Incubator School Programs + Playbook: Open Source 21st Century Entrepreneurial Education

submission by sbhatt

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

Incubator School

Organization website:

www.incubatorschool.org

Organization Twitter handle:

@sujatabhatt

Organization Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/incubatorschool

Organization Instagram:

www.pinterest.com/incubatorschool/

Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization

Government

Individual

Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.

:

We start up students!

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

:

Building an entrepreneurial education for the 21st century, and a playbook to open source that education for all students and schools.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.

:

#Startup students for the #entrepreneurial economy: support #IncSchool + IncSchool’s open source 2050education playbook. @LA2050

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)

No

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay

Westside

Other:

What is your idea/project in more detail?

:

Humans learn by doing. We've taken this simple truth and are forging a school and movement around it. By design learning environments with real world impacts, we help our students experience the joy of connecting knowledge and action. Tech is in our DNA; our students use it to explore, communicate, and make. We dismantle the boundaries between school and not-school; our middle schoolers meet with CEOs and journalists, they code, create websites, redesign beaches, present at conferences, do statistical samplings, and above all collaborate with each other and adults to launch startups. We want all students to have access to this way of schooling, so we'd like to build an online playbook to share our discoveries, methods, tools and curriculum.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

:

Start up education is a new frontier, and the Incubator School is one of its pioneers. As a free, diverse, open enrollment LAUSD public school that launched in 2013, we are bringing innovation to the second largest school district in the country. In fact, we're one of the only schools in the world working to combine entrepreneurship and schooling for middle and high school students.

We're designing a thoughtful and comprehensive program where we add one grade per year and each grade builds upon the previous one. Our goal is for students take ownership: of their passions, interests, and behavior, their relationship to their peers, communities, and world, the impact they want to have on that world. Our program grows students’ collaborative capabilities and their ability to communicate to diverse audiences for diverse purposes. It also nurtures a solutions-orientation; we are training our students to empathize with others, assess needs, and deploy a variety of tools, techniques, and pathways to design responses to problems they see around them. In our program students explore non-profit projects and for-profit ones, and learn about social entrepreneurship as well as the fast paced world of Silicon Beach. We engage our learners in exploring the ethics of different choices and the impact of different decisions. In short, we start up students to become 21st century citizens.

To accomplish this, we are continually testing, experimenting, and iterating. We observe and measure what works and what doesn't. We seek feedback from all our stakeholders. To start up students, we need to stay small and agile like a start up company.

Building such a responsive comprehensive program, as well as an online playbook that enables us to extend our reach to anyone who wants to borrow or adapt our program, requires time. Time, of course, means people. As a small LAUSD public school in a system that determines budgets based on the number of pupils, we were allocated 2.6 teachers last year; this year we have 6. Yet, these early years require the greatest amount of research and development, partnership-building, and training.

We will use the grant to hire additional staff to enable us to build out our program as well as our playbook to share our program. We will also use the funds to help grow the expertise of our teachers and bring in expert partners to help us design 21st century learning experiences.

HOW WILL YOUR IDEA/PROJECT HELP MAKE LA THE BEST PLACE TO LEARN TODAY? IN 2050?

:

Los Angeles is the third most vibrant startup economy in the world, yet that energy has not made its way into our city's schools. We want to change that. Schools and the ideas of young people should be the drivers of the future and feed their visions into the startup world. Los Angeles has to tap youthful, out-of-the-box thinking to grow the economy towards LA2050. For this to happen, learning in LA needs to flow in every direction through the vast, diverse interconnected ecosystem that is our city. The Incubator School is a connector that facilitates this flow.

In an ecosystem every part is dependent on every other part, and needs to learn to value the other parts. We work with everyone to connect the complex and exciting parts of Los Angeles' learning energy.

We bring social and for-profit entrepreneurs into our school to share their expertise so that our students absorb starting up as a mindset. We retrain teachers to collaborate with funders, engineers, artists, chief technology officers, game developers, conservationists, designers, and other experts to design curricula that reflect the 21st century. As they work with our teachers and students, these experts and entrepreneurs also learn from our students and teachers, thereby impacting how they think about the world.

We work with large and small companies as well as non-profits and service organizations. Our students have conference calls with CTOs of companies whose learning products and games they beta test. They were some of the first middle schoolers to work with LA Audubon Society; they proposed redesigns of Dockweiler Beach so that its facilities could meet the needs of both humans and the federally threatened snowy plover. Our students created apps that anyone in the city can use (free augmented reality apps for the Ballona Wetlands). Through these interactions, not only do our students change but so do the organizations with whom they work. They come to see middle schools as possible thought partners.

We collaborate with foundations and other schools to launch conferences where students, adults, teachers, administrators, game designers, technology companies, nonprofits, and arts organizations connect and share expertise (innovatED.LA). Our students and staff participate in Startup Weekends, hackathons, makerspaces.

We connect as many parts of the ecosystem together as we can so learning can flow freely, and our playbook will extend this connecting even further.

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.

:

We are a diverse, integrated LAUSD public school that anyone can attend: last year 39% of our students were low income, 47% were Latino, 32% White, 16% African American, 5% Asian; 19% Special Education, 15% Gifted and Talented. Our project will most immediately benefit them. This year we are expanding from 62 6th-7th graders to about 140 6th-8th graders. Each year we will add one additional grade.

