hallway closet next to Room 213

  • Books

    • Some class sets in supply closet (see above) 

    • Room 201 (top of stairs, left hand side) 

    • Room 213 (Ms. Gann’s room)

    • When in doubt, ask your colleagues!

  • Office supplies: cabinet in staff lounge, additional supplies in hall closet

  • Kitchen supplies (coffee, paper plates, etc.): cabinet in staff lounge

  • Tech and Fab shop supplies: Tech office, located in the back left corner of the first shop on the ground floor. (Check in with Eloy before taking anything!) 

Ordering Supplies

We order most supplies through Amazon. For project supplies, there a designated staff member at each grade level who can submit orders for approval: 

  • 9th grade: Mr. Kim

  • 10th grade: Ms. Gann

  • 11th grade: Mr. Jason

  • 12th grade: Dr. Miller


For all other supply needs, orders can be submitted to Ms. Jessica using this sheet. 
For class sets of books, we try and use Firstbook or local shops when time allows. Contact Matt and let him know what you need. 
For any orders that go through a dedicated vendor info and links to s
pecific items (with quantities) to Matt. 


For classroom supplies, SDP staff can be reimbursed for up to $100. See PFT Building rep for details. 
For other expenses, use the Workshop Learning reimbursement form. 

  • Make a copy,  rename it “[Last name].REIMBURSEMENT.[date]”, and email/share with Matt. 

Student Support

Day 2

Student Support Roles

As you get further into your role at the Workshop School, you can find support from the following staff members:

  • Counselor: Postsecondary transitions for seniors, college and career exposure for 9th-11th graders. 

  • Climate Manager/Restorative Practices Director: Oversee and support restorative interventions and systems, lead school-wide culture initiatives, oversee and support MTSS

  • Social Worker: intensive support for students and families with the highest levels of need, coordination with outside service providers.

  • Exceptional Education Lead: Ensure that students who have IEPs receive the supports they need, work with faculty to modify planning and teaching as needed, document and report on IEP compliance. 

  • Exceptional Ed/Learning Staff: Provide extra academic and/or emotional support for students who need it. 

  • Real-World Learning Director: Coordinate all learning experiences that partner Workshop staff and students with outside learning and growth opportunities.

  • Makespace Coordinator: Manages innovation lab, coordinates IT support, and leads communications work.

Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS)

MTSS seeks to emphasize prevention and school-wide support while effectively coordinating and monitoring more intensive supports when they are needed. 
The MTSS protocol is currently being updated. Last year’s protocol can be found here. 

Exceptional Ed

EXED Staff  

  • SPECM (Special Education Compliance Monitor): Ms. Lumb 

    • Mantain’s Schools compliance in accordance with the State and Federal guidelines/ Case Manager 9-12/ Educational Support

  • EXED Teachers: Ms. Gary /(Vacancy)

    • Co-Teaching/ Case Manager 9th Grade/ Educational Support 

  • Teacher Assistants: Ms. Foster/ Ms. Shannon

    • Educational Support 

Staff Request for Support:

  • Student Service Request: All requests (accommodation,modification, learning/ behavior support ) Grades: 9-12 can be sent to Ms. Lumb via email. 

    • The by the 2nd week of school, ALL staff will be provided with EXED binder that includes IEP’s at glance, Behavior intervention plans, Exed support documents, etc…..

Student Support Schedule:

  • Student Support  will vary depending on their individual needs ( weekly/bi weekly updates will be given via email)

Parental Concerns:

  • All parental concerns can be sent to Ms. Lumb via email or phone at: 856.600.4873

Restorative Practices

  • School-wide: foundation of respect, commitment to process, whole school culture

  • Classroom: clear norms and expectations, circle, affective statements, earnest conversation

  • Re-centering sessions: follow-up to an incident where a student was removed from the classroom. 

  • Village meetings: convening of supporters and stakeholders (including the student) to surface and address concerns and plan next steps.

  • Restoration meetings: bringing a student back into the community following more serious incidents and/or traditional discipline.

Into The Year

Day 3

Staff Absences

Calling out

  • If this is a planned absence, please notify Ms. Walker well in advance.

  • Request a substitute on Frontline/Aesop (INSTRUCTIONS). If you cannot access the online system, you can always call 855-535-5955.

  • Notify Ms. Jessica and share your plans for the substitute. 

  • If you don’t have a Frontline account: 

    • Sign up for a sub on Frontline Education (formerly Aesop)

    • Your username and password should be in your SDP email. 

    • Your username is your employee number (the one you see when you sign-in.)

Sub Plans

  • We need enough information for each section of time (circle, project block 1, project block 2, book group, daily reflection, and seminar) to keep the students engaged in a task/activity, but it does not have to connect directly to the work you’re currently doing in class. 

  • You can also assign activities and work to students directly in LIFT. 


While we try and keep it to a minimum, we do still have to administer standardized tests. 
9th-11th grade students take
PSAT, while 12th grade students take the SAT. All tests administered at Workshop. 

  • STAR Assessments to measure growth in reading and math

  • Keytone exams: administered late spring (SDP has not given us the testing window yet). Proctor training documents can be found here.  Keys

  • Auto students take NOCTI exams

After School Programming

After school programming is paid via SDP through EC. See Ms. Walker for details.
Payment through Workshop Learning

  • Staff can be paid at a rate of $40/hour for work on shared school resources and systems. (Individual planning/prep is eligible.) See Matt with any questions about eligibility.

  • Workshop Learning invoice form here. 

    • Make a copy,  rename it “[Last name].INVOICE.[date]”, and email/share with Matt. 

Trips and Transportation

Students who live more than 1.5 miles from school are eligible to receive SEPTA key cards. Students who are unsure whether they qualify should see Jessica.

Walking/SEPTA trips are covered by our general trip permission form. ALL students need to get this signed and returned. 

  • For SEPTA trips, students who do not have a transpass can get SEPTA 2-trip cards from Ms. Jessica. Please notify her one week in advance and let her know how many cards you will need. 


Trips requiring a chartered bus and/or out of the city require an EH-80 and EH-81 form to be submitted to SDP three weeks prior to the trip date. 

In most cases, Workshop Learning can assist with trip costs. See Matt with any questions. 

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