XQ: Super School Project Announces High School With Coastal Restoration Focus To Be Built In Greater New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – On Wednesday, the XQ: Super School Project announced New Harmony High will be opening to Louisiana students in the Fall of 2018.

         The school, to be located in the Greater New Orleans region, was selected as part of a competition seeking completely new and innovative designs for high school education. An entry for this project was created last fall by a team of dedicated educators with a vision to merge student-centered learning with the fundamental environmental and economic challenges facing south Louisiana, GNO, Inc. reps said.

         “Our dream for New Harmony High is to create an environment for students to explore the connections between their individual interests, their local communities, and the world,” said Bobbie Hill, New Harmony High team lead. “Through a robust real-world teaching and learning model, the school will directly integrate student learning with a dominant issue for our region – coastal restoration.”

         The competition, known as  XQ: Super School Project, promised to award prizes of $10 million over 5 years to winning proposals. The New Harmony High School proposal was one of more than 700 entries. New Harmony High will be a game-changing public high school, using students' passions, talents, and skills to address the very real challenge of coastal change.

         "This school represents an investment into the long-term growth of the coastal restoration industry for our region," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "The students in this school will help fill future workforce gaps in coastal management and increase the stability of the industry. This opportunity provides further evidence that Greater New Orleans is a hub for global resilience; its impact will be enjoyed for years to come."

         As a first step, the school’s team will begin an extensive community-engagement process to ensure that New Harmony High is a school that puts students at the center of their own learning, and at the center of community needs, GNO, Inc. reps said. Leaders plan to initiate community meetings as early as October 2016.

         The New Harmony High Team includes:


• Aaron Frumin, unCommon Construction

• Amanda K. Hill, The Cowen Institute

• Andrew Frishman, Big Picture Learning

• Bobbie Hill, Concordia: Harmony by Design

• Bryan Lee, Jr., Arts Council of New Orleans

• Casey Coleman, Court 13 Arts

• Elliot Washor, Big Picture Learning

• Heidi Andrade, University at Albany-State University of New York

• Kirsten Breckinridge, YouthShift

• Michael Stimpfel, KIPP Colorado

• Nolan Marshall, Jr., Orleans Parish School Board

• Richie Blink, National Wildlife Federation

• Steve Cochran, Environmental Defense Fund

• Steven Bingler, Concordia: Harmony by Design

• Sunny Dawn Summers, New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School


         XQ: The Super School Project launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and design the next American high school. Thousands of School Builders, and tens of thousands of supporters from towns and cities across all 50 states have united to take on this important work. Teams of students, teachers, parents, community leaders and many more came together to conceptualize innovative models for 21st century learning.

         Since its launch, XQ has proven to be more than a challenge to create innovative high schools. It is a growing movement to reimagine what is possible for public education in America, and a hub for community voices, cutting edge ideas, and expert resources to create new pathways to success for students, XQ reps said.

         For more information



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