The World is Changing

The jobs of the future don’t exist yet. While we don’t know what the world will look like, we know that our students will need wrestle with uncertainty and become agents of their own learning.

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Dual School optimizes for student insight, not content delivery. Whether it's about their project, their mindset or their lives, we help students grow by putting them in situations to learn.

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Our goal is to incubate student ideas and activate nascent potential. We are designed to help young people launch projects that have a real impact on the world around them.

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In Dual School, students have the opportunity to gain crucial skills like project management, design thinking and professionalism by launching projects that improve their communities.

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We start the conversation by asking students what they care about. It's a question students don't often hear, but one that we believe is the key to allowing them to do their best work.

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Students plot their own course forward. There is no uniform deliverable that comes from Dual School. Some students build websites, others make videos, and others launch programs at their schools.

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Every student faces obstacles along the way. With the help of mentors, small cohorts and a fierce emphasis on psychological safety, the Dual School community is always there to help.

We optimize for moments of insight.

Moments of Insight

We've all had an "aha!" moment that gives us clarity on an important project. We believe these moments can be designed, and our job at Dual School is to help students have more of them. Our framework prioritizes three core areas where we see moments of insight happen:

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Personal importance

Students have space to work on projects they care about. Sometimes it’s the first time they’ve had such an opportunity. Throughout their Dual School journey, students explore a passion of their choosing and launch real projects.

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Rapid prototyping

Dual School gets students out of the abstract and pushes them to take action on their ideas. Rather than writing a research paper, Dual School students test their assumptions by running workshops, creating physical prototypes and developing websites.

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Connections to experts

Every student in Dual School is paired with a mentor who helps them connect with professionals. Conversations with experts lead to moments of insight as students can tap into years of wisdom through a short dialogue.

Dual School gets students out of the abstract and pushes them to take action on their ideas.

A framework to drive growth

We care about the delta

Whether a student comes in with an existing business concept, or the student comes in with a passion and little idea how to make progress, we are optimizing for the growth. The beauty of our framework is that it works for both cases.

Unlike most programs where there is a prescribed outcome, Dual School is designed to accommodate students at different stages of their project life cycle and deliver a high-value experience in both scenarios.

By keeping cohort sizes small and maintaining a mentor to student ratio of 3:1, the student experience is personalized to ensure relevance for all participants.

For example: Noah came in with an existing computer science camp that he had run several times. Through Dual School he was able to connect with experts in the computer science education space, spend time developing his business model and work on scaling his program up.

On the other hand, Dorcas entered Dual School with the idea that she wanted to reduce judgment between students at her school. Through Dual School she connected with professionals, prototyped ideas and launched a curriculum for homeroom classes to facilitate more meaningful interactions between students.

Dual School is designed to accomodate students at different stages of their project life cycle

Meeting Structure

When you have a few dozen high school students all from different backgrounds coming together in an experience like Dual School, it is crucial to establish psychological safety within the group. Many of the problems students pursue are deeply personal and we need students to feel comfortable sharing their ideas with others.

Kickoff weekend stokes

Dual School starts off with a kickoff weekend that is designed to establish psychological safety, group cohesion and a sense of community. We do a series of creative activities, projects and reflections that encourage students to get to know one another while having a fun and engaging learning experience. These aren’t ice breakers, they are intentionally designed experiences that have been refined over many years.

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After the kickoff weekend, Dual School students meet weekly for three hours for ten weeks. These meetings are facilitated like design sprints. Using sticky notes, project boards and activities from Stanford’s d.school, students rapidly move through the design thinking process and take action on their ideas.

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In order to facilitate real world connections, Dual School mentors attend our weekly sessions to work alongside students. We engage a mix of student entrepreneurs from Horn Entrepreneurship and local community members.

Crowd and boards

To conclude the ten week program, Dual School puts on a large-scale public exhibition hosted at 1313 Innovation. Students show off the work they’ve done and share their stories with an audience of 100+ people. We invite, families and friends of students, school teachers and administrators, local business leaders, non-profit leaders and other community members.

To conclude the ten week program, Dual School puts on a large-scale public exhibition hosted at 1313 Innovation.

A plug-in for all schools

Dual School is a supplement to the existing education system. We deliver an elite learning opportunity to students from public, private and charter schools in New Castle County.

We also welcome teachers to learn from our innovative pedagogy and connect with other forward thinking educators. Through a partnership with Blue Dot Education, a group of teachers from High Tech High, we provide a mentorship connection for local teachers looking to improve their own educational practices.