About Us

Founded in Chicago in 1991, the Small Schools Workshop has become the premier resource for small schools creation, design and restructuring. The Workshop provides schools and school districts with an experienced team of school design coaches and teacher professional development experts that can guide the school transformation process from beginning to end.

The Small Schools Workshop has developed its process from a strong research base. Unlike many other organizations in the field, the Workshop won’t provide a prescriptive, prepackaged program. Rather, we start from the unique conditions within and around each school and school district. It’s a process that engages the entire school community, including all stakeholders, in the process of shaping and feeling a sense of ownership over the small learning communities they have created.

Who We Are

The Small Schools Workshop is a group of educators, organizers and researchers who work in collaboration with teachers, principals, parents, and district leaders to create new, small, innovative learning communities in public schools. We provide direct assistance through partnerships with school districts. The Workshop actively participates in national and local initiatives to deepen public understanding of the importance of school size to student learning and the role of small schools in furthering positive whole-school and systemic change.

The Small Schools Workshop has a record of successful support for K-12 schools. We offer a broad array of topical workshops and conferences tailored to the needs of schools in the process of redesigning. Areas of expertise include teaching, inclusion and equity, curricular integration, alignment and assessment, career academy design, resource development and strategies for comprehensive school improvement. Leadership development, team building, and school violence prevention are Workshop specialties.

Since 1991, the Small Schools Workshop has:

  • Assisted hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools to restructure into small schools or smaller learning communities
  • Advocated for and helped educators win major policy changes at the local, state and federal levels toward empowering schools with a greater degree of self-governance and autonomy
  • Provided ongoing technical assistance and professional development opportunities to teachers, principals, superintendents and teams of teachers involved in small schools
  • Researched, evaluated, and designed assessment tools for small schools
  • Provided leadership to a growing local and national network of small schools and like-minded organizations