However, our reach extends beyond our school. We host visiting teachers, administrators, foundations, non-profits, etc, every week. The US Department of Education and the State Department have visited us, as have delegations and journalists from Thailand, Korea, Japan, and China. Since we were featured on BBC News on July 4th, we've received requests for information and curriculum from England, Ireland, Hungary, Chile, India, Italy, Romania, and throughout the United States. Our free online playbook would allow what we're doing to spread all through the world.

Our goal, however, is to change education in Los Angeles. We want our students to become change agents even more than they are already. We want them to change what Los Angeles expects from its students, and we want the Incubator School to change what Los Angeles expects from its schools.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

:

We partner with many organizations to grow our programs (New Learning Institute of the Pearson Foundation, LA Audubon, CoderDojo, GameDesk, Playmaker, Joan Ganz Cooney Center @ Sesame Workshop, Institute of Play, Everyone On, Pearson PLC), but for this grant we will be partnering with the Los Angeles chapter of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship to build our capacity to teach entrepreneurship and create a playbook for launching startups during middle and high school.

NFTE's mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, and to plan for successful futures. To do so NFTE runs during- and after-school programs, as well as NFTE University, a mini-MBA program for teachers to train them in entrepreneurial thinking and practices. NFTE's programs have reached over 7,800 students in Los Angeles since 2007, and over 500,000 nationally.

The Incubator School believes that schools of LA2050 must be entrepreneurial. They need to understand the expertise they bring to the table, and work with others to grow that expertise as well as share it. Exchanges and partnerships need to be mutual.

We deeply value the expertise NFTE's mini-MBA program will bring to our instructional staff and plan to have NFTE train them.

However, we also plan to help grow NFTE's programs. Their middle school curriculum leads students to creating a business concept while their high school curriculum has students creating a business plan.

Our goal is for students actually to launch startups: in 8th grade in the school, and in 12th grade in the real world in Silicon Beach.

Our collaboration will thus enable both organizations to expand our capacities.

Three critical factors are:

1) mutual growth
2) the ability of both organizations to dedicate staff time to the collaboration
3) the ability of both organizations to extend the reach of the curricula the collaboration develops

We have not worked together in the past, but we greatly look forward to working together in the future.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "LEARN" metrics?

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Other:

If other, please specify.:

Entrepreneurship Access for All

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

In 2013 the Gallup Organization released the results of a poll on student motivation in school. They titled it, "The School Cliff: Student Engagement Drops With Each School Year." The drop in middle and high school was precipitous. Students are disengaged from school. The poll analysis went on to say, "among the many types of students whose engagement wanes during their time in the educational system are those who have high entrepreneurial talent. These are literally our economic saviors -- the future job creators for America."

We founded the Incubator School to address the disengagement/ dropout crisis facing our city's schools. Students often act up, act out, are chronically absent, and academically unmotivated because they're disengaged with the 19th century school topics and techniques that they encounter for six hours each day.

However, from a decade plus of teaching diverse students in LAUSD, we understand that students might be disengaged from school but they are not disengaged from learning. They learn to play games, use apps, use new technologies like Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, etc. in ways and at speeds that put adults to shame.

Our goal is to bring the types and methods of learning that are outside of school inside. Technology has to be the driver for this re-engagement of middle and high schoolers with school. We also know that many of the entrepreneurial students who drop out of or retreat from school learning take their energies and talents into underground economies, be they selling things at school (every public high school in LA has an entire world of alternate food suppliers) or selling illegal substances outside of school. We believed that students who do this do so in part because they don't have access to legal entrepreneurial networks.

At the Incubator School we offer all our students the intellectual and social capital, contacts, connectivity, and skills to help their fledgling entrepreneurial ideas fly. We meet them where they are so that they can go where they would like to go. We aim to make a different future possible.

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

:

We are requesting funding to 1) build out our programs, especially our entrepreneurship program, and 2) begin building out our playbook (the documentation of our programs, tools, and techniques so that other schools may adopt and adapt them).

Our metric for success for building out our programs is:

1) the creation of a year-long 8th grade startup program including clearing all present hurdles: child labor law issues, intellectual property issues, liability issues, tax liability issues, negotiations with district and governmental entities, structuring learning pathways for students, creating a mentorship database, defining the processes by which middle schoolers may leave school to 'intern' at external organizations, etc.

Our metrics for success for building out our playbook are:

1) creating online databases of and training modules for curricula, teacher development and in-class tools that can be used to grow a general startup mindset as well as a specific entrepreneurial program

2) the reach of the playbook (number of schools, number of students adopting it).

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

:

1) We have learned from the startup scene that continually iterating is vital to staying relevant. The world is changing very rapidly, and secondary students are barometers of that change. They're extremely sensitive to being current, and school, to stay relevant and become a springboard to a different future, has to be responsive. We do this through empathy, gathering data including regular student and parent surveys as well as student successes and areas of need, and then tweaking or revamping or completely pivoting on our systems to meet those needs.

