Imagine Schools NYC

Imagine Schools NYC (Imagine Schools) is an initiative to empower students and communities to play an active, central role in creating the future of education, here and now. This competitive, application-based initiative is the first of its kind in New York City–a student-centered, community-driven approach to creating bold, innovative, and academically rigorous school options.

Who Can Participate?

Everyone! We are looking for students, families, and educators to join together to design and develop schools for 2021 and beyond.

As part of Imagine Schools, families, students, teachers, and community partners join forces to create a design team and submit an application. Design team members should represent a committed, diverse, ambitious, and innovative group with varied perspectives and experiences. Students, parents, educators, and community members are a recommended part of design teams. Design teams may also include representatives of organizations, businesses and industry partners, service providers, advocates, designers, artists, activists and more. Everyone has something to offer!

Design teams are invited to submit an application to develop a new school or reimagine an existing school:

  • Imagine new schools: We are looking for innovative ideas for academically rigorous, engaging and equitable new schools. These schools will serve as models for the system. Through the Imagine Schools design process, new school teams will be supported in the development of a strong mission and culture, community partnerships, youth voice and choice, and a robust academic model. Schools, if approved, would launch in fall 2021 and 2022, with student recruitment starting in fall 2020.

  • Reimagine existing schools: We are looking for existing schools that want to engage in a total transformation using the Imagine Schools process. The process will support existing school teams as they envision plans for their schools that are academically challenging, authentically diverse, and aligned to the skills and knowledge young people need to be successful in an ever-changing world. School teams, if approved, would begin implementation in fall 2021 and 2022.

How to Get Involved

Start a Team

There is tremendous potential in the people around you. A strong team made of diverse perspectives and experiences is the foundation of the Imagine Schools process. Start by contacting students, organizations, parents, and community members to form a team. Learn more about the process of creating a team by reading "How To Cast A Great Team" from our partner XQ

Make Your Case for Transformation

Tell us:

  • What is your design team’s bold idea?
  • How is that idea grounded in what it will take to prepare students to meet the global and local challenges of the twenty-first century?
  • How will your school concept prepare students for the complexities of a fast-changing future, including the world of work?

Submit a Phase 1 Application

All design teams are welcome to submit applications! Applications for new schools and applications for existing schools are available now. The first round of applications are due by November 6, 2019.

Join Us For Upcoming Information Sessions

We are hosting information sessions in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Click on the date to register.

Wednesday, October 16
Bronx Museum of the Arts
1125 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

Wednesday, October 16
Bronx Museum of the Arts
1125 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

Tuesday, October 22
Queens Public Library
41-17 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355

Tuesday, October 22
Brooklyn Law School
205 State Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Thursday, October 24
6–7:30PM Wagner College
631 Howard Avenue

Staten Island, NY 10301

Are You Ready to Imagine What Schools Can Be in NYC?

Go to the online application

Browse our Imagine Schools Application below.

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