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Our Curriculum

Learn Your Way, Within Your World

Discover the difference in our difference-maker curriculum

At Revolution School, we teach you to make a difference in your communities by teaching you differently—in your communities.

With a thoughtful four-year progression, the Difference-Maker Curriculum is designed to help you become a creative, self-directed learner. You’ll come up with complex solutions to complex issues, all while creating a living portfolio of your accomplishments.

Thinking systemically

Why do we teach systems-based thinking? Because life is complex, and education should be built to match. Our interdisciplinary approach encourages you to explore more than one subject at a time, breaking down the walls between disciplines to create a cohesive,

big-picture way of thinking about the world. In the process, you’ll learn to think deeply and substantively about the world around you, and be prepared to take on issues that matter in today’s world.

Learn more about

Systems-based learning

Putting it all together

So that’s the philosophy. But what does a Revolution School education look like in practice? In short, it’s pretty different from a traditional high school! There’s time for collaboration and time for introspection, time at school and time beyond school walls. Twice a week, day-long “inquiry lanes” provide flexible time for learning outside

the classroom: at local businesses and organizations, science labs, civic spaces, nature environments, and more. The other days are devoted to labs, workshops, seminars, and community time. On these days you’ll hone skills, connect subject matter to project work, and learn from faculty, books, digital resources, and one another.

Take a look at the weekly schedule below and click on the modules to learn more.

We offer students the choice to start school at 8:00 and end at 3:00 or start at 9:00 and end at 4:00.

    • Math Lab

      AM

      Nobody should have to wait or play catch-up when it comes to learning how to think mathematically. Math Lab gives you the structure, support, and skills to tackle real-world math problems with knowledge and confidence.

      After performing a series of contextual assessments, we’ll place you in a Math Lab cohort based on your needs and ambitions. You’ll spend this time focusing on concepts that relate to the work you’re doing in your Inquiry Lanes.

      One student, for example, may discover over the course of analyzing data for our traffic study that she needs additional teaching around systems of equations. This would happen during Math Lab, either as part of a small group learning at the same level or through online courses or learning modules, all facilitated by a talented mathematics educator.

      Another student might enter high school without a basic conceptual understanding of fractions. A teacher in Math Lab would work with him one-on-one to build up their understanding, then help him tie it into his project work. The teacher might also make recommendations for modifying project expectations as he works on remedial content.

    • Advisory

      9:00-10:00

      Here, you’ll discover your personal learning preferences, grow and foster community, and celebrate milestones in learning. Three times a week, you’ll meet in small groups with fellow students to pursue a personal development curriculum that builds each year.

      9th Grade: Explore learning preferences and develop Personal Learning Profiles
      10th Grade: Earn Project Management Certification through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
      11th Grade: Put your certification to work designing independent projects; begin to consider post-secondary school options and take test-prep courses.
      12th Grade: Work alongside master educators to create a personalized curriculum to help you transition to life after high school.

    • Inquiry A Seminar

      10:00-12:00

      Seminars are small-group spaces where you can discuss your Inquiry Lanes. Though larger groups of students may work on a single project, the Seminar provides time for breakout groups to engage with project teachers and the expert team. In this space, you not only engage with your peers; you also learn the democratic arts of debate, Socratic dialogue, and listening for understanding.

    • Lunch

      12:00-1:00
    • Reading Hour

      1:00-2:00

      Reading is central to everything we do at Revolution School. One student might read a history of the American highway system as part of her Inquiry Lane transit project, and another will have reading homework for his language, economics or history course. But at Revolution, teachers want you to do more than read for projects; they want you to love reading for the rest of your life. That’s why our advisors meet with your to create a curated “reading playlist” based on authors who interest you, and books and articles you hope to read.

      You’ll annotate as you engage in active reading, creating discussion topics for advisors and a history of your own learning process. Struggling with the basics? Students who need extra coaching in critical reading can work with trained educators to develop literacy and analytical skills.

    • Writing Lab

      2:00-3:00

      Writing Lab helps you integrate the spoken and written word in a way that feels exciting, organic, and joyous while preparing you for the writing challenges you’ll face in our Inquiry Lanes and beyond.

