California's school for young free thinkers

New Roads
United States (Santa Monica)

New Roads School in California’s Santa Monica is an independent school that gives away almost half of its income in the form of scholarships to kids from deprived areas. The whole school is based around the concepts of social justice, equity and opportunity.

Their mission statement is about changing the world, and yet they get incredible academic outcomes.

NEW ROADS MISSION: “In an authentically diverse community reflective of Los Angeles, New Roads prepares young people for life by developing in them a personal dedication to learning, a respect for independent thinking, an expanding curiosity about the world and its people, and a commitment to the common good.”

It’s no surprise: it’s not binary, that you can either look after the kids’ wellbeing or you can drill them and kill them to get good test scores. New Roads proves that this is not the choice. They are still conscious that a lot of their students come from places like Compton, where they’re just not getting a fair shake of the stick.

What’s interesting is when you provide a space where very wealthy children can work and live alongside kids from much poorer backgrounds, there’s no question that it sparks the desire for social justice.

AtlasAction: Support New Roads community with philanthropy and volunteerism here.

Read more ► New Roads was mapped by David Price in his AtlasChart Top 5 – a journey through five  schools doing things differently from Cambodia to Catalonia.

Submitted by

David Price OBE

(09 October 2020)

Project leader

Luthern Williams, Head Of School, New Roads School

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