Our Founding Story

The idea for Washington Leadership Academy was born in 2013 with a clear vision: to build a school with technology at its core that prepares young people for lives of public leadership.  Inspired by the potential of new digital tools to help level the playing field for disenfranchised students, the WLA founding team developed a proposal for a high school that would motivate and prepare students to lead and change the world.


WLA’s founding team includes educators, parents, UX designers, public servants, and other DC leaders, inspired by programs like STEMLY, the Congressional Page Program, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, and Democracy Prep Public Schools.  


The hope was not to “reform” the high school experience, but instead to redesign it from the ground up. In 2016, WLA welcomed its inaugural class of 9th graders offering an innovative curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual student, providing immersive civic education, and equipping our WLA citizen-scholars to “Be The Future.”

The Path Ahead

Virtual Reality Development

Faculty and students will collaborate to form sharable virtual reality experiences.

Online Course Development

Faculty and students will collaborate to create open-source online courses.

Open School Development Resources

We will continue to make our school development resources open and available to the public and to assist other school innovators. Contact us at info@wlapcs.org.