Design residency: new MODELS.

Design Residency: New Models supports the creation of innovative new school models that will provide an equitable and excellent education to DC students.

Design Residency: New Models

Our Design Residency in the School Model Design Pathway is for entrepreneurs and education leaders seeking to open a new public school model in DC. 

During this year-long, full-time program, you will receive support as you accelerate the planning for your model, including drafting and submitting a high-quality charter application, if applicable.


During Design Residency, you will learn how to incorporate equitable design methods, build a theory of change, and pilot a new program. Within the New Model-specific workshops, we deepen the content knowledge and exposure to material such as instructional design, facilities acquisition, and board development.


Residents receive strengths-based and identify-affirming support from CityBridge experts weekly during the year-long program. Our coaches tailor coaching sessions to each team in order to meet their individual needs and the requirements of Design Residency, providing a safe space to take risks in order to grapple with new and rigorous concepts.


CityBridge instructs our Design Residents in how to build a guiding coalition or network. The New Starts pathway offers instruction in building and executing an ecosystem map—a tool used to gain insights and build a coalition around your model. After Residency, participants officially become CityBridge alumni and gain access to the CityBridge alumni newsletter and network.


Residents are eligible for up to $150,000. The grant is intended to support the personal financial burden of a full-time commitment to launching a new school model as well as to cover miscellaneous expenses of the new model.

CityBridge programming provides a space where educators and education entrepreneurs can boldly design groundbreaking solutions to entrenched challenges, to better serve DC students. Each cohort joins a supportive community where members are dedicated to creating a public school system worthy of all of our children.


CityBridge supports the creation of new public school models, which can include new charter schools, schools within schools, and micro-schools.

See our investment criteria here.

No, all CityBridge programming is provided free of charge to all participants.

Design Residency: New Models is a year-long program. Participants are expected to work full-time on this project.

  • Design Residency is highly selective. The application consists of a written submission, including supporting documents, and a virtual, one-way recorded interview that should take no more than one hour to prepare for and complete. For candidates who are moved on to a final interview, we will assess the candidate’s leadership and the viability and demand for the school model.

The next application cycle for Design Residency: New Models will open in 2024. To learn about application openings, subscribe to our emails below or follow us on LinkedIn.

No. Design Studio and Design Fellowship are not prerequisites for Design Residency. CityBridge’s programs are not linear; they are designed to meet educators and entrepreneurs at different points in their design journey. At the end of each program, participants outline next steps and CityBridge staff are available to discuss additional programming opportunities. 

We’re available to discuss any questions you may have about our programming. Please schedule a call with Millissa Hare, Associate Director, Recruitment and Cultivation, or fill out our contact form.

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