Collaborative Lab School

Thrive Ed and Hopkins Public Schools are partnering to provide high school students the opportunity to revolutionize their school experience by attending a new Collaborative Lab School (CLS) that will serve a limited number of students in grades 10th-12th beginning in the Fall of 2022.


Any student who is interested in reimagining education and having a voice in co-creating their learning experiences are invited to consider the CLS. Students who are enrolled in the CLS will remain HHS students, with the flexibility to continue taking desired courses at the high school and participating in all school activities.


Throughout the Spring of 2022, Thrive Ed Engagement Guides will be working alongside students, families, educators, and community partners to prepare for the launch. 

Registration for the Collaborative Lab School is now open! If you have questions regarding the CLS registration process, you can email us at 

The Collaborative Lab School has five elements: 

Co-Design Experience

“Coming to Thrive Ed, it really changed my perspective of what school could look like and what I could bring to the table as a student with that power and that leadership”
– Jazzy, Thrive Ed Student Intern

CLS students will drive their learning through a tested-model of design thinking that centers student voice and choice as students and educators, called Engagement Guides, work together to tackle real-world problems and engage in authentic learning experiences.

Flexible Curriculum & School Day

CLS students can engage in co-design experiences at the CLS, internships and service learning within the local and global communities, HHS courses and extracurriculars, and/or post-secondary options throughout their school week. Engagement Guides will work with students to ensure their curriculum meets all state education standards and graduation requirements, while building skills and interests that drive students’ future studies and success.

Relational Student Mentorship

“At Thrive Ed, the space that we’re given really says a lot about the relationships that we form, because they’re so genuine. They disrupt the hierarchy that you normally find in schools.”
-Aniya, Thrive Ed Intern

Students will work closely with educators, called Engagement Guides, and their fellow CLS students to co-create a safe and restorative learning community where all can thrive. Engagement Guides will provide ongoing personalized mentorship to CLS students centered on their interests, strengths, and goals.

Internship and Service Learning Opportunities

CLS students will earn credit spending time off-site in a workplace or service learning setting within the local community and beyond. Engagement Guides will work closely with community partners to ensure quality opportunities that support students in developing 21st Century Skills and informing their post-secondary planning.

Meaningful Assessment & Feedback

“Assessment as information is powerful for students to be able to invest in their learning—to deeply understand their strengths and how to learn, not just to accumulate points, or get the work done.”
– Nicole Dimich, Thrive Ed Executive Director

CLS students will experience cutting-edge assessment practices, developed by leaders within the education field, that shift thinking around assessment away from evaluative tests and toward multiple opportunities to share evidence of learning. Engagement guides will harness all assessments that students take, including traditional standardized tests, as tools to coach students in reflection and growth as they move toward their future goals.

Top Ten Reasons to Choose the CLS

Reason 1

I am a leader and I want my voice to be heard when decisions are being made around reimagining school.

Reason 2

I am interested in sharing power with my educators and I want to be a co-designer of my learning experiences.

Reason 3

I want a safe and inclusive learning community in which everyone feels heard, valued, loved, and respected and where I feel comfortable being my full, authentic self. 

Reason 4

I am excited about having choice and flexibility in when, where, what, and how I learn (working individually, in groups, one-on-one with mentors, on projects, in a conference or classroom, at a community or job site, during or outside of the traditional school day, using videos, websites, games, or designing our own materials, etc.)

Reason 5

I want to build skills including leadership, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, etc. by working on real and relevant problems that communities, organizations, and corporations are facing. 

Reason 6

I am interested in internship and service learning opportunities that will expose me to multiple career paths and connect me to mentors that may inform my post-high school plans

Reason 7

I have specific post-secondary plans (career, college, trade school, etc.) and want more individualized support to make those plans a reality.

Reason 8

 I struggle in the traditional school system and want to be a part of creating something better

Reason 9

I want a meaningful relationship with my educators and I am excited to have a dedicated mentor to help me navigate this new way of doing school.

Reason 10

I just need something different and I want to be a part of something new.


    Journey to the Lab School



    Thrive Ed founded as a non-profit; 21 paid high school interns and 7  Engagement Guides studied problems in the education system and offered research-based solutions.



    The original team formalized a co-design model in which educators and students develop learning experiences together, using a design thinking model. The Design2Thrive model was used by our second cohort of 13 paid interns.


    A school where teachers and students collaborate

    A third cohort formed teams to facilitate the co-design model and gather feedback for the Collaborative Lab school. We developed a continued partnership with Hopkins Public Schools and drafted an MOU to create a Collaborative Lab School within Hopkins High School, anchored in the student-driven co-design model.


    The Collaborative Lab School is born

    We are launching the design of the Lab School with two Engagement Guides who are Hopkins district employees (funded by Thrive Ed), along with an Executive Director and operations and development consultants. Thrive Ed will work with Hopkins students, families, educators, and community partners in co-designing the launch of the new school – gathering input on everything from the designing the physical space to developing the assessment and feedback system to creating school policies and procedures. 

    Spring, 2022 Registration will open for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are interested in attending the inaugural year of the CLS. 

    Spring, 2022 The Engagement Guide team will expand, hiring 2-3 additional educators to join the team for the launch of the Collaborative Lab School in the fall. 

    Fall 2022

    Launch of a new era

    We will launch the Collaborative Lab School with a limited number of 10th-12th graders and a team of four or five Engagement Guides.


    Implementation continues

    We will continue deep implementation of the Collaborative Lab School, expanding to include more students and hire more Engagement Guides.