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New York City, NY

Reimagining high school in the nation’s largest school district.

This is a groundbreaking public-private partnership to reimagine public high schools in New York City.


Rethinking High School in the Nation’s Largest School System

The New York City Public Schools and XQ are working together through Imagine NYC Schools, an ambitious initiative to design innovative, high-quality schools with equity and excellence at their core. This is a groundbreaking public-private partnership. Through XQ+NYC, students, teachers, families, and community members are coming together to imagine high schools that are engaging, inclusive, and student-centered—schools that prepare all students for college, meaningful careers, and all the future has to offer. 

Together, the New York City Public Schools and XQ identified five schools to focus on between 2022 and 2024. Three are new: 

  • Gotham Tech —Partnering with NYC FIRST, a robotics-based not-for-profit, this model originated as an afterschool program, transitioned to a credit-bearing course, and is now a high school. It opened in Queens with its first class of ninth graders in the fall of 2022.
  • School Without Walls—A hybrid program developed with Outward Bound that makes the City its learning environment, and allows students to focus on passion projects. The program is in the process of developing a fully remote option which requires state approval. It also opened with its first class of ninth graders in the fall of 2022.
  • Design Works High School —A partnership between Bank Street College and Pratt Institute to develop a new high school that applies design thinking to address complex social issues. This new school is slated to open in Brooklyn in the fall of 2023. 

 There’s also one redesign, an expansion and a new model: 

  • Brooklyn STEAM Center—Serving 11th and 12th graders from eight high schools in Brooklyn in the heart of the Brooklyn Navy Yard—a 300 acre industrial park with over 500 businesses in cutting edge industries. It offers high-quality college prep and career prep, early college, and has plans to expand in the Bronx. 
  • Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School—A large comprehensive CTE high school in Queens serving approximately 2,335 students. It’s building a co-op model, where teachers and students will co-design curricula that reflect the modern workplaces that students will enter instead of perpetuating the factory system.

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