2) Expertise is diffuse and found everywhere in today's world. We have learned that if we wait for teachers to master everything before they can teach it (especially technology), teachers become bottlenecks that contribute to the increasing irrelevance of schools. Instead, we try to flatten our organization as much as possible. Students engage in skillsharing, as do teachers, experts from outside of school, and online learning sources. Learning is everywhere and anywhere, and exchanging learning offers a model for breaking down bottlenecks.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

:

Our project goals (building an 8th grade startup program and creating documentation for it so others can adapt it) are very concrete and manageable. If we are able to hire a staff person who is dedicated to this project, as well as use funds to train our teachers at NFTE University, we will be able to create an entrepreneurship program for our inaugural 8th grade class. Partnering with NFTE as well as the LAUSD and other area public, independent, and charter schools with whom we already have relationships will enable us to expand the reach of our program through our and their social networks. In addition, because of the extensive press we receive, we have a ready 'market' for our free playbook; we just don't have the staffing to be able to create it.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

:

The first barrier we are facing is the tangle of state and district impediments to entrepreneurship in middle school classrooms, including the 69-pages of regulations on child labor issued by the State of California's Department of Industrial Relations and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. A major Silicon Valley law firm has offered to work with us to help us navigate these issues.

The second challenge we face concerns trying to distill the complexity of our approach to learning design into replicable tools, procedures, and curricula that other schools can readily adopt. For this we are working with the Institute of Play which has expertise in creating learning design playbooks.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)

Education/training

Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Discussion
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The Incubator School is one of a kind, this would be a blessing for the school and Los Angeles.

by jolson
over 1 year ago

How will Incubator School avoid teaching and engaging with the obsolescent and socially destructive vector of the economic model that our society is built on? I'm afraid that the mantra of entrepreneurship, the money economy and the culture of self and separateness teaches and enforces the idea of 'other', diminishes the need for dependence on a community to thrive together and ultimately teaches destructive values. I don't see this addressed anywhere in the justification for the goals you have set out.

by reubenfreed
over 1 year ago

I am very proud of the collaborative effort shown by some of our 8th grade students that helped facilitate a presentation/workshop at the LAUSD Pilot School Conference today. The students helped facilitate a D3 (Dream It, Design It, Do It) design thinking process for conference participants. The students helped the conference participants, who were principals, teachers, and district administrators of pilot school programs, clarify their school mission, vision, and priorities. This experience was a great example for our students of understanding the need to build relationships and network interdependence, two things that are essential to any community that wants to thrive.

by srmogulmom
over 1 year ago

After having taught 13 years, and loving every minute of it, I am now teaching here and I am LOVING it!!!
I have never seen such a dedicated group of parents, without whom Incubator wouldn't be the same.
I send a big THANK YOU to all the parents for your incredible involvement.

by SethScott
over 1 year ago

Our daughter who is in regular (traditional) elementary school is chafing under the 'old school' style of education. Can't wait til she's old enough to be @ Incubator! Hoping we can get more votes and make positive changes for all LA schools!

by pammyt
over 1 year ago

I'm seeing the effect of Incubator's education on my daughters. At 12 and 13 they are thinking about their future and how they wish to impact the world and make their mark..and the best avenue to achieve what they want. (Not to mention making impressive power point presentations, animated with graphics on the computer, when angling to get something they want! )This is a direct result if Inc weaving in the start up, leadership, entrepreneurial mindset into everyday life. They are interested, curious and challenged to do more and do better. After their first year at Inc they both told me they felt smarter at the end of the year and a sense of accomplishment.

by amica
over 1 year ago

The Incubator School is amazing, and would greatly benefit from winning htis contest!

by andreapk
over 1 year ago

The Incubator School is an amazing opportunity for Los Angeles students. My daughter is thriving in her new environment, and can't wait to attend school every day.

by alex.chun.589
over 1 year ago

Incubator School is an answered prayer. It brings learning to the future. It makes the kids think, be informed and take action. Incubator School is a WINNER!

by Licha
over 1 year ago

I agree with what so many have already said. A vote for Incubator is a vote for innovation in all LA schools. Let's start up a movement to start up all Los Angeles schools. Inc starts up students with real-world, relevant and engaged learning where student voice and ideas count. As Pixar believes, "great ideas can come from anywhere" and why not from our students! My son loves it!!

by tracymayhue
over 1 year ago

Excellent school with amazing teachers!

by gr3y_24
over 1 year ago

If not for Incubator my son would have nowhere to go. He now comes home after school full of energy and positivity. Thanks to all who make this possible and thanks for your vote !

by livneh
over 1 year ago

My sixth grader getting accepted to Inc is truly a blessing for our family. He has historically struggled in the classroom due to boredom. He would actually voice that certain subjects were a waste of his time. In the few weeks he's been at Inc I am seeing a different child. He LOVES to go to school. And he does homework without me nagging him. In fact, I don't have to tell him to do it at all. He does it on his own which is something I have nagged him about for years. He's interested in what each of his teachers have to teach. He's organized, motivated, and independent. I have been waiting for this day. Thank Incubator School!

by toneshia
over 1 year ago

...relevant in real LIFE! Inc. rocks.

by pamela.j.thomas.16
over 1 year ago

We feel so lucky to be a part of The Incubator. It's exhilarating to be a part of something so different and so relevant in real love! Kudos to Sujata Bhatt and the Inc team - we heart you!

