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A School Without Walls will incorporate Crew, place-based learning & other elements of the NYC Outward Bound approach.

On June 23, Schools Chancellor David C. Banks announced A School Without Walls Program, a new NYCDOE high school program offering students a new way of learning through hybrid and virtual schooling pathways.

Over the past year, NYC Outward Bound Schools collaborated with a design team and team of student interns to build the foundations of A School Without Walls. The design team was supported by our School Designer/Coach Tanai Hall and Crew Coach Michelle Alers, and led by Veronica Coleman, formerly the principal of Kurt Hahn, an NYC Outward Bound School in East Flatbush. Veronica worked closely with Evan O’Connell, a founding teacher at MELS, an NYC Outward Bound School in Forest Hills, and Sharine Rowe, a science teacher, internship coordinator and chair of the internship department at City-As High School.

“At A School Without Walls Program, I learned that creating a positive and supportive environment isn’t just dumb luck. I used to think having a good community just came from certain personalities meshing together, but this showed me that building strong community is something that can be worked towards, said Pete, a student at City-As-School who also participated in the design internship. “Creating connections and trust within a community can be achieved by creating opportunities for team building and getting to know one another.”

The hybrid program will enroll up to 100 9th graders this fall, and the aim is to grow it into a four-year high school.

“As partners in the design phase of A School Without Walls Program it has been exciting to work with the design team to take the real-world learning and student-centered approach we use in our network schools to an innovative hybrid learning environment,” said CEO Vanessa Rodriguez.

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