Recommended Study Tours and Site Visits to 21st Century Schools and Districts

Updated: February, 2018

Seeing students engaged in 21st Century Learning and interacting with them is a great help to visiting educators to envision the possibilities in their own schools and districts. Here are the study tours and site visits to 21st Century schools and districts that I recommend. Email me at to add your study tour and site visit to this list. -- Bob, November, 2015

PBL Institutes and 21C Conferences | Recommended PBL Trainers

K-12 Alignment Study Tours:

Interested parties may request a one or two day K-12 multi-site alignment study tour. These study tours focus on seeing the holistic progression of a project-based and student-center culture over multiple school sites and multiple levels of education. K-12 Alignment Study Tours cost $250/per person/per day. For cost and to set-up a Study Tour, please reach out to Aaron Eisberg, New Tech High Center for Excellence Coordinator, at or submit a request here.

Napa New Tech High School (NTHS) Study Tours, Napa, CA

Visit New Tech High, one of the country's most innovative schools and the flagship school of the New Tech Network. Participants will tour the campus, visit classrooms, and interact informally with students and staff. Study Tour Dates:

2017: October 25, November 14, December 6
2018: January 17, February 20, March 13, April 24, May 15

See web profile of Napa NTHS on this website.

Katherine Smith School, San Jose, CA

Katherine Smith School is an exemplar 21st century PBL elementary school in the Evergreen School District, San Jose, CA. It is a New Tech Network school and a Buck Institute for Education (BIE ) Partner. School graduates often go on to Bulldog Tech, a 21st century middle school in the district. Katherine Smith School offers to host school tours for educational groups. Book a Tour here.

See web profile of the Katherine Smith School.

Big Picture Learning School Visits to the Met Center, Providence, RI

Big Picture Learning will be hosting visitors at its flagship campus – the Met High School and the The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (E-Center) in Providence, RI. Big Picture Learning is also welcoming visitors at other exemplary schools across our network including: Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HIgh School (Bronx) El Centro de Estudiantes (Philadelphia), The Camden Big Picture Learning Academy, Nashville Big Picture School, MetWest (Oakland), and New Village Girls Academy (Los Angeles). . Register for a visit here.

Dates were selected to (a) provide potential attendees with a number options during the school year to choose from; (b) minimize disruption for advisors and students and (c) offer opportunities to witness many of the features that distinguish Big Picture Learning network schools.

Met High School Site Visit Dates:

  • 2017: November 29
  • 2018: January 23, March 7, April 4

Each site visit to the Met School will be from 8:30a-3:00p and $250/person.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (E-Center) Site Visit Dates:

  • 2017: November 30
  • 2018: January 24, March 8, April 3, May 15

Each E-Center visit will be from 12:30-2:30p, with a fee of $100/ person. This is just for the E-Center and will not include a school visit.

Nashville Big Picture, Nashville, TN, Site Visit Dates:

  • 2017: November 13
  • 2018: January 22, March 2, March 30

New Tech Network Tours of Exemplary School Demonstration Sites

Tours are open to educators, business leaders, community leaders and economic development organizations. The purpose of these tours is to give visitors an overview of how our schools operate. On every Study Tour, visitors have an opportunity to:

  • Walk the campus and observe students and teachers working on projects
  • Discuss teaching that engages, technology that enables, and positive small-school culture
  • Hear students talk about their work

See list of demonstration sites. To request such a tour, email or fill out our contact form and we will set you up on the next available tour.

High Tech High Extended Tours, San Diego, CA

Extended tours are intended for groups who would like an in-depth introduction to HTH but are unable to attend a residency or institute. Extended tours are customized and can include: a student-led tour of the schools, meeting with HTH leadership, and a lunch panel with teachers or students. Extended Tours are offered daily. The fee is $250/ per person/ per day.

NSBA Education Technology Site Visits

October 19-21, 2016: Coachella Valley Unified School District, Thermal, CA

Innovative Strategies and Practices to Prepare Students for College, Career, Citizenship and Life: The Coachella Valley Unified School District Way! Read More. Agenda. Register here.

Why site visits are vital to tech rollouts, By Ann Lee Flynn, February 19th, 2015 -- NSBA's Director of Education Technology, Ann Flynn, writes about why education technology site visits are important to allowing educators to grasp the essential conditions needed to support technology innovation.

Smaller Learning Communities Study Visits: Redesign at Hillsdale High School, San Mateo, CA

Hillsdale High School Study Visits provide professional development for teams to learn how a high school can be organized into Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs), and to observe in practice, the structures and practices that support SLCs. Teams learn how the Hillsdale process can be applied, translate, and inform their own redesign efforts. School teams are invited to register. Contact: Sonya Keller,

Diane Friedlaender,

  • Day One - At Stanford University: Overview of Hillsdale and the history of its conversion into smaller learning communities.
  • Day Two - At Hillsdale High School: Observations of advisories, instruction, teacher collaboration, and sit-down sessions with teachers, students, and administrative leaders.

Payment options: Cost is $550 per team member.

Tech Valley High School (TVHS), Albany, New York

Tech Valley High School offers educators Snapshot Tours and Program Study tours during the school year designed to spread the word about project-based learning and the kind of education that happens at TVHS.

The three-hour Program Study provides a deep exploration of project-based learning and the college and career standards integrated in TVHS classes. The tours features a classroom learning walk – a guided observation of a project-based learning lesson – as well as a student panel discussion and a general overview of project design at TVHS. The tour also gives participants an opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with a PBL coach.

The study tours will take place throughout the school year on the second Wednesday of most months. There is a small charge for this longer, educational exploration of project-based learning. You can sign up for a study tour of TVHS and PBL instruction here.

For more information about information sessions or to sign up for any of the study tours, contact contact School Outreach Coordinator Sarah Fiess at and (518) 862-4958

See web profile of TVHS on this website.

Manor New Technology High School (MNTHS), Manor, TX (near Austin)

Study tours of MNTHS include:

  • Overview of School - Principal
  • Student Led Tour of MNTH
  • Lunch with Teachers
  • Examples of Project Base Learning Processes
  • Student Panel
  • Debrief/Takeaways - Principal

A Flash Drive provided with examples of Projects, Case Studies, Keynote Presentation and Miscellaneous information is provided to study tour attendees.

Contact Wanda Cruz, MNTHS Administrative Assistant, (512) 278-4875, or Claudia Acevedo, Academic Dean

See web profile of MNTHS on this website.