Blog

In the News: Building 21 Allentown receives Gold Level “Governor’s Civic Engagement Award”

By |2019-05-03T10:44:59-04:00May 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|

"Students and staff at Building 21 were honored Monday by the state for its student voter registration drive. The drive signed up 58 students, representing 87 percent of the students who were eligible to register. That earned the school a gold level Governor’s Civic Engagement Award." Building 21's accomplishment was highlighted in two articles [...]

In the News: How $5B Could Provide A Great Education For Every Kid On Earth

By |2019-04-11T10:37:08-04:00April 11th, 2019|Building 21 News, School Redesign, Uncategorized|

"That’s a big budget! With resources of that size, smart teams could take on the most interesting opportunity of our time—quality elementary and secondary education for every young person on earth." "Platform networks that share outcome frameworks (we call them diploma networks like Building 21) have the potential to help schools adopt new goals and learning models [...]

“Do our students have a fair chance?”

By |2019-04-05T09:07:10-04:00April 5th, 2019|Competency-based Education|

“Do our students have a fair chance?” Reimagining the high school transcript and the impact on college admissions As college recruiters sit down to review applicants and choose their incoming freshmen class, how will a mastery-based transcript stand next to a traditional transcript and GPA from another school? Will those around [...]

The Double-Edged Sword of Transparency

By |2019-04-30T12:44:06-04:00March 18th, 2019|Competency-based Education, Personalized Learning|

One of the challenges we face when trying to innovate in traditional public school systems is the higher level of scrutiny required to immediately prove that what we are doing is actually working and is good for students. Changing from traditional grading structures to competency-based scoring does not itself solve the problems our schools [...]

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 |2019-04-30T12:44:54-04:00February 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 [...]