Location: New York, NY

Size: Urban

Type: Institutional / Competition


The Hero's Journey is the oldest story we have told about ourselves—it is the archetypal pathway of transformation by journeying from the known to the unknown and back again. Our underserved students will be the first generation of their family to attend college. Students in our school will become creators of their own heroic journey. No mere metaphor, our students will map, write and make choices that propel them to live a heroic passage, from dependence to independence and interdependence, transformed.

The antithesis of the 20th c. factory model, HERO HIGH puts the each student’s journey at the center of content and assessment. Each student hero works closely with teacher/guides to co-create learning maps and journeys that reflect individual academic skills, areas of challenge, SEL competencies and aspirational, attainable goals.

Our curriculum is designed with reference to research-based pedagogies, new findings in neuroscience and the thoughtful use of digital technologies. We engage the urban condition via mobility—our mobile classrooms will celebrate NYC as a learning space and explore its infinite resources, venturing out on learning adventures that support our integrated curriculum, weaving essential content with group and self-created projects. Our cohort-based model will intertwine Social Emotional Learning with Core curriculum and Integrated Authentic Projects. Our skills-based curriculum will include Quantitative Studies, Rhetoric, Inquiry and Composition, Wellness and Communication.

The Project-based component of our program will combine multiple traditional academic fields. Working on authentic problems as well as academic subjects, on teams or independently, will ensure that students develop the socio-emotional, problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are a central and ongoing feature of the Hero School. We will site the school to maximize opportunities for local community regeneration.