by pamela.j.thomas.16
over 1 year ago

My 6th grader daughter could have gone to our local "excellent-by-traditional standards" middle school where my 8th grader is and would have done well there by traditional standards. But I have been watching the formation of this school for a while and I know founding teacher, Ms. Bhatt, then by reputation, to be a gifted,bold and innovative educator who wishes a school like this existed when her own son was doing middle school. I know my oldest had to start college level classes at age 11 or 12 for lack of fit in any local school and we have done everything from home-schooling to private schooling before settling for Santa Monica College in lieu of middle or high school, and it still took him a while after earning his first degree and a lot of self-motivated and self-directed non-credited learning to really appreciate what he is passionate about. What is the point of being able to master algebra and geometry in middle school and trigonometry and calculus as part of a high school traditional school curriculum? If the learning is esoteric and learned for its own sake (because it is expected curriculum in the "Race to Nowhere" to get to the "Ivory Tower") and never taught for its applications and relevance to real world problems, how can we expect students to find meaning and excitement in learning? I know that if The Incubator School succeeds in its mission, it would be the path-breaking model pilot school for the whole country and the world at large (judging by the worldwide interest since the BBC coverage) to see what engaged, motivated learning looks like when the students observe, research and ponder on real world problems. It took my daughter a while to settle in to a different way to approach learning and, today, when I asked her what civilizations are you studying in 6th grade social studies in their design period, she replied, "We are creating a new language first" within her group of three students at her table. In so doing, they are creating a vocabulary, learning the structure of their language's grammar, and, within minutes of learning from her created sentences, I was able to learn to make simple sentences using the structure and logic of their language by the time we reached home in our 30-minute commute. There would not be any opportunity in traditional school to spend on creative learning as "there is a curriculum to cover" for each grade. At Incubator. there is absolutely no rote homework or textbooks, but the common core is still the benchmark for learning. My daughter enjoys the blended learning in math and language arts which should soon individualize to each student's level of challenged learning. If you consider the fact that any interested parent at Incubator who can commit the time to the interviews of all candidates (read resumes, letters of recommendations, ask candidates questions) can participate in hiring of principal, teachers, and counselor, this school truly believes in doing things differently and engage parents and students in the creation of the emerging Incubator School culture. Unlike my experiences in other schools where engaged intelligent parents who have much to offer by way of suggestions/questions are viewed with suspicious dread and kept at arm's length, this school wants to engage parents at every step of the way. Parents and students are stakeholders' whose views/experience are valued and listened to by teachers and administrators. The Incubator Parents' facebook community discuss ideas openly and share resources and ideas of interest to the extent that we would soon need a separate facebook page to discuss ideas worth considering for Incubator School's future as it adds a grade each year till 12th grade. All I can say is "Kudos to LAUSD" for being bold enough to allow a few talented and bold educators to create a few pilot public middle schools and Incubator School is one of them. I am thankful we have bold risk-taking parents to engage in making this school succeed in its first year last year. Engaged learning should be fun, meaningful and world-changing!

by Autodidact
over 1 year ago

This is the second year my daughter attends the Incubator school. She is safe and happy there. It's what matters to me the most. Plus, my girl seems to show growth in technology-related skills, writing, and her overall confidence in her abilities. She keeps brainstorming for her business ideas. The school sends her the message that she can achieve a lot if she dares to go for her dreams.

by ykroleg
over 1 year ago

a great place for children to explore, grow and learn

by asalasmiller
over 1 year ago

My family lives and breathes the "start-up" world, so the Incubator School could not have been more of a perfect fit for us. This school is doing revolutionary things in the classroom and truly creating the entrepreneurial teams of tomorrow. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have come across this gem!

by srmogulmom
over 1 year ago

Google Classroom, homework on Google Calendar, parent communication via Facebook, online learning, students are called Innovators..The future is here now people.. The Incubator School disrupting a very old education system.

by rich.galan
over 1 year ago

This school has a real opportunity to change the way we look at education in Los Angeles.

by RNavarro
over 1 year ago

The Incubator School is so innovative! Our son comes home everyday excited about all the fun he is having! He used to be bored with school and homework was a chore. Now he comes home with enthusiasm and shares the knowledge he has learned, in an innovative way. Thank you to his creative teachers

by Laura Elian
over 1 year ago

I feel so fortunate to be a teacher at this school, and to be a part of its growth since its inception. I love teaching at a school where students and teachers are free to explore new ideas. Our community is a special one - we have incredibly involved, supportive parents and students who are eager to learn. I couldn't ask for more! Thank you for voting for our school!

by kassan
over 1 year ago

It's hard to believe that in 2014 we are still handing out rote math worksheets to students and are surprised they are bored in school. Incubator turns that entire model on it's head. My son, for the first time, loves going to school, because he finds the work challenging and interesting and most important, he can see how all his work has real world applications.

by llstein
over 1 year ago

Please vote for Incubator School today! It is a truly amazing school, that has motivated me to try hard to succeed. This grant would be a truly amazing opportunity to help our school soar. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful teachers, and to Ms. Bhatt, for giving us a truly spectacular place to learn!!