      In Writing Lab, faculty put the “creative” back in creative writing by using improv technique, writing experiments, and targeted prompts to support project work and promote expressive language development. The result? A strong communication style and a voice all your own.

    • Math Lab

      PM

      Nobody should have to wait or play catch-up when it comes to learning how to think mathematically. Math Lab gives you the structure, support, and skills to tackle real-world math problems with knowledge and confidence.

      After performing a series of contextual assessments, we’ll place you in a Math Lab cohort based on your needs and ambitions. You’ll spend this time focusing on concepts that relate to the work you’re doing in your Inquiry Lanes.

      One student, for example, may discover over the course of analyzing data for our traffic study that she needs additional teaching around systems of equations. This would happen during Math Lab, either as part of a small group learning at the same level or through online courses or learning modules, all facilitated by a talented mathematics educator.

      Another student might enter high school without a basic conceptual understanding of fractions. A teacher in Math Lab would work with him one-on-one to build up their understanding, then help him tie it into his project work. The teacher might also make recommendations for modifying project expectations as he works on remedial content.

    • Mastery Workshops

      AM

      Philadelphia is a hub of linguistic, artistic, and cultural diversity, and our Master Workshops make the most of that rich community, offering you a chance to dive deeply into technical learning. It’s an opportunity to refine your skills in specific areas, for example honing your singing technique with voice instructors, or polishing your digital media skills at a local studio. These opportunities grow out of strategic partnerships in our city, and they build more complex connections between the work of the world and your own growing ability to work to a world-ready standard.

    • Inquiry A Lane

      9:00-3:00

      Inquiry lanes are the backbone of education at Revolution School. Each semester, you’ll deep-dive into two interdisciplinary projects that combine areas of academic inquiry and relate directly to the world around you.

      We devote one full school day per week to each of these projects. Unencumbered by bells and schedules, this time lets you focus deeply, get off campus and into the world, and learn to organize your time without shifting focus at predetermined intervals.

      We’ve designed several semesters’ worth of in-depth, interdisciplinary Inquiry Lanes. Click here to read about a few we’re really excited about.

    • Mastery Workshops

      PM

      Philadelphia is a hub of linguistic, artistic, and cultural diversity, and our Master Workshops make the most of that rich community, offering you a chance to dive deeply into technical learning. It’s an opportunity to refine your skills in specific areas, for example honing your singing technique with voice instructors, or polishing your digital media skills at a local studio. These opportunities grow out of strategic partnerships in our city, and they build more complex connections between the work of the world and your own growing ability to work to a world-ready standard.

    • Reading Hour

      AM

      Reading is central to everything we do at Revolution School. One student might read a history of the American highway system as part of her Inquiry Lane transit project, and another will have reading homework for his language, economics or history course. But at Revolution, teachers want you to do more than read for projects; they want you to love reading for the rest of your life. That’s why our advisors meet with your to create a curated “reading playlist” based on authors who interest you, and books and articles you hope to read.

      You’ll annotate as you engage in active reading, creating discussion topics for advisors and a history of your own learning process. Struggling with the basics? Students who need extra coaching in critical reading can work with trained educators to develop literacy and analytical skills.

    • Inquiry B seminar

      09:00-11:00

      Seminars are small-group spaces where you can discuss your Inquiry Lanes. Though larger groups of students may work on a single project, the Seminar provides time for breakout groups to engage with project teachers and the expert team. In this space, you not only engage with your peers; you also learn the democratic arts of debate, Socratic dialogue, and listening for understanding.

    • Advisory

      11:00-12:00

      Here, you’ll discover your personal learning preferences, grow and foster community, and celebrate milestones in learning. Three times a week, you’ll meet in small groups with fellow students to pursue a personal development curriculum that builds each year.

      9th Grade: Explore learning preferences and develop Personal Learning Profiles
      10th Grade: Earn Project Management Certification through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
      11th Grade: Put your certification to work designing independent projects; begin to consider post-secondary school options and take test-prep courses.
      12th Grade: Work alongside master educators to create a personalized curriculum to help you transition to life after high school.

    • Cafe Lunch

      12:00-1:00

      Each week, a different ninth-grade advisory group joins forces with local culinary expertise to create a meal for the entire student body. You’ll not only learn to make a variety of delicious, diverse foods, but get to explore the story behind the food you make, connecting it with place, cultural traditions, and local practices.

