Innovate Manhattan Charter School

Source: Innovate Manhattan Charter School

In December 2009, a small group of dedicated New York City educators began imagining the kind of school they thought would meet the diverse and personal needs of NYC students.

During those thought sessions, a school environment emerged: one where students would receive an education personalized to them, where project- and inquiry-based learning would entice students into meta-cognitive studies, where teachers would deeply know their students, and one where time was flexible and expectations high.

In early 2010, the group learned about Kunskapsskolan’s KED program, which turned out to have a ten-year track record of coherently educating students in just the way they’d imagined! From the original group, one educator became the lead applicant for Innovate, one the master teacher in charge of the English Language Arts curriculum, and the third joined Kunskapsskolan USA.


All students are assessed as they enter Innovate to determine what knowledge they have gained previously. We then personalize their learning plan according to where they are and where they need to go. All subjects at Innovate Manhattan are organized as step courses or thematic courses.

In Steps, students study with students who are on the same “step” as them, regardless of their age or grade. Math, English Language Arts, and Spanish are taught as Steps.

In Themes, students work with their same-grade groups and study courses that integrate subjects across the content areas. Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Drama, Technology, Physical Education, Health, and Home & Careers will be taught as Themes.


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