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

My son entered the traditional school system after being homeschooled since he was able to attend school. I was concerned that this would be a problem for him socially and academically starting as a 6th grader at Inc. My concerns were put to rest after the first day of school. We love Inc.! This really is the way schooling should be. I wish I could put my elementary age children in Inc as well.

by estella.taylor.94
over 1 year ago

My son entered the traditional school system after being homeschooled since he was able to attend school. I was concerned that this would be a problem for him socially and academically starting as a 6th grader at Inc. My concerns were put to rest after the first day of school. We love Inc.! This really is the way schooling should be. I wish I could put my elementary age children in Inc as well.

by estella.taylor.94
over 1 year ago

How do we encourage our children to become bright creative and innovative thinkers , if our schools are stifling our children's potential utilizing archaic 20th century curriculum and teaching methodology?
The Incubator school is creating and fostering an environment that truly can become the ultimate disruptor and set the example for what all Los Angeles schools should strive to become; a place where children are prepared to collaborate , innovate , and apply new ideas to real life applications, allowing them to invent and create their own relevant future. This Is a place worth supporting.

by Svnhanna
over 1 year ago

We love The Incubator School! My son comes home everyday excited about all the fun he is having! Until now school was boring and homework was torture. Now he comes home with enthusiasm and tells me all about his day. He understands what he is learning and WHY he is learning! I'm thankful for all of his creative teachers.

by JennyGonzalez
over 1 year ago

Wow! I wish this school was close enough for my kids to go since it's impossible to find a school that cares about helping kids be exceptional and not just helping them proceed as expected.

by katecohen
over 1 year ago

Amazing I love the creativity, relationship building, and equipping for the work force. Very cool

by jburson360
over 1 year ago

Such an amazing school! This is such an important age for children (6-12 grade). This is when setting the foundation for there life is most important. A lot of teens often lose interest in school and become "at risk". What I love about the Incubator School is they touch not only on innovation, but social and emotional growth as well. This school really connects the dots for our children. My daughter has never been this engaged in school, as well as life!

by Mayagriffin07
over 1 year ago

Incubator School is amazing! Our 7th grader can't wait for school to start!
Over the summer he brainstormed business ideas and Inc is teaching him
how to make his ideas into reality. Sujata Bhatt is really breaking new ground
and we are thrilled to be a part of such an innovative school!

by pamela.j.thomas.16
over 1 year ago

This is incredible! I love it! Being an entrepreneur myself, I have been telling people that this is the direction education needs to move in. Many congrats! If we are able to roll out the kind of program we are proposing, (http://myla2050create.maker.good.is/projects/FORT?position=0&sort=discussed), we would love the opportunity to work with you guys! Exciting stuff. Looking forward to the year 2050! Cheers and best of luck to you guys

by iamjac
over 1 year ago

This school so gets it! Kids today need this kind of school. This isn't a luxury or a 'specialized' school, this seems like a necessity in today's culture.

by ann.smith.3958
over 1 year ago

This is quote simply the best way of learning! Even if your kid is not really showing interest in business or starting a business, it give you the education to not only survive but to thrive and probably even succeed in today's world at the moment of gtaduation and beyond. These kids will easily and handily step into whatever arena they choose, and have a leg up from the average lausd graduate. Not to mention the social-emotional curriculum, the kids are given the attention they need, no child left behind here! The teacher are the best; enthusiastic and readily available to students and parents. Now that I think of it, it's like an extension of the preschool environment that we all experienced, nurturing and community minded. Brilliant.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

As a faculty member in the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, I was looking for a school for my child that is innovative, engaging, exciting, beyond the ordinary. The Incubator school aims to be exactly such a school. With its focus on building in kids a spirit of entrepreneurship and self-confidence, its emphasis on learning through meaningful, real-world, hands-on activities, its encouragement of kids to not only learn but also to share what they know, its whole-hearted embrace of cutting edge technologies to enhance the learning experience, this is an exceptional, truly visionary school. How lucky we are to have this gem right here in Los Angeles!

by bhaskar.k
over 1 year ago

After only three weeks at this fantastic, wonderful, brilliant, school my 8th grade teenager (that hated school and had zero ambition) came home last night to tell me how "pumped" he is that he will definitely be going to college! Nothing like that has ever come from his wonderful lips. They have, in such a short time, empowered him and has re-awakened his quest for knowledge that our traditional schools had sucked out of him. I am so excited for the future of this progressive school and my new little entrepreneur. This program not only covers the old standard LAUSD requirements and the New required common core but exceeds all that. #TheIncubatorschool teaches them how to become part of the contemporary world and ready to lead the way of the future. There is no questions that this should be the new standard for all schools.
.............Now my 5th grader at our local elementary school has written a proposal to his teacher asking her if he can write his report on the History of the Skate Boarding culture as opposed to the Aztec Indians he is supposed to study.

by jennifer.b1001
over 1 year ago

We looked at so many middle schools and were accepted to some very good ones. However, we all decided that Incubator was special. It was an opportunity we could not pass up. Our son is excited to see what this year will bring and can't wait to get started. He has been researching business opportunities all summer long! We feel lucky to be part of something so groundbreaking!

by renay.compere
over 1 year ago

You know you are in the right place when your child wakes up, jumps out of bed and looks forward to getting to school...The Incubator is getting our children ready to go out and conquer an ever changing world...These kids are thinking about their business plans in 6th grade. They may not know what they want to do..but what they do know is they want to work for themselves...and make a positive impact on the world!!!....

by kimberkg
over 1 year ago

Such an amazing school, the students are able to progress at their own pace yet keeping up with the technological changes of the world. The students are excited to go to school on a daily basis because it's unlike any other learning experience. There's a community atmosphere with the families enrolled. We donate, fundraise and work hard to keep our school at its best.

