One Stone | BIG IDEA
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No Fees. No Teachers. No Classrooms.
No Grades. No Excuses.

Rooted in empathy, innovation, and student-centered learning, One Stone prepares students to flourish on any path that they choose. The One Stone school provides irresistible experiences for students and fosters a culture of creativity, collaboration, ownership, and entrepreneurship. One Stone students thrive on optimism, relish opportunity, build confidence, and strive for success.

Welcome to the Big Idea – the One Stone free, independent high school.

Only it really isn’t anything like a high school at all: no classes or grades; no teachers or classrooms. Instead, One Stone is a collaborative place where coaches help each student explore their passions. Students learn by doing. Building on years of experience with project-based learning and the successful delivery of 21st century skills, One Stone has curated a learning experience for students.


Building on the successful foundation of One Stone, all learners work on One Stone ventures that provide real-world experience while helping to fund the school and its programs. They understand the power of innovation and iteration and acquire a highly-personalized understanding of the world—including how they relate to it and how they can fully participate in it.


Learners develop multiple solutions to problems and discover the importance of combining, exploring, and creating new opportunities and innovations. They learn that solutions depend on perspective, and that only by empathizing with multiple stakeholders can they fully explore the terrain of possibilities. Our graduates are better equipped not just to go on to post-secondary education but to thrive, start a business, or follow other passions. They are innovative thinkers and doers. They are financially literate and will successfully employ life skills. They make informed decisions about thought, speech, and action that are grounded in their authentic story.


One Stone learners are able to navigate the ethical dilemmas facing our time with creativity, cultural competency, and compassion. They lead with empathy through difficult conversations and are aware of what they can bring to any context. One Stone will graduate an army of talent—leaders who will make change and make the world a better place.

Built on One Stone ‘special sauce’
  • Empathy
  • Trust
  • Equality of voice
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Character
  • Passion and purpose
  • Safe, non-judgmental
  • Student voice
  • Meaningful relationships with adults
  • Ownership
  • Grit
  • Empowerment
Core principles
  • Free, independent, diverse and inclusive learning center
  • Work and learn responsibilities with “skin in the game”
  • Real-world and relevant problem solving
  • Rooted in empathy
  • Rigorous learning and competency-based assessment
  • Student-led
  • Purpose-driven and passion-based
  • Deeper learning and development of 21st century skills
Focus on student learning
  • Multidisciplinary, collaborative, project-based learning
  • Blended learning using technology to supplement, improve and transform the learning process
  • Rigorous academics with competency and portfolio-based assessment
  • Design thinking for working on real-world problems and issues that matter to students
  • Emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math with all students learning to code
  • Coaches (staff, thinkers, and industry experts) to mentor and advise students
  • Metrics and data analysis to inform refinements and improvements
Incorporate a culture of innovation, creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship
  • Diversity and inclusion to ensure students are exposed to a richness of viewpoints, experiences, and cultures
  • Tuition-free to ensure openness with a requirement to work for One Stone ventures to ensure skin in the game
  • Admission based on the student’s alignment with the mission and commitment to the learning approach, values, and responsibilities
  • Open, configurable, adaptable spaces and environments rather than classrooms
  • Schedules and environments conducive to student learning
  • Entrepreneurial and creative-learning focus with opportunities to fail forward
Be student centered
  • Student-directed learning with students exercising ownership and control of, and accountability for, their own learning
  • Feedback-rich environments provided by coaches, peers, experts, and mentors
  • Student developed learning plans with self-evaluation and reflection
  • 21st century skills development to ensure students are employable, are agile in an increasingly complex world, and have opportunities to make their own path
Provide expansive opportunities
  • Current One Stone programs (Project Good, Two Birds, and Solution Lab) and other new ventures
  • Internships, externships, mentorships and other opportunities to gain insight into and experience in particular fields, jobs, and careers
  • Sports, visual and performing arts, and other extracurricular activities