4 ways to make Tiny Schools

Small-scale pilots of new school designs

Meet Cohort One

Tiny Cohort #1 (l to r): Rooted School’s Jonathan Johnson, Noble Minds’ Vera Triplett, NOLA Micro Schools’ Kim Gibson, 1881 Institute’s Bahiy Watson.
  1. The Tiny Two-Month Summer School
    1881 is serving kids from schools without extensive summer programming to test 1881 this summer. They’re running a compressed, tw0-month version of their school model in borrowed (free) space. Bahiy’s also getting help from Tuskegee Institute professors off for the summer.
  2. The Tiny Low-Cost Private School
    NOLA Micro is subletting unused space from a more mature school to run a tiny version of their low-cost private school. They’re also rolling out a unique tuition structure to promote diversity and access: parents pay what they can between 6,000 and 12,000. Their very student-centric model keeps costs below $6k at scale.
  3. The Tiny School within a Public Charter School
    Rooted is contracting with a local public charter school for a year to run a tiny version of their school within the existing campus. Students and families volunteer to be in the pilot but stay enrolled at the host school. This is the most comprehensive partnership of the four. Jonathan pitched the idea of hosting his pilot to charter operators around the city this winter and chose Algiers Charter School Association. They were eager to learn about the high-wage, high-growth companies hosting internships for Rooted students. And since they run a network of schools, the demands of helping Jonathan with operations, finance, transportation, food and security were easy to take on. Jonathan and the host principal of the host school, Algiers Tech Academy, Nia Mitchell, are hammering out details on all of these fronts. They worked carefully to find the right group of students — 40 11th graders — to hear a pitch on Rooted. They are working on everything from student flow patterns and bus routes and food service to minimize friction and maximize shared learning in the pilot year.
  4. The Tiny School within a District Public School
    Noble Minds is still finalizing where they’ll pilot, but one option on the table (and the one that most fascinates me) is contracting with a local district in a format similar to the one Jonathan’s structured with Nia. Noble Minds founder, Vera Triplett, has already met with leaders of the local district about where to pilot and how the school can meet needs the district has.



At 4.0, we invest in community-centered models of education, providing coaching, curriculum, community and cash to those with the imagination to envision more equitable ways to learn, and the desire to ethically test those ideas.

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