      You’ll share the food and your findings with fellow students at lunchtime, spurring discussion through a presentation and provocative questions placed at each table. Adults in the school community are invited to participate in this gathering.

      You might, for example, make Jambalaya to celebrate the Mummer’s Parade or Mardi Gras, then prepare a brief explanation of the differences between Creole and Cajun takes on the cuisine. A guest from the Mummers organization could come in to discuss the rituals behind our local parade, or you might invite your peers to learn a cultural dance or participate in a miniature performance.

    • Math Lab

      1:00-2:00

      Nobody should have to wait or play catch-up when it comes to learning how to think mathematically. Math Lab gives you the structure, support, and skills to tackle real-world math problems with knowledge and confidence.

      After performing a series of contextual assessments, we’ll place you in a Math Lab cohort based on your needs and ambitions. You’ll spend this time focusing on concepts that relate to the work you’re doing in your Inquiry Lanes.

      One student, for example, may discover over the course of analyzing data for our traffic study that she needs additional teaching around systems of equations. This would happen during Math Lab, either as part of a small group learning at the same level or through online courses or learning modules, all facilitated by a talented mathematics educator.

      Another student might enter high school without a basic conceptual understanding of fractions. A teacher in Math Lab would work with him one-on-one to build up their understanding, then help him tie it into his project work. The teacher might also make recommendations for modifying project expectations as he works on remedial content.

    • Wellness

      2:00-3:00

      Unlike traditional gym classes or high school health seminars, our wellness program is designed to help you perform optimally in body, mind and spirit. You’ll work with advisors to create an individualized wellness program that takes advantage of the many health and wellness resources our greater community has to offer.

      We encourage you to explore multiple means of physical and emotional expression. You may take yoga at a local studio one semester, design a cross-training program with a fitness instructor at a neighborhood gym the next, or explore Capoeira or league sports. The program offers the flexibility to keep trying new things or deep-dive into a lifelong passion—for instance, if you fall in love with broomball, you’re welcome to rally the Revolution School community to form your own team!

    • Reading Hour

      PM

      Reading is central to everything we do at Revolution School. One student might read a history of the American highway system as part of her Inquiry Lane transit project, and another will have reading homework for his language, economics or history course. But at Revolution, teachers want you to do more than read for projects; they want you to love reading for the rest of your life. That’s why our advisors meet with your to create a curated “reading playlist” based on authors who interest you, and books and articles you hope to read.

      You’ll annotate as you engage in active reading, creating discussion topics for advisors and a history of your own learning process. Struggling with the basics? Students who need extra coaching in critical reading can work with trained educators to develop literacy and analytical skills.

    • Mastery Workshops

      AM

      Philadelphia is a hub of linguistic, artistic, and cultural diversity, and our Master Workshops make the most of that rich community, offering you a chance to dive deeply into technical learning. It’s an opportunity to refine your skills in specific areas, for example honing your singing technique with voice instructors, or polishing your digital media skills at a local studio. These opportunities grow out of strategic partnerships in our city, and they build more complex connections between the work of the world and your own growing ability to work to a world-ready standard.

    • Inquiry B Lane

      9:00-3:00

      Inquiry lanes are the backbone of education at Revolution School. Each semester, you’ll deep-dive into two interdisciplinary projects that combine areas of academic inquiry and relate directly to the world around you.

      We devote one full school day per week to each of these projects. Unencumbered by bells and schedules, this time lets you focus deeply, get off campus and into the world, and learn to organize your time without shifting focus at predetermined intervals.

      We’ve designed several semesters’ worth of in-depth, interdisciplinary Inquiry Lanes. Click here to read about a few we’re really excited about.

    • Mastery Workshops

      PM

      Philadelphia is a hub of linguistic, artistic, and cultural diversity, and our Master Workshops make the most of that rich community, offering you a chance to dive deeply into technical learning. It’s an opportunity to refine your skills in specific areas, for example honing your singing technique with voice instructors, or polishing your digital media skills at a local studio. These opportunities grow out of strategic partnerships in our city, and they build more complex connections between the work of the world and your own growing ability to work to a world-ready standard.

