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EL Education School Design Fellowship

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.

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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.


- [Myron] Often in education, we use this analogy of being on the dance floor or you could be on the balcony. And the dance floor is like, when you’re in it, you’re doing your daily lesson plans and you’re seeing what could possibly be different. But, the challenge, though, is if you only stay on the dance floor, then your analysis of a problem and your ultimate design of a solution could be limited.

- [Monica] There’s a lot of people who have great ideas. They feel like they can leave their mark within education, but would like help with all of the steps that it takes to launch a school.

- [Myron] And so, the fellowship is an opportunity for you to get on the balcony and also get a playbook, and really think about power dynamics, and social reproduction, and education, and equity, and how all those things fit together, so that you can design a more equitable school. The desire to start a new school was really based on my experience as a middle school principal and seeing the spark when our students were able to use texts that were scholarly, but also had them really think critically about the world, engaging in issues that matter to them.

- So, it gives learning an authenticity that is missing when you don’t have some real social issue to respond to within their learning. Capital Village came out of just talking to students and seeing what they wanted different. Students are saying things like, “School has nothing to do with my real life”. Stories around autotomy, kids wanting some say in their education. Being relevant to what’s going on in the world. A big part of the Capital Village model is that students will be agents for change, and I think that’s the piece that really drew me to EL.

- The EL model recognizes that connection between academic mindsets and the mastery of knowledge and skills doing real work that is often related to a social justice issue to get us to this equitable world.

- Equity means that every student gets what they need. And, a lot of times, when we talk about that in education, we say that we want equality or we want students to be treated with equity. However, our structures and our systems are still very rigid. And, so, what we’re trying to do at Capital Village is really create a flexible learning environment where each student has a plan and has a mentor, and is guided through that plan in order to make sure that they’re successful.

- [Myron] We are really focusing on liberatory design thinking process, a method to problem solving to think about not only the young people create solutions to our most pressing social challenges, but also, how do I take a process and apply that to my life as a student and as a learner so that I can actually make iterations of myself and see myself as evolving. At the Social Justice School, we define social justice as a designed response of systems on inequality; inequitable systems were designed, and so they can be redesigned.

- [Monica] Leaders in education can come together, disrupt systems of oppression,

- bring about a more just world and using education as a framework to do that.

- [Monica] Creating a diverse group of leaders that can bring these varied perspectives and varied innovations to the table.

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