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 partner and social enterprise incubator, Democracy Builders, hired the WLA founding team to develop 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, technologists, public servants, and D.C. leaders, and most importantly, young people. The founding team scoured the country for the best models of innovative high school education and built on the shoulders of giants. Some of the inspirations for WLA were: Summit Public Schools, USC Hybrid High, and Brooklyn Lab.

Read more about the founding team here.

The Path Ahead

Virtual Reality Piloting

Staff and students will collaborate to pilot VR experiences in the high school education context. We will share our lessons learned with the world. 

Competency-Based Credits

Staff and students will collaborate to test methods of awarding credit that are far superior to the Carnegie Unit. WLA will pioneer the use of competency based credits in D.C. and beyond.

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 for access to all of our resources.