    • Writing Lab

      AM

      Writing Lab helps you integrate the spoken and written word in a way that feels exciting, organic, and joyous while preparing you for the writing challenges you’ll face in our Inquiry Lanes and beyond.

      In Writing Lab, faculty put the “creative” back in creative writing by using improv technique, writing experiments, and targeted prompts to support project work and promote expressive language development. The result? A strong communication style and a voice all your own.

    • Advisory

      9:00-10:00

      Here, you’ll discover your personal learning preferences, grow and foster community, and celebrate milestones in learning. Three times a week, you’ll meet in small groups with fellow students to pursue a personal development curriculum that builds each year.

      9th Grade: Explore learning preferences and develop Personal Learning Profiles
      10th Grade: Earn Project Management Certification through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
      11th Grade: Put your certification to work designing independent projects; begin to consider post-secondary school options and take test-prep courses.
      12th Grade: Work alongside master educators to create a personalized curriculum to help you transition to life after high school.

    • Inquiry A Seminar

      10:00-12:00

      Seminars are small-group spaces where you can discuss your Inquiry Lanes. Though larger groups of students may work on a single project, the Seminar provides time for breakout groups to engage with project teachers and the expert team. In this space, you not only engage with your peers; you also learn the democratic arts of debate, Socratic dialogue, and listening for understanding

    • Lunch

      12:00-12:45
    • Inquiry B Seminar

      12:45-2:45

      Master Workshops allow you to explore arts and crafts opportunities that complement your work in Inquiry Lanes. For example, you may learn boat-building as part of your Inquiry Lane on Waterways and the Ways of Water, or explore modern dance as a way to illustrate the way movement impacts opportunity for our What’s Driving What? unit. Each semester, you’ll have new opportunities to pursue and express your evolving passions.

    • Advisory /School Send Off

      2:45-3:00

      Here, you’ll discover your personal learning preferences, grow and foster community, and celebrate milestones in learning. Three times a week, you’ll meet in small groups with fellow students to pursue a personal development curriculum that builds each year.

      9th Grade: Explore learning preferences and develop Personal Learning Profiles
      10th Grade: Earn Project Management Certification through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
      11th Grade: Put your certification to work designing independent projects; begin to consider post-secondary school options and take test-prep courses.
      12th Grade: Work alongside master educators to create a personalized curriculum to help you transition to life after high school.

    • Writing Lab

      PM

      Writing Lab helps you integrate the spoken and written word in a way that feels exciting, organic, and joyous while preparing you for the writing challenges you’ll face in our Inquiry Lanes and beyond.

      In Writing Lab, faculty put the “creative” back in creative writing by using improv technique, writing experiments, and targeted prompts to support project work and promote expressive language development. The result? A strong communication style and a voice all your own.

Before and after school hours are opportunities for student-directed work in our learning spaces and wellness experiences.

A note about grades

Assessing for success

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve talked a lot about our exciting curriculum but not at all about grades. At Revolution School, we know there are better ways to measure your success, and so we focus instead on your achievements, response to feedback, and improvement rate. Our goal is not to hand out letters or gold stars, but to help you go from good to better to best. Our focus is on growth, not grades.

Revolution School teachers will never use low grades to pressure you into achieving. Instead, they’ll look at your progress over time. Students who need a bit more time to gain certain skills will receive a “not yet,” then work with teachers to take concrete steps toward achieving mastery in that area. Teachers will ensure that you always have multiple pathways and methods for showing your learning.

Presentations of learning and the student portfolio

Each semester, you’ll be able to stand up and show what you know in a Presentation of Learning. POLs will be based on your accumulated learning and draw on other assessments (such as papers, projects, and written exams) as evidence. POL panels made up of teachers and community members will adjudicate your work and offer feedback.
POL’s will become the building blocks for your student portfolio. This multi-modal portfolio

may consist of essays, lab reports, data sets and analyses, computational modeling, websites, videos, artwork, engineering projects, and more, and will serve to substantiate the quality of your preparation for the world beyond high school. Alongside your transcripts and test scores, your student portfolio will showcase your unique educational accomplishments as well as your sense of yourself and your place in the world.

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