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.
Today, Innovate Manhattan Charter School is a data-driven, goal-focused and safe middle school where students set goals and move through the curriculum at their own challenging place. We believe that for our students to be not only college prepared but college successful, it is our duty to structure an environment where we can support our students as they learn to self-manage, self-reflect, time manage and find out more about themselves as learners each day. This is what we do each and every day here at Innovate through implementing the KED program in our private facility with floor-to-ceiling windows and open learning spaces. The goals we set are the goals we get!