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Trailblazers in Education Introduce Franklin School Bringing a Cutting-edge Model to Jersey City for High School Students

Posted Apr 20, 2021

Jersey City, NJ, April 20, 2021: Chancellor Stephen Spahn — the longest-serving head of an independent school in the U.S. — announces the creation of Franklin School, a new high school with a unique approach: to engage students actively in their own learning through a flexible, cutting-edge curriculum designed to educate innovators and socially responsible global leaders.

Located at 100 Town Square Place in downtown Jersey City, Franklin School will offer an accessible world-class education to students in grades 9-12 beginning in Fall 2022. The first three virtual admissions open houses will be held on May 3, 13, and June 2.

Future-proofing Education

“We’re delighted to introduce a high school education customized for today’s learners — students who are laser-focused on the future and eager to make a difference in the world. We want students to carve their own paths with choices in both what and how they learn, and empower them to have agency over their own future,” says Chancellor Spahn.

“Given the furious rate of technological change, we have to ‘future-proof’ education,” he continues. “It is only through a flexible, innovative curriculum, blending world-class academics with real-world readiness that we can prepare students to succeed in tomorrow’s working world. Franklin graduates will acquire the tools and skills of entrepreneurs and the mindset of innovators.” 

A New Kind of School: Academic Excellence Meets Real-world Readiness

Franklin is transforming the private school experience. The innovative and academically rigorous curriculum, enriched by both local culture and global perspectives, emphasizes critical and design thinking through applied learning, while providing time for students to pursue their own interests through online courses and programs beyond the classroom. A Franklin education includes:

●      Design and tech classes in a state-of-the-art Maker Space

●      Industry-specific micro-courses, enabling students to explore career interests early 

●      AP courses for college-readiness and credit  

●      Community-based service programs within and around Jersey City

●      Internships

●      Global collaborations with peer schools worldwide

Educating Innovators through the Franklin Incubator

Every student will develop a passion project requiring them to prototype, test, and develop it in the Incubator. Through the process, students will gain entrepreneurial skills — brainstorming, collaboration, and creative problem-solving — as well as adaptability, resourcefulness, and resilience. These skills and mindset will prepare them to successfully navigate life’s unforeseen challenges and the rapidly changing working world.

“The immersive Franklin Incubator experience will tap into students’ ingenuity, underscoring our belief in their unbridled potential to become innovative change agents and socially responsible global leaders,” says Chancellor Spahn.

Three Generations of Private School Innovation: The Spahn Family Legacy

Franklin’s history is intertwined with that of the Spahn family: Dr. M.C. Spahn was Headmaster of Franklin’s forefather school (founded in New York City in 1872) from 1950-75. His son, Chancellor Stephen Spahn, has spearheaded New York’s Dwight School since 1967. The Chancellor, together with his older son, Vice Chancellor Blake Spahn, has extended Dwight’s global network of schools to London, Seoul, Shanghai, Dubai, and into the cloud with Dwight Global Online School — ranked the second-best online school in the U.S. by Newsweek. The Chancellor’s younger son, Kirk, founded The Institute of Civic Leadership and The ICL Online Academy.

“We’re proud of Franklin’s long, esteemed history and of our family’s commitment to expand educational opportunities for students worldwide for nearly 75 years,” says Vice Chancellor Blake Spahn. “We’re delighted to bring together the latest thinking, expert educators, and partners in the vibrant Jersey City community to launch the new Franklin, laying the foundation for students to chart their own course to top-tier colleges and universities.”

Forward-thinking Educators Join As Head and Associate Head of School

William Campbell, who brings invaluable experience in innovative curriculum design and building effective academic teams, has been named Head of School. He joins Franklin after serving as Director of the Physical Education Department and Sport, Exercise, and Health Science Program at Dwight School. Previously, Mr. Campbell, who lives on the Upper West Side, held positions as: Head of Education at the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE); Committee member of the New South Wales Commission of Deans of Education; ACPE’s Executive for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Accreditation process; and Assistant Director of International Baccalaureate at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. Mr. Campbell earned a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Wollongong University.

Nicole Hamilton has been named Associate Head of School. She currently serves as Head of the Math Department of both Dwight School and Dwight Global Online School. Ms. Hamilton, a resident of Fort Lee, NJ, brings 19 years of exceptional teaching, technology, and leadership experience to Franklin. She earned a Masters of Arts in Secondary Mathematics Education from City College of New York.

Additionally, Jason Rowley, as Director of Strategic Partnerships, will bring his entrepreneurial and real estate investment and development experience in Jersey City to expand and deepen Franklin’s community collaborations. Mr. Rowley earned his BA in Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown University.

Admissions Inquiries

To meet Franklin’s leadership team and learn more at a virtual open house, register online or via [email protected].

Applications will be accepted beginning December 2021 for the 2022-23 school year.

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Media contact: Alyssa Miller, [email protected]