Transformational schools are communities where students reach their full potential—and where the academic achievement of lower-income students is indistinguishable from that of their higher-income peers.

Transformational schools directly address the effects of poverty and adversity, and they provide enrichment, high expectations, and the deep relationships that all children need to thrive. We expect transformational schools to put all children on a path to higher education, meaningful work, and rewarding lives.


Breakthrough Schools: D.C. is a CityBridge-led grant competition to seed up to 20 innovative schools in Washington. The competition awards significant funding to teams of educators who are ready to redesign their educational model (or to create brand new schools) that personalize learning for students. Although most models use technology in innovative ways, school design—rethinking traditional models of time, content delivery, and mastery—is just as important. Modeled on the successful Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) national grants, Breakthrough Schools: D.C. is supported by NGLC funders (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in Texas) and by a growing group of other local and national investors.

Breakthrough Schools: D.C. Grantees

  • Breakthrough Montessori
  • Capital City Public Charter School
  • Columbia Heights Educational Campus
  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • DC International School
  • E.L. Haynes High School
  • Monument Academy
  • Mundo Verde
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy
  • Two Rivers Public Charter School
  • Washington Leadership Academy
  • Wheatley Education Campus

Organizations We Support

CityBridge supports the following organizations in building transformational schools: