Workshop Middle School is an innovative middle school
for creative, curious, and big-hearted students in 6th – 8th grade.
Students learn advanced academic skills and durable character
strengths in a diverse, equitable, and connected community.
Middle school can change the world!
During early adolescence, middle schoolers learn and discover their place in world. As middle schoolers grow, they explore new ideas, new experiences, and new identities. Identity exploration and development is set into motion by cognitive, emotional, and physical changes, including puberty.
Research explains that purposeful, situated learning experiences in school have a “pivotal impact” on positive identity development. Our school promotes socioemotional learning through personal reflection, restorative justice, and daily advisory. We encourage students to explore and honor their early adolescent selves. One parent explains: “Workshop Middle School sees the whole child. They encourage every student to value their own individuality.”
Learning to make space for ourselves also helps us understand how to make space for others, too.
Workshop Middle School students are engaged citizens: active, compassionate, and thoughtful young adults who strengthen school and family communities. Our academic projects are inspired by real world contexts. For example, during spring 2021, 6th grade students adapted their Tiny House project to design and build outdoor dining for a community restaurant.
Student learning is grounded in core beliefs, principles, and values that promote positive change, including creativity, curiosity, kindness, initiative, optimism, and persistence. The high-leverage character strengths we emphasize at Workshop Middle School are inspired by the Character Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, developmental assets established by the Search Institute, and constructive skills for emotional intelligence developed by 6 Seconds.
One parent explains: “There are challenging moments for any student in middle school, but the students at Workshop Middle School are always met with compassion and deep listening and support. My son absolutely loves his school.”
During middle school, academic content significantly increases in complexity. Even strong students can struggle to learn and apply advanced ideas and skills. However, it’s incredibly important that students master academic standards during middle school. Research explains that student achievement in middle school has a more significant impact on academic outcomes in high school and college than any academic intervention in high school or college.
Workshop Middle School helps students dive deeply into learning. Although early adolescents can understand more abstract ideas and content, they meaningfully benefit from concrete, applied learning projects. Research explains that high-quality project-based learning improves learning outcomes more than 10% over peer students in traditional classrooms.
One student explains: “To do our projects you have to learn more than the base learning. And I actually understand these things. We don’t have to just memorize them. I honestly think you get a higher education than anyone else.”
WHAT MIDDLE SCHOOL SHOULD BE.
Workshop Middle School is the result of high-leverage research,
expert practice, and leading theory in adolescent education and
Everything about our school is designed to match the
specific abilities, interests, and challenges of early adolescents.
One parent explains: “Every child should have this opportunity.“
Teachers have a greater impact on student achievement than any other school factor. Highly effective teachers improve student performance up to 50% more than their school colleagues. Research shows that high-quality teachers also significantly impact student attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
Our school model is driven by award-winning teachers. In every class, Workshop Middle School students learn with exceptional middle school educators. In fact, in anonymous surveys, students identify their teachers as the most positive factor in our school.
Research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience has revolutionized how we understand brain development. Unfortunately, traditional curriculum and instruction is still rooted in beliefs and practices that predate the “cognitive revolution”. As a result, students in typical classrooms forget more than 80% of content covered in traditional classrooms within 6 weeks.
Our curriculum and instruction is rooted in the “science of learning”. During middle school, early adolescents can struggle to understand complex academic standards. Project-based learning grounds abstract concepts in concrete, real-world projects. This helps students acquire, retain, and master target academic learning.
Diverse social groups are more creative, more innovative, and more productive.
Research shows that students benefit significantly from diversity, equity, and inclusion schools. Students who attend diverse, integrated schools are more likely to graduate from college, earn a higher professional income, and posses greater interpersonal skills.
Workshop Middle School is a positive, connected, and diverse school community. Our school is founded on the belief that our city – and our school – is stronger when we live – and learn – together.
Workshop Middle School is the perfect school for my child. It allows my child to explore his own interests with the support of an amazing team of teachers and experts.
I’ve never felt so inspired after speaking to a teacher about my child. Every day, I learned something about my child that makes me feel better prepared to help my son grow.Marixsa
My child comes home happy every day and can’t wait to go to school. She is thriving because she loves school!
The teachers are experienced, enthusiastic, skilled, and seemingly tireless. My daughter needs to be challenged and this is why she’s at Workshop Middle School. We wanted to give her the opportunity to reach her highest potential.Michelle
My daughter and I found Workshop Middle School after a rocky start to 6th grade at a different school. She dreaded going to school. Now, she looks forward to going to school everyday. Her emotional well-being is very important to me, and it’s just as important to her teachers and school leaders. Our children can’t learn well if they don’t feel safe and respected. At Workshop Middle School, I’ve seen her self-esteem and commitment to school go off the charts.Melissa