School Tours

  • Friday, Nov. 30th will be a pre-conference day of school tours
  • Each school tour registration includes site visits to 2 schools, either 2 K-8th grade schools, or 2 high schools
  • At each school tour, participants will learn about the school’s governance and learning program, visit classrooms in small groups, talk with students, and talk with teachers. Each school tour will be approximately 2.5 hours
  • Participants must be registered for the conference to be able to attend school tours, which is a separate cost
  • $100 per person for school visits- includes transportation from venue to school sites and lunch

There are four options: one site will be visited in the morning, and then the whole group will go together to the second site for an afternoon visit. Email Amy Junge at if you would like to be added to a waitlist for sold out tours.

Option A

Mission Hill K-8 and Boston Teachers Union School


Option B

Boston Day and Evening Academy and Fenway Pilot High School


Option C

Mildred Avenue K-8 School and Another Course to College


Option D

Reiche Community School, Portland ME

Registration closed.

“I really connected with the school visits and presentations of alternative models. Seeing these schools in practice, implementing similar visions, encouraged me to think further about our own model.” -2017 conference participant


Photo from a previous site visit

Mission Hill K-8 School

Photo from Mission Hill K-8 School

Mission Hill K-8 School opened in 2001 as a democratically run teacher-powered school founded by Deborah Meier. Their teacher team values modeling the principles of democracy to create engaged, innovative, resilient student citizens. They are a small democratically run progressive inclusive public school who focus daily on creating a sense of belonging for all the members of their community and fostering empathy among their students. Their teacher team also uses an innovative peer evaluation system to improve their teaching. They see themselves as lifelong learners and actively engage in collaborative goal setting, peer observations, and honest debriefings to improve their teaching craft.

Learn more by watching the video series A Year at Mission Hill »

  • Grades: K-8
  • Type: Pilot
  • 20 Teachers, 215 Students
  • 42% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 21% African-American
    • 1% Asian
    • 39% Hispanic/Latino
    • 32% White
  • 34% Special Populations

BTU School

Photo from BTU School

BTU is a project-based K-8 school, led by two co-leading teachers. The school focuses on interdisciplinary education, involving students in democratic decision-making. They provide an 8th-grade internship program, and are partnered with Simmons College.

  • Grades: K-8
  • Type: Pilot
  • 23 Teachers, 296 Students
  • 40.6% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 23% African-American
    • 0.3% American Indian
    • 2.7% Asian
    • 39.5% Hispanic/Latino
    • 31.1% White
    • 3.4% Two or more races
  • 34.7% Special Populations

Photo from a previous site visit

Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA)

Photo from BDEA

BDEA offers competency-based education, with 11-week modules. It is a blended learning program, with online courses as a key component. They also use experiential learning, including a Project Month that helps make all classes “experiential”, and gives students and teachers an opportunity to collaborate on projects. The school is led by a headmaster with a lead teacher model.

  • Ages 16-24
  • Type: District charter (Horace Mann Charter)
  • 22 Teachers, 404 Students
  • 49.9% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 48.3% African-American
    • 1% American Indian
    • 2% Asian
    • 40.1% Hispanic/Latino
    • 0.2% Pacific Islander
    • 5.2% White
    • 3.2% Two or more races
  • 32.9% Special Populations

Fenway Pilot High School

Fenway Pilot High School has a headmaster with lead teacher model, thematic focus on social justice, and strong community partnerships.

  • Grades 9-12
  • Type: Pilot
  • 21 Teachers, 360 Students
  • 45.9% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 33.9% African-American
    • 0% American Indian
    • 3.6% Asian
    • 55.3% Hispanic/Latino
    • 0.3% Pacific Islander
    • 5.3% White
    • 1.7% Two or more races
  • 28.3% Special Populations

Photo from a previous site visit

Mildred Avenue K-8 School

Mildred Avenue K-8 School focuses on customizing instruction to the needs of each student and strong community partnerships.

Read about Mildred Avenue K-8 School in this article, Little-tapped Boston contract provision tied to big school improvement »

  • Grades K-8
  • Type: Special Status through union contract
  • 38 Teachers, 421 Students
  • 62.2% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 69.1% African-American
    • 1% American Indian
    • 1.4% Asian
    • 25.2% Hispanic/Latino
    • 1.7% White
    • 1.7% Two or more races
  • 49.6% Special Populations

Another Course to College

Another Course offers a curriculum with no tracks: honors included in regular classrooms and open to all students. However, AP classes are also offered after school with blended learning. All teachers at Another Course are double-certified in their subject area and special education — many triple-certify in ESL. They have a number of unique initiatives as well: Intrepid Academy at Hale, which experiential outdoor education; service learning trips; and a Boston entrepreneurship program. The school is led by a headmaster with a lead teacher model.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Type: Pilot
  • 18 Teachers, 223 Students
  • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 43% African-American
    • 0.4% American Indian
    • 5.8% Asian
    • 39.9% Hispanic/Latino
    • 0.4% Pacific Islander
    • 7.2% White
    • 3.1% Two or more races
  • 39% Special Populations

Reiche Community School

Photo of Reiche Community School

Photo of Reiche Community School mural

Reiche is located near a large refugee intake center and over 40% of their students are ESL, and of those over 40% are IELD. Reiche has over 40 languages spoken at their school and a high rate of poverty with 78% FRL. The teacher team at Reiche has decided to use a community school model to serve the many needs of their students and families. As a community school, they partner with local organizations to provide services to their students and families. For example, they have partnered with the Opportunity Alliance in Portland, which provides children and adults with mental health services.

  • Grades: K-5
  • Type: District Innovative Public School
  • 31 Teachers, 401 Students
  • 78.2% Free and Reduced-Price Lunch
  • Ethnicity:
    • 38.9% African-American
    • 2.7% Asian
    • 12.6% Hispanic/Latino
    • 40.6% White
    • 5.2% Two or more races
  • 14% Special Education
  • 43% English Language Learners