A new public innovation school in the exploratory stage
Based in Cambridge, MA

Puzzleschool pdf 6e570e9c07abb17f420aa25ecc3661a37c3c47ec08a2b0a9b934aa072ffae7b8
The Puzzle School Exploration

We are in the early stages of exploring a new public innovation high school or middle school in Cambridge, MA. The innovation school model, described below, works within the local district.

The "puzzle" metaphor is about a process rather than a specific design. The process consists of deep observations, developing and testing hypotheses, and seeking feedback as you make progress toward your goal.

This process will inform all aspects of The Puzzle School, from how the school is run to the student's day-to-day experience to how students approach their own learning.

You can read more in this pdf description of The Puzzle School.

Puzzleschool pdf 6e570e9c07abb17f420aa25ecc3661a37c3c47ec08a2b0a9b934aa072ffae7b8
The Innovation School Model

The Innovation Schools initiative was signed into law in January 2010. It allows districts to to explore innovative ideas while keeping school funding within districts.

It requires that the Superintendent, Teacher's Union (Cambridge Education Association), and the School Committee all have a voice in the planning process and a vote in the approval proccess.

There are currently 50 innovations schools around Massachusetts including 7 in Boston.

There are not yet any innovation schools in Cambridge.

Massachusetts seal 1aebd04d029645a0c2d8c7c8111ff9eb266f32a777630124f5a7ca122ec17ff3
Day to day 52a3faf04130b25339db86a3c84e5bcb45f7b6491bf1ce24bf411ff9b7b8d40a
A Day In The Life

What would a day in the life be like at The Puzzle School? It's a difficult question to answer, but we've provided some thoughts on:

  • A sample schedule.
  • Appreciating the Present vs. Preparing for the Future
  • Personal Interests vs. Requirements

Read more about a day in the life >

Day to day 52a3faf04130b25339db86a3c84e5bcb45f7b6491bf1ce24bf411ff9b7b8d40a
Our Programs

We are currently running programs with students in Cambridge. Some of the programs we have run or are developing include:

  • Exploring student interests, strengths, and problems they are interested in solving in the world.
  • Exploring math, art, and self expression through coding.
  • Helping students think through goals and problems in their own lives using Design Thinking.

Read more about our programs >

Programs thumb 64a36da2b700f73c75a14432a3032db6810083c28fd7e75e4d90c62e1195d818
Thoughtfulrecommendations 0b1df5faa7bcbb1301c319999cc7a35544e5ce7b7bae01500f2f0ee2d9fbd7de
Technology / Research & Development

The Puzzle School believes that technology can play an effective role in helping schools to:

  • Ensure all voices in the school community are heard
  • Communicate more effectively with families
  • Support students in diverse pathways
  • Help students connect with mentors and internships
  • Support new and innovative ways to learn

Read more about technology >

Thoughtfulrecommendations 0b1df5faa7bcbb1301c319999cc7a35544e5ce7b7bae01500f2f0ee2d9fbd7de
Our Advisors

The Puzzle School is working with educational leaders from around Cambridge.

They represent decades of teaching experience and have started, run, and worked for innovative and prominent schools in the country:

  • A faculty member from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • A co-founder of High Tech High
  • A co-executive director of Big Picture Learning
  • Instructors from MIT, Olin, and Boston College

Learn more about our advisors >

Grotzer thumb 396ee1ecdf28c4ceaa2f56f07cf92ddba12e009061351ff19207073ff77b52aa
Riordan thumb b1b5b106021ab0a5458d3526b7846349bf0b4e2b0318b0257c09c0cbbae9994b
Patin thumb 71e12fa4e7a8458b78a4833345a919e8c96b684844bedcfc43835aea3494ef10
Kuldell thumb 6f3a59fff874bbcbdb80edbea3918ecdbfa475f8ea3725596d14bdf58e2ca698
Ben ur thumb 98fb0b26bd78717288eda3659f9c1d24386305ff6569977172fcfc12c97a22a0
Frishman thumb f79b7c6e5dc1a99b17b72a95ddf35c0f790f1d656755970958699d05a6623de5

“So this was the big secret historians keep to themselves: historical research is wildly seductive and fun. There's a thrill in the process of digging, then piecing together details like a puzzle.”

~ Nancy Horan

“As a kid, I was into music, played guitar in a band. Then I started acting in plays in junior high school and just got lost in the puzzle of acting, the magic of it. I think it was an escape for me.”

~ Michael J. Fox

“When you write non-fiction, you sit down at your desk with a pile of notebooks, newspaper clippings, and books and you research and put a book together the way you would a jigsaw puzzle.”

~ Janine di Giovanni

“I tell people all the time, as I was going through my process of being a comedian or being an actor and a writer at 'SNL,' I tell people that everything you do is all a piece of your puzzle to determine where you're going to end up at.”

~ J. B. Smoove

Sign Up For Updates