Sujata is a mastermind to write up a plan for this school and implement it effectively.

by cuteeepye
over 1 year ago

I've never been to such an inspirational Back to School Night. Thank you Incubator School for walking the talk of innovation in education. We all face challenges in life. I love how at Inc, kids are turning every challenge into an opportunity.

by emkuwata@gmail.com
over 1 year ago

If I read an article about a school like this, of course it wouldn't be in LA. I would think that there is no way that something like this could start or survive in this city, for so many reasons. But it is here, and there is no way I'm going to let this opportunity slide through my fingers. No doubter am I, no way no how. To lament the current status of LA public schools and pass this up...nah, I couldn't do it. No way no how.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

A program that offers project based team work and differentiated learning!!

by dlivneh
over 1 year ago

The Incubator School encourages and supports innovation to enhance student learning in a way where ALL students can realize their true potential and obtain success! We are so excited to have a quality school like this where kids are provided an opportunity to learn on a deeper, more relevant level. I'm a huge fan!

by angel.honda.37
over 1 year ago

Only a few weeks in and already I see a huge change happening to my daughter. She is coming home excited and happy to share what she is doing at school (yes, an 11 year old who is opening up instead of shutting down). She looks forward to going to school, she connects what she is learning in the classroom to the world around her, she is once again excited about learning. As a parent, I could not wish for more.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

We started when Inc opened their doors. Friends said "are you sure you really want to put your daughter in a start up school?".My choices .were limited as my daughter had grown to hate school..and yes I mean hate. It was s daily struggle to get her out of bed..she was miserable ..and so were we.One quick chat with Sujata and I knew I had found something unlike anything out there... Sujatas vision on how these kids were going to be taught ..they had no choice but to learn..Two days in and I had my daughter back.The sad disengaged child was now smiling and discussing what she had done at school...She looked forward to waking up and going .She is now in 7th grade and not once since she began have I heard her say I dont want to go..She loves school and loves her teachers..These are the cream of the crop...they are young hip..forward thinking visionaries.We are so happy to be a part of this amazing learning space...

by kimberkg
over 1 year ago

My son has transformed his whole outlook since being part of the Incubator school, as well as a happy learning environment, students are encouraged to think, outside the box and consider all angles of the box. My son is animated when he comes home from school and always engages in conversation about school I no longer have to force it out of him, on back to school night I was so impressed with the 7th and 8th grader students, how they spoke and handled themselves. I am finally excited for my sons future in education because of the Incubator school and the curriculum they are providing for our children

by oraven
over 1 year ago

After one year at the Incubator School my son has transformed from being a disengaged and struggling student to a thriving, highly self-motivated learner. As my son is inspired by the real-world, applicable curriculum, he is challenged to rise to his true potential.

by Sahira.Traband
over 1 year ago

Finally a school that focuses on real learning.

by Monka09
over 1 year ago

Also I would like to add; Our world is changing and so are our children. It only makes sense that our schools change as well! It's time to think forward....

by Mayagriffin07
over 1 year ago

This sounds like an amazing school. I would love to see schools like this in Ohio. I work with disadvantaged youth and most of them do not like going to school. If we had something like this here I am sure the youth I work with would thrive!

by juli-lynn-smith
over 1 year ago

I was looking for a school like Incubator and didn't think it existed. But, it does and is educating our children with practical application and knowledge that will enable them to thrive in modern society. This school is where it's at!

by amica
over 1 year ago

As an incoming 6th grader, I am looking forward to everything that Incubator has to offer me.

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

The Incubator School motivated my son to succeed in his academics and make him thinks of different ideas to apply himself and challenge in learning and help him give good presentation. It is a great school for my son very innovative.

by AntonetteDelgado
over 1 year ago

We are really excited to be part of this!

by chriswood
over 1 year ago

This school offers unique opportunities for learning and growth while revolutionizing their teaching approaches.

by laleo2014
over 1 year ago

Dear Reubenfreed, much of the learning is group project driven. Working in groups, they thrive on each other for input and knowledge. Learning how to learn from each other, with out intimidation and competition is building a peer based community that does build a community. Teaching them this at this young age, certainly helps the "takes a village" model to a young group that traditionally does not learn this until they are in their mid 20's.

by jennifer.b1001
over 1 year ago

What a wonderful experience. I wish every student in Los Angeles had the same experience. Let's get those votes and make some waves in education.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

All off Los Angeles would benefit!

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

It would be great to bring this opportunity to many more students.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

It would be nice to say that all LA schools are winners. I hope Incubator is allowed to lead the way!

by RNavarro
over 1 year ago

Yes, Tracy, it would be wonderful to create a movement of innovation in all LA schools.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Mine too. I voted!! I really hope they win. A win for Inc is a win for all LA schools!!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

I totally agree! My daughter is having the best experience with her best friends -- she's thriving, learning, and creating lasting memories. Thank you Incubator and Incubator Parents!

by CrazyZenMom
over 1 year ago

What a concept, a place where learning is exciting, fun and engaging. The difference I see in my child's response to her school experience is amazing... its a completely different perspective. A refreshing positive attitude to what learning and school means to her.

by Svnhanna
over 1 year ago

I cant echo enough, all the great points that you covered above...but simply put for me, is that Inc.School is a place where my child's education becomes relevant and true to world around them now.

by Svnhanna
over 1 year ago

What a special place!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

And as the world keeps changing, we will change too.

