One Stone Launching Innovative New High School in Boise

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The One Stone team gets kids.

In fact, the majority of the board members of the Boise nonprofit are teens. Their mission is to “make students better leaders and the world a better place.”

Launched in 2008, One Stone empowers high school students to learn and practice 21st century skills through experiential service, innovative initiatives and social entrepreneurship. They serves about 200 students from 20 high schools across Idaho’s Treasure Valley in three programs:

  • Project Good: Service projects that attack local issues.
  • Solution Lab: Real time problem solving and design.
  • Two Birds: 50 youth providing creative services (and coached by some great designers).

Founder and One Stone Jedi, Teresa Poppen is the Ultimate Difference Maker (that means does most of the fund raising). Below is a picture of Teresa doing what they do best: listening to kids.

With a great team (and a big nudge from JA & Kathryn Albertson Foundation), Teresa is rethinking school.

A New Kind of School

In three months, 32 Boise teenagers will experience a very different kind of school. One that is “rooted in empathy, innovation and student-centered learning, One Stone prepares students to flourish on any path that they choose.”

The tuition free, independent high school will provide “irresistible experiences” that foster creativity, collaboration, ownership and entrepreneurship.

The One Stone team is working with a loose collaboration of Radical Reinventors including Christine Ortiz, Ampersand schools, and Susie Wise, Stanford d.School.

The project-based school design will build on One Stone’s history of promoting student voice through relevance, passion and purpose.

What about those pesky college entrance requirements? Teresa is heartened by the number of colleges looking for authentic forms of evidence and is confident that One Stone students will develop an impressive portfolio of work including evidence of an informed perspective, innovative problem solving and self-directed entrepreneurship.

One Stone aims to “graduate an army of talent; leaders who will make change and make the world a better place.”

Interested? Early applications are due July 1 and the final application deadline is July 29.

For more see:


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Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is author of Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of 4.0 Schools, eduInnovation, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, Charter Board Partners and Bloomboard. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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