Relive the learning from the 2019 EL Education National Conference.

School Design Fellowship

Preparing Educators to Design, Launch, and Lead Successful EL Education Network Schools

Definition of Student Achievement

At EL Education, we’re redefining student achievement in schools across the country by joining character and quality work with mastery of knowledge and skills. Our school model relies on creative and capable leaders with a bold vision of what is possible. The EL Education School Design Fellowship supports innovative and entrepreneurial educators to design, launch, and lead new EL Education schools.

For 2019-20, we are seeking visionary change-makers who are eager to partner with families, educators, and community members in Massachusetts and Georgia to create schools where all students achieve more than they think possible. 

2019 applications are now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of our new fellows this summer.

“To start a school is to proclaim what it means to be a human being.” Tom James , “Expeditionary Learning: A Design for New American Schools” © 1991

Meet the 2018 Fellows

Meet the leaders who are blazing trails through the School Design Fellowship. Myron and Monica share their origin stories and visions on our blog.

Monica Green, Founder of Capital Village PCS

Monica Green, Founder of Capital Village PCS

Myron Long, Founder of The Social Justice School

Myron Long, Founder of The Social Justice School

Fellowship Cycle

The School Design Fellowship provides a two-year runway to opening a successful school. 

Immersive Residency and School Design Application

In your fellowship year, you’ll be matched with a high-performing EL Education host school in Massachusetts or Georgia. where you’ll work closely with a proven EL Education principal. During your residency, you will:

  • Immerse yourself in the EL Education school model
  • Partner with an experienced EL Education leader for ongoing coaching and support
  • Engage with other EL Education's School Design Fellows in coursework, design critiques, and school visits
  • Gather and lead a design team to envision and plan a new EL Education school in the host community
  • Field test and iterate elements of your school design at your residency site or in the new school’s host community
  • Create a comprehensive new school plan for submission as a charter proposal or a district start-up school
  • Receive a stipend and health benefits provided by EL Education

Launch School Planning Year

Once your school start-up application is accepted and approved by the local authority or district, you will work closely with EL Education regional staff members to put your design into action. The planning year includes:

  • Recruiting students and building relationships with families
  • Hiring and training your founding faculty
  • Developing and refining your instructional plan
  • Engaging the community through outreach, board development, and fundraising
  • Preparing your facility for students and teachers

Lead an EL Education Network School

Fellows accepted for the 2018-19 school year will aim to open their schools to students in SY 2020-21. These schools will become affiliates in the EL Education network of schools.


Successful applicants will meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 5 years teaching experience (experience in EL Education network schools strongly preferred)
  • Experience leading school-based or community-based teams and/or initiatives to achieve results
  • Commitment to opening a new school in Massachusetts or Georgia by fall of 2020
  • Visionary, entrepreneurial perspective as a leader and change-maker
  • Commitment to historically-underserved students and communities
  • State-specific principal licensure or plan to acquire licensure (the EL Fellowship does not provide a license)
Leading any school is challenging work. Leading an EL Education school is groundbreaking work. Irwin Silverberg , EL Education Board member

Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications for the fellowship due?

2019 applications are now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of our new fellows this summer.

What can I expect after submitting my application?

A team of EL staff and host school leaders will review all applications in early April. Selected candidates will be invited to participate in an interview with the selection committee. Interviews will be held in Massachusetts and Georgia during the week of April 23 and April 30.

Fellows will be notified by May 15, 2019.

How many fellows will be chosen in the second year?

One to three fellows will be chosen for 2019-20. Fellows will be chosen based on the strength of their applications, not simply to fill openings.

When does the Fellowship officially begin?

The 2019 School Design Fellowship begins in July 2019.

If I am accepted to this Fellowship is my new school guaranteed to open?

EL Education can not guarantee that every school designed in the Fellowship will be approved for opening. Final decisions about school approval are made by state and local authorizers and/or school districts. We will, however, fully support the relevant application process as a partner with each school founder.

What sort of feedback can I expect?

You’ll write an individual learning plan (ILP) which identifies your strengths and areas for growth in the EL Education Core Practices. Together with your host school principal and leadership coach, you will develop a plan for building your skills over the course of the school year. During your residency you’ll meet weekly with your mentor principal, and biweekly with your coach to review your work, and receive feedback and coaching. Your mentor principal, coach, and EL Education’s Director of Leadership Development will collaborate with you and your mentor quarterly to review your goals and progress on the ILP.

Do I have to have experience as an administrator to apply for the Fellowship?

No. However, you should be able to demonstrate that you have led complex change for a group of adults. (e.g., coaches, assistant principals.)  You might be a teacher who has led your team of teachers to adopt a new way of teaching, an assistant principal who has led a whole-school revision of the discipline policy, a teacher who directed the summer school program, an instructional coach who led a grade-level team's adoption of a new curriculum, such as EL Education's k-5 literacy curriculum.

Can I receive the Fellowship if I want to continue working at my current school?

You can only remain in your current school if it is an approved host school, and EL Education decides to match you with your current school.

Questions about the Fellowship?

Please fill out this form and we will respond within 2 business days. 

Please provide your first name

Please provide your last name

Please provide your phone

Please provide your city

Please provide your state

Please provide your organization (school, district, employer)

Please provide a valid email address

Please submit the reCaptcha.

Our Privacy Policy

Thanks! We'll be in touch shortly.

Please provide your first name

Please provide your last name

Please provide your phone

Please provide your city

Please provide your state

Please provide your organization (school, district, employer)