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

The project based team work has been a huge part of why my daughter loves this school. She is able to get to know all of her classmates, such an important life skill and how great that they are learning it now.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

To understand what you are learning and why you are learning it is huge! What an accomplishment for him, the school supports this deeper learning experience.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Is it all you thought it would be? It has surpassed our expectations.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Focus on the social and emotional growth is one of the many things that sets Incubator apart from other schools.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

You are my daughter's favorite teacher! We are so lucky to have you right here right now!!! Thank YOU Mr. Scott!!!!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Deeper and more relevant is exactly what kids are learning here.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

I know, I love the school wide homework calendar!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Exactly! We want our innovators to innovate wherever they choose to go, be it in a startup or in any established field or occupation. The point is to look at the world in a solutions-oriented way and have the skills to do what it takes to create those solutions.

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

I whole completely agree. We are blessed to be a part of The Incubator community. As parent, educator, and citizen of this planet, I know that their are children beyond our school that would benefit from bringing this playbook to open source. Our children deserve to have options available to their teachers to help each child thrive. It already effective in our community. Let's work to spread it to all of Los Angeles and then to the rest of our nation!!!

by cervantes.paola
over 1 year ago

We agree completely!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Thank you for your support and excitement!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

No more boredom!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Motivating!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

I know right? This school so gets it.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

I concur!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Amazing!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

So innovative!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

So special!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Me too!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

We can't wait to start too!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Your lucky child!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

I agree!!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

I agree!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Yes it is definitely being implemented effectively, I so agree.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

We are too!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

I hope you like it so far!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Thank you!!!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Yeah the Back to School night was amazing! I love how the math teacher said however much they want to learn however much further they want to go, he'll teach it. I sat there with my mouth hanging open. They don't have to go at the class pace they can go way more if they've mastered a concept, or he will really take care of you if you are having trouble with a particular concept. Amazing.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Wow that's amazing! I'm so glad he's happy!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Yes I feel the same way!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Dear Reubenfreed, I think it is important to keep in mind that entrepreneurship comes in varied forms. Fauchart and Gruber write in their 2011 paper of the "differences between the motivations of entrepreneurs who create firms out of economic self-interest and those of entrepreneurs who start their firms because of concern for others. An example of the latter is Muhammad Yunus, who created the Grameen Bank because he wanted to fight poverty by giving `microcredit' to the poor so that they could launch their own firms." There is an emphasis on social and environmentally conscious entrepreneurship at Incubator. For instance, the middle school students at Incubator worked last year on a project with the Audubon Society to design a safe beach nesting site for the Snowy Plover whose pacific coast is listed as a threatened species under the endangered species act.

by bhaskar.k
over 1 year ago

ps: I meant to say pacific coast *population* ... As a birder in LA myself, this was a project that touched my heart, one reason among many I was thrilled at the opportunity to send my kid here.

by bhaskar.k
over 1 year ago

Wow, thank you very much for joining our community!

by SuzieM
over 1 year ago

You've described beautifully what makes this school so exciting to be a part of ! What Ms. Bhatt is creating here is indeed a game changing educational approach and it is so fantastic that it's happening right here in Los Angeles.

by bhaskar.k
over 1 year ago

Socio-emotional curriculum should be de riguer for all middle schools. It is such a time of growth and change and self development.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all kids felt this way about their school?

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

It is. Mine too. It's strange it kind of crept up me. Maggie is much more confident now. I sees change I her, a strength is building.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Yes the projecst enable our kids to get to know each other on a level unprecedented at this stage in school. One day my daughter said, "you know mom, that guy is actually really nice. You know, that one who was so popular." That kid was at her previous school, but the concept of popular isn't relevant here, all the kids are who they are and that's okay. There is no peer exclusivity happening.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Exactly how it should be! Thank you

by JennyGonzalez
over 1 year ago

Again, a hallmark of true collaboration, changing with the times. Recognizing the need for that, to stay current, not stuck in the mud trenches. Liberating.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Paola, you might be interested in the Makerspace@ Lakewood City Schools as well. There's another very interesting school in Philadelphia, The Workshop School: http://www.workshopschool.org/

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Yes, Cora. This is a school that embraces all children.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Yes our kids are so happy here! I'm so glad we made this choice!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

We've been visited by the US State Department, the US Department of Education, teams from Harvard's Kennedy School, journalists from the US and abroad, as well as many founders of startups. They all remark on how articulate our students are. They make us proud.

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

That's one of the products of this education, articulation. A lesson many take their entire lives to learn.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Thank you for your support, Juli-lynn. Please do vote for us tomorrow and spread the word to your networks. There's a very interesting high school opening in Lakewood, OH next year. I know one of the founders, Sean Wheeler, and given his passion and creativity, I'm certain the school will be amazing: http://www.makerspacelcs.com/

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Incubator School is so innovative and forward thinking. This is the future of education. So excited to be part of it!!

by jamiehaynes
over 1 year ago

the future is now.. lets hope the word spreads so more can experience what is happening here. this is a program that MUST grow.

by Svnhanna
over 1 year ago

I wholeheartedly agree. And yes, how very lucky are we.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Goodbye math worksheets!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

We are also very lucky to have parents and community partners who are willing to share their particular expertise to help craft a 21st century school curriculum. Thank you all!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Thank you!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Thanks for making our input as parents do collaborative.

