Welcome to learning in the 21st century

Posted: June 3rd, 2016 | Featured, Features | 1 Comment

By Joan Wojcik

A 21st century high school is coming to East Village.

Recently the San Diego Unified School District authorized Urban Discovery Academy to add a ninth- through 12th-grade high school to their existing kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school.

The new high school will be named Ideate High Academy (id8 High).

Chris Wakefield id8

Chris Wakefield, director of Ideate (id8) High Academy

What will this 21st century high school look like?

id8 High will be a design thinking-focused high school reflecting the methods of the Stanford D School (design school) and is UC A-G credit aligned. The focus will be project-based learning.

“id8 is made for East Village and will compliment the focus of making, doing, and thinking which is the theme of Makers Quarter and the I.D.E.A. District in East Village,” said MaeLin Levine, President of Urban Discovery Academy Charter School. “Curriculum will be centered on a way of approaching human-centered problem solving, facilitated by a creative learning environment. Moveable classroom walls, white boards on casters, wireless connections and movable furniture will promote a mobile school setting for this 21st century learning environment.”

The impetus for this 21st century high school coming to Downtown was the direct result of San Diego civic leaders moving the city toward a new innovation ecosystem. It was the “right time, right place” for the concept of a charter high school. id8 High will fulfill the gap in providing high school students with an atmosphere for the competitive, changing 21st century world in learning. It is modeled similarly after the very prestigious High Tech High School in Point Loma, where hundreds of students are on a waiting list to enroll.

Urban Discovery Academy is currently receiving in access of 500 requests for only 70 open spaces available and enrollment into id8 High is expected to be equally competitive.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 1.53.20 PMOne of the many curriculum highlights that will make id8 High unique is that each 11th grader will be offered internships for one full semester.

The high school will also offer college credit classes and students will be able to receive dual enrollment between the high school and area colleges and universities.

Students, staff and faculty will also have access to an advisory board list from the design-thinking community (architecture, high tech/bio tech, product development, design/communications, arts, computer coding, social media design, etc.) who will provide advice, guest lectures, host field trips to top design firms, labs and studios, and contribute expertise in their specific fields on class projects.

id8 High Academy will begin with two ninth grade classes opening on Sept. 7 of this year.

In 2017, two additional ninth grade classes will be added, along with two 10th grade classes. Within five years, the school will be at full capacity, with 480 students comprising four classes for each grade from nine through 12.

On Sept. 9, the id8 High Academy will be opening its doors in the heart of the most vibrant, creative district in Downtown, known as the I.D.E.A. District.

—Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Contaact Joan at or visit  

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