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B21 senior surprised by Penn State Lehigh Valley

By |2019-03-16T10:14:15-04:00February 15th, 2019|Building 21 News|

Last Friday’s Town Hall Meeting brought surprise and celebration to Building 21 Allentown. Penn State Lehigh Valley leadership and the Nittany Lion hand-delivered an acceptance letter and scholarship award to Marilyn Reyes, a senior student who has committed to attend PSU-LV. Marilyn is the first student from Building 21 Allentown who was accepted and [...]

Does Content Matter

By |2019-03-16T10:50:11-04:00February 14th, 2019|Competency-based Education|

There are two questions that I have thought about often and deeply over the last 5 years while trying to create an innovative school model. The first is asked by every student at least once in their educational career (and by my own middle school and high school children more often than I would like), [...]

B21 Philly students win Design Thinking Philly Showcase

By |2019-03-16T10:14:59-04:00February 10th, 2019|Building 21 News|

On February 6th, Building 21 students’ proposal for a Student Advisory Lunch Board (S.L.A.B.) took first place in the high school division of Design Thinking Philadelphia’s Compete 360. Nine students worked in two teams, alongside their mentor teacher, Kathleen Walsh, to learn and use all aspects of the design thinking process to address a problem [...]

I miss teaching

By |2019-03-16T10:18:15-04:00January 30th, 2019|Personalized Learning, Reflection|

Over the past few weeks, both of our lab schools held their celebrations of learning called Mid-year Exhibitions. Celebrations of learning (COL’s) are extremely important experiences for our schools and our students because they give us a chance to pause and spend some time reflecting on our accomplishments and celebrating our students’ learning. For [...]

In the News: Building 21 Philadelphia

By |2019-03-16T10:18:55-04:00January 29th, 2019|Building 21 News|

Building 21 reinvents the high school experience Building 21 Philadelphia was featured in The Philadelphia Tribune this month. Students report that B21 stands out for offering an experience that is challenging, connected to the community, and preparing them for their future. Read the full story here.

GUEST POST: Building a Movement

By |2019-03-16T10:19:48-04:00December 19th, 2018|Reflection, School Redesign|

As 2018 comes to a close, we share this reflection written by Donell McNeal, Principal of Central Academy. Central Academy is one of our affiliate schools located in the West Ada School District (Meridian, Idaho). “To create a learner driven environment, we must move from compliance to autonomy. Each member of the [...]

Being recognized…

By |2019-03-16T10:21:01-04:00December 19th, 2018|Reflection, School Redesign|

"The goal is personalized pathways where student strengths and interests shape a journey through foundational skills to college and career readiness." Tom Vander Ark Earlier this month, Building 21 was featured on the Getting Smart blog. We are honored and excited that our work is being shared on a national level. With transparency [...]

Learning through “Challenges”

By |2019-03-16T10:22:16-04:00November 21st, 2018|Personalized Learning, Reflection|

Career exposure through real-world problem solving and team challenge - that was the concept for “Challenge Week” at Building 21 Philadelphia last Spring. What if we identify real-world Students present their proposal for an outdoor redesign of our school courtyard. problems and challenge teams of students to propose solutions? What if we create [...]

Building 21: Designing a Network for Competency-Based Education

By |2019-03-16T10:23:00-04:00September 12th, 2018|Competency-based Education, Personalized Learning, Resource, School Redesign|

This post originally appeared at GETTINGSMART on July 8, 2018.  By Chip Linehan Our current system’s narrow definitions of student success value content knowledge over the skills and mindsets needed for students to thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. On the other hand, next-generation graduation requirements that measure and credit a broader and deeper array [...]