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Disruptor is exactly the right word. We were the first school featured on the Clayton Christensen Institute's education blog: http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning-spotlight-incubator-school/

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

We are very excited to see our students grow!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Kate, I truly hope you find a place where your child feels cared for and exceptional. Every child should have a school like this.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Or when your child says it feels like camp, or says the day is not long enough, or they want to stay after school.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

We feel very lucky too. I can't imagine what would have happened to our daughter if she was any place else.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

I drive by the other schools regularly and each time I think how happy I am that my daughter isn t struggling to be seen there. The incubator school sees all the kids. The teachers can reach all the kids.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

I now have a daughter who enjoys doing homework! And a very frustrated 5th grader who still has to do it the old way.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Real-world learning adds so much VALUE to what my daughter is learning. She sees, connects and understands the why aspects of what she is taught. A true gem!

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Sujata Bhatt is amazing. How lucky are our children to have her as a role model?

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

We are truly blessed to find someone with this much knowledge, drive and awareness of the contemporary learning our children need and are thriving on, in the LAUSD. We are actually lucky to find someone like this, anywhere.

by jennifer.b1001
over 1 year ago

Our children will be the leaders of tomorrow. This school will prepare them to be fearless.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Even if they are not the leader, they will be an integral part of whatever it is they choose to do.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

If I read about this school I would want to move to the place where it was. I feel so lucky it's right here and lausd has allowed it to happen. I never could have dreamed it possible.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

You put it just right, the Incubator School can and should "set the example for what all Los Angeles schools should strive to become; a place where children are prepared to collaborate innovate, and apply new ideas to real life." A model. A new paradigm.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

This school has really helped me!

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

I agree!!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

I like how you say they have no choice but to learn, it's like they do t even know they're learning but they are. You can tell from their conversation alone. You can see their mind working in a new way. I imagine the inside of their head with all the pathways lit up and connecting. The teachers are indeed the cream of the crop. Totally in their prime. Visionary indeed.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

I couldn't agree more! The teachers make connections with these kids and that's such an important part in keeping them engaged.

by JennyGonzalez
over 1 year ago

It is really cool how we learn here. I am super exited to be part of this school!

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Thank you!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

Thank you Bhatt!

by JennyGonzalez
over 1 year ago

It totally does!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

We do too! Such a smart idea!

by JennyGonzalez
over 1 year ago

I couldn't agree more Cora. We are extremely lucky!!!

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Truly!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

So are we!!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Being an entrepreneur is liberating!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

i have high hopes for this place!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

So do you love it??

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Incubator School is really an amazing place. I am learning new things in new ways, that make it interesting for me.

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

With extra funds, imagine what could be accomplished!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

At this school, the sky is the limit.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

So convenient!

by JCowitt
over 1 year ago

Thank you!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

The schoolhouse calendar beats out programs like illuminate by far. What a great implementation and probably saved quoted a bit of money as well!

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Thank you! Good luck to you as well!

by sbhatt
over 1 year ago

THANK YOU Mr. Scott!!!!! You have become a household name. Even my younger son, who does not attend Incubator, loves you. Your ability to teach in such an engaging way is truly inspiring.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

I can't believe we are so lucky to have him! And he's driving from super far away, showing real commitment. It's hard to believe he's been teaching for so long, it feels like he's right in the prime of his teaching career, at a place and time where he feels confident, knowing he can inspire and reach these kids! It's nice to think that maybe the school is inspiring to him and bringing out his enthusiasm and then he gives it back and it a symbiotic relationship of give and take that's actually working.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Back to School night solidified our faith in this school. I loved how the kids were so involved in the success of the event. What a great and empowering thing to include them. This school is helping mold the leaders of tomorrow.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

The sense of community this school has created is definitely one of its major strengths. Everyone, students, teachers and parents are invested in the success of this school and it shows.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

It reminds me of the community I experienced when my kids were in preschool.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

We are seeing a change in our younger son as well! What a great concept, study what you love and study it as deep or as wide as you can.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

How liberating. I had no idea a school could be run this way. When there's an issue, there is such calm and efficient way of solving it. What a great lesson to teach our children. Problems happen, learn from them, and move on.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Exactly. Liberating.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

This is the direction that education needs to move in. I'm just glad we had this opportunity.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

Our kids do need this kind of school. It would be great if more children had this opportunity.

by M.Hanna
over 1 year ago

I can't wait for the world to see, plain as day, this is the way to go.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Exciting stuff for sure! We are excited to be a part of it.

by cora.coomber
over 1 year ago

Thank you Mr. Scott for making school interesting. I enjoy every minute of your class, which keeps me interested in learning and succeeding. I really appreciate all of your hard work! Thank you very much!!

by E.Hanna
over 1 year ago

There are fortune 500 companies out there today that are far behind on collaborative tools that our children are learning to embrace in Middle School!!! So its more then changing the education system .. its preparing these kids to change the way future business collaborate and interact.

by Svnhanna
over 1 year ago

We are so lucky to have you at the school. It takes a certain teacher to be able to teach outside the box as well. Thank you for your dedication!!

by jennifer.b1001
over 1 year ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$100,000
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014