Thinking and Acting Outside the Box in the Big Easy

Want to contribute to the exciting education innovations happening in New Orleans? Believe in schools that center every decision around the needs of students? Ready to challenge outdated assumptions about school and launch a bold, new school model in a city on the cutting edge of education innovation and school transformation? Then consider the NOLA Future of School Challenge from New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) and 4.0 Schools (4.0), with the support of Khan Academy.

The NOLA Future of School Challenge is looking for bold, out-of-the-box individuals who can bring to life a new generation of responsive, student-centered schools, and will provide them with an opportunity to test their ideas, prototype their designs, and vie for funding and support to become a charter school that opens its doors in fall 2016.

The Future of School Challenge unfolds in three phases. During Launch (June 9 to August 1, 2014), selected entrepreneurs work both remotely and on site in 4.0’s New Orleans lab, testing their school models in real classrooms and tapping into a network of local educators. The Launch concludes with Pitch Night, from which selected Challenge participants move to the Design Fellowship phase (August 1 to December 1, 2014), with funding and support to test and refine the new school models. Access to coaches, experts, and teachers who can share insights about putting individual students’ needs at the center of learning is combined with a prototyping budget. Next January, NSNO will select at least one participant or team for the Incubation Fellowship phase, during which a charter application is developed. In addition, start-up resources and funding will help with leadership development, board recruitment, and other readiness efforts in preparation for opening a new school. The Challenge process is worth an estimated $250K to participants who complete the three phases.

Are you up to the challenge? Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until April 11th. Click here for the application form. Do you know someone who deserves to be considered for the Challenge? Click here for a nomination form; NSNO will contact nominees with application instructions. In either case, don’t delay. NSNO is reserving the right to close the application acceptance process should it reach capacity prior to April 11.

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