Design39Campus School Visit Overview


Brief School Profile:

 At Design39Campus, learning experiences are designed with the individual learner in mind. As a collaborative community, we nurture creative confidence, practice design thinking, learn through inquiry, connect globally, use technology and real world tools, and promote the courage and growth mindset necessary to change the world.

Teachers are called “Learning Experience Designers"



17050 Del Sur Ridge Road

San Diego, CA 92127

(858) 676-6639


Why are we visiting this school?


Alignment with our vision for K12 Magnet

[x]Competency Based

[x]Blended Learning


[x]Public School


Resources and Links:

School Blog

School Web Site



Joe Erpelding



Notes from Visit:

  • Everything speaks titles, furniture, etc.
  • Open spaces, very flexible  
  • Choices in topic, process, product
  • Director of innovation
  • Teachers collaborating every single day.
  • Team (principal and 5 teachers) working together to design the school for a whole year.
  • TK - kindergarten for kids that are 5 before december 1 (½ day)
  • MIMS - PE teachers. When and why were they brought in?
  • Collaboration
  • Everyone is a leader.
  • Teachers are out of the room easily.
  • No more meetings - facilitated learning opportunities.
  • Carts for teachers, instead
  • No ownership of rooms. Design the space as needed. Reset the space at the end of each day/week/unit.
  • Students didn’t have any physical books, were put in the classroom.
  • Working agreements for student behavior not school rules.
  • Large classrooms, 60-65 kids, 2 teachers.
  • Kids without passes, not asking to use the bathroom.
  • Every piece of furniture has dual purposes.
  • Name design39 39th school and want kids to wonder first and foremost.
  • Design Studio for the adults.
  • Learning Experience Designers - We light the way.
  • Be cognizant of what works well for kids. Do it.
  • Activity for K12 sessions: Define what different things mean.

Questions still to ask:

  • Community agreements?
  • Video about 1st graders collaborating.
  • Clubs or activities
  • Philosophy on homework?
  • Literacy emphasis?
  • Lottery process: 1st draw is to match free and reduced lunch. 2nd draw is to fill Special Education demographics. 3rd draw is for diversity. Fourth draw is to do everything.

from Transformative Principal
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