In our leadership, faculty, and student body, we strive to embody the beautiful diversity of our home city. We deeply value differences in race, culture, language, ethnicity, class, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, age
and physiological ability, and believe that bringing varied experiences and perspectives into a community benefits both the individual and the whole.
None of us check who we are at the door to school. Everyone’s personal story is part of our learning.
Individual ways of being and belonging become part of the culture of the school through our co-constructed norms and agreed-upon expectations.
Our weekly Community Cafe transforms “high school lunch” into a fun and immersive sharing of culture and identity.
Our Difference-Maker Curriculum intentionally opens doors to authentic interaction with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Our innovative sliding scale tuition model embraces socio-economic diversity as fundamental to everyone’s learning.
Bruce Mau, a designer who worked with the Henry Ford Academy once said, “We have places in our society that are already rich with culture and content. Why do we build an empty box and then try to make it rich?”
Place-based learning is learning rooted in the community where it takes place. In Philadelphia, we have a city rich with history, living science, working networks, and vibrant social systems. Our program brings students to those resources rather than trying to only imitate them in a classroom building.
Students work with local professionals to make learning relevant and achieve immediate, real-world impact.
Students present their learning to authentic community audiences for feedback and revision, building life-based knowledge and important connections.
Day-long “inquiry lanes” twice a week allow flexible time for learning beyond the classroom: at local businesses and organizations, science labs, civic spaces, nature environments, and more.
Students utilize the most current technology and practice skills used by today’s experts, gaining exposure to the cutting edge of industry and enterprise.
The Systems Thinking approach comes directly from the learned lessons of fields like medicine, applied science, and social sciences research. We focus on natural, social and technological systems and subsystems because students
learn best when they can situate details within a bigger picture. They won’t just have a better grasp of facts: they’ll also be able to creatively and confidently think through complex challenges.
We teach cross-cutting skills such as writing, artistic design, applied mathematics, and prototyping in focused master workshops to support interdisciplinary project work.
Students take their learning into the world and see the context of their experiences through direct links with academic content.
Integrated technology allows students to examine events by considering patterns and trends, underlying structures, and mental models.
Our teachers frame learning within the “big picture”, so students connect academic subjects to one another, and to economic, health, environmental, and civic literacy.
We’re creating an environment that fosters a healthy, productive and supportive school culture with a focus on emotional and physical health and wellness.
Our goals are empowerment, self-mastery, belonging, purpose, perspective, and courage for every student.
A whole-person wellness program encompassing physical, mental, and emotional health.
A strong advisory program that prioritizes social skill development, relationship-building, and advocacy for self and others.
The intentional incorporation of mindfulness such as structured reflection and meditation practices.
Our Difference-Maker curriculum teaches and incorporates self-management skills essential to successful project- and team-work.
Our students use the wellness resources available in our city, getting access to facilities that include local fitness centers, climbing gyms, and yoga and dance studios.