DC public high schools will go through a community-driven redesign process, thanks to the XQ Institute, a California-based nonprofit organization co-founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The $25 million grant will fund the joint project from the XQ Institute and the DC Public Schools (DCPS), which mainly aims to allow DC students to redesign their own high schools, based on the individual needs of each school community.
For the first stage of the DC+XQ project, Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus and Dunbar High School have been selected by a panel, consisting of local and national experts.
The schools will be redesigned during the 2022-2023 school year, and four more schools will be added to future cohorts.
“We are at a moment of incredible opportunity for thoughtful and lasting change for our schools,” said DC+XQ in a statement.
“Now is the time to reimagine high school learning environments that are rigorous, relevant, and honor all students’ potential and ambition. By bringing together the vast talent and ingenuity of the DCPS community, DC+XQ will make that vision a reality in every district high school,” it added.
The design process is formed through ideas from teams made up of students, families, educators, and community members.
Teams at six DCPS high schools spent seven months studying XQ school models across the country and conducting equity audits to make sure all students have equal opportunities to succeed.
As a result, every school developed a core design concept that focuses on the primary needs of their students, current assets of their communities, and opinions for a better high school experience for students.
“This is a step forward in our work to reimagine what is possible for our schools and students, while ensuring we are preparing our young people for college and career pathways. We are inspired by the creative energy and advocacy from the community, and we look forward to supporting our schools in the next legs of their journeys to rethink and redesign the high school experience,” DCPS Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee was quoted as saying.