Thrive Public Schools K-12 Breakthrough Models

Thrive Public Schools in San Diego, teacher and student created video

School: Thrive Public Schools
Grades Served: K-8
Location: San Diego, CA
Operator: Thrive Public Schools
Operator Type: Charter
Setting: Urban
Students at Start:168
Students at Capacity: 588 

Blended Model TypeStation Rotation, Lab Rotation, and Flex

Key Features: Competency-Based Learning, Project-Based and Experiential Learning, Flexible Learning Spaces, Social-Emotional Development

The Operator: Thrive Public Schools is a new CMO in California, establishing multiple K-8 schools that will create a blueprint for change in public education. The population of students Thrive serves has increasingly become disengaged from a model of schooling that has failed to keep pace with the real world in which these students live. Many in education reform talk about the need for students in the 21st century to be adaptable, hard-working, and reflective, and to think critically and creatively in order to prepare for the "real world." Yet instructional delivery does not reflect these same values. Thrive aims to change that. Its new definition of blended learning integrates technology through Project Based Learning, targeted instruction, homeschooling, and tinkering to meet individual student needs, paving the road for tomorrow today.

The Academic Model:

  • Thrive ensures academic growth and deeper learning for all students—including those most “at-risk”—through a balance of instructional methodologies. The blended, mastery-based approach ensures that students progress at their own pace, receiving targeted support and instruction as needed to ensure they master content before moving on, with varied opportunities to develop and demonstrate depth and complexity as they apply learning in different contexts.
  • Hands-on, minds-on project-based learning develops students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, motivation, communication, and cooperation.
  • Targeted learning: through interactive tech-based learning tools, teachers use instant data to personalize instruction while fostering students’ sense of ownership over their own learning.
  • Students explore all areas of their talents and interests to develop creative and inquisitive thinking.
  • Thrive encourages family-facilitated learning through rich dialogue and fun, engaging, tech-rich learning activities at home, rather than homework; comprehensive parent training; parent access to daily feedback from online instruction; and family-based curriculum.
  • Student self-actualization is woven throughout the academic model through high standards for student behavior, applied learning, student choice, and continuous feedback; developing decision-making and self-regulation; and learning from “failures.”
Thrive Public Schools in San Diego, sports fitness and play
A makeover of the school's playspace
Thrive Public Schools in San Diego, executive director Nicole Assisi
Meet Executive Director Nicole Assisi
NGLC Wave IV Cycle 2 Launch Thrive Public Schools
Application Deck, a snapshot of their academic model

The Organizational Model:

  • Faculty team-teach in mixed age clusters that stay together for two years.
  • The school model mirrors the adaptable, reflective, critical thought, and creativity expected of students through exceptional human capital and efficient use of technology.
  • Teachers have almost 300 hours annually to engage in collaborative planning, data review, and professional development to continuously improve their teaching.
  • Building on the experiences of Thrive’s founders in other high-performing charter organizations, Thrive is designed to be fluid, efficient, and rapidly scalable. 



Thrive Public Schools received a planning grant in July 2013 to support the development of this school model.