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Building 21 is a nonprofit organization that is reimagining education to meet the needs of all learners. We support schools and districts to create more personalized learning pathways by nurturing relationships, encouraging passions, and rethinking assessment.

What We Do

Lab Schools

We operate two non-criteria, public high schools in Pennsylvania with our district partners.

Learning Innovation Network

We coach educators and schools across the country that are personalizing education for their students. Our mentors use their seven years of experience from operating two innovative schools to build this learning network.


Launchpad brings together networks of students, high schools, post-secondary institutions, and employers to co-create new pathways for young people that lead to good jobs in growing industries.

Our Approach

The Power of Networks

We are stronger together! By connecting diverse people, ideas, experiences and systems, we can learn together, break down barriers, design more creative solutions and develop powerful opportunities for our young people to learn, grow and thrive.

A Just, Equitable, and Caring Learning Environment

Empathy and the desire to seek and understand diverse perspectives is foundational to building and sustaining authentic relationships. We strive to ensure the just and equitable development and implementation of our policies, practices and programming through a restorative, trauma informed and culturally sustaining lens.

Competency Based Learning

Learning is grounded in getting better at skills over time.

We believe in growth- and mastery-based learning that includes core competencies as well as skills like problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and project management that are necessary for young people to thrive.

Authentic and Connected Learning

Connecting learning to life through problem-based learning, integration of real world challenges, and experiences such as internships facilitates deeper learning, helps students explore their interests, find their passion, and make connections with the world around them.

Strong Instructional practices

Supporting students with unfinished learning to master grade level content; flexible groupings; integrating student voice and choice; rigorous content aligned with competencies; opportunities for authentic learning; and culturally sustaining pedagogy are the core instructional practices in a Building 21 learning environment.

Growth and Development

The personal and professional development and well-being of adults is critical to the success of our young people.

We continuously reflect on our progress, celebrate our strengths and work on areas in need of improvement.

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