What is Innovation Lab?

At Innovation Lab, students will explore their passions while identifying their adult purpose. Innovation Lab is a place where students and teachers alike will investigate new ways to engage in critical thinking, collaborate around interdisciplinary projects and share their learning with others. Innovation Lab High School students and teachers will co-construct learning as students prepare for success in career, college, and life.

Information Session

Take a look at this video of the Information Session, which features several teachers and the principal of Innovation Lab High School.


Flex Wednesdays

ILHS opened in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through most of that first 2020-21 school year, we taught and learned virtually, which included more time for student choice than is typical in a high school schedule. After returning to “normal” during the 2021-22 school year, students found they missed the flexible time and made a proposal to replace formal class meeting times on early-release Wednesdays with student-directed time. They worked with staff to hone their plan into what is piloted as Flex Wednesdays during the 2022-23 school year.


Flex Wednesdays consist of six sessions. The first session of the day is reserved for Crew. The last two sessions are reserved for clubs and interest groups to meet. One more session is set aside for students to meet with individual teachers for academic support. The remaining two sessions are used differently each week. They have includes times such as content-area academic support, project collaboration spaces, interest-area speakers, student forums, and more.


ILHS Teaching Styles

We focus on quality, not quantity.


We focus on depth, not breadth.


We focus on application, not memorization.


Mastery Learning at Innovation Lab

Innovation Lab opened in the fall of 2020. This is a place where students explore their passions while identifying their adult purpose. Students and teachers alike investigate new ways to engage in critical thinking, collaborate around interdisciplinary projects to creatively solve problems in their community, and share their learning with others. Additionally, students and teachers co-construct learning as students prepare for success in career, college and life. Based on the Expeditionary Learning model, students at Innovation Lab identify complex problems from the world around them, analyze those problems from multiple angles, and develop solutions, leading efforts to improve their community.

As society has changed, so have the needs for education. Once the most important thing was how much a person knew, however in an age where information is a free commodity, that is no longer the case. In today’s world it is all about what you can DO with what you know, which is a very different educational problem. Toward that end, Innovation Lab is leading the way toward defining what the future of education will look like in Washington State. As members of the first cohort of schools in the Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative, we are partnering with the State Board of Education in developing the best ways to implement mastery-based learning. Our Mastery Transcript is designed to communicate much more information to college admissions officers, allowing our students to paint a picture of who they are and what skills they have mastered. We are empowering our students with the tools and skills they need to lead and innovate.

Fast Facts

  • Choice school
  • Classes began virtually in September 2020
  • In 2020, 200 students each in grades 9 and 10
  • By 2022, students in grades 9 thru 12
  • Teacher/student ratio that matches existing district model for high schools
  • Located at 2020 224th St SE, Bothell, WA 98021



What to Expect at Innovation Lab

Expeditionary Learning

Innovation Lab will use the Expeditionary Learning model. One of the central features of Expeditionary Learning is the concept of Crew: an advisory and mutual support network that will form the backbone of Innovation Lab High School’s culture. Expeditionary Learning also emphasizes the skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

Innovation Lab will eventually explore the possibilities of moving beyond “classes” and “bells” as they have traditionally been used. In the near term, we believe it is important to begin our evolution from a structure that is still familiar to most students and families. Curriculum materials at Innovation Lab will be the same as all other high schools. Interdisciplinary coursework and project-based learning will be featured at Innovation Lab High School. Teachers will create common opportunities across courses for students to identify and study complex problems from a variety of perspectives.

Running Start, AP & Life After High School

Innovation Lab High School students will be fully prepared for post-secondary life whether they choose 2-year or 4-year colleges, vocational programs, military enlistment or entrepreneurship.


Students interested in attending Innovation Lab High School will register in the spring at the high school they are scheduled to attend or are currently attending. Students will submit an interest form for Innovation Lab. If interest exceeds available spots, a lottery will be held.


Students requiring district transportation will ride a bus to their local area high school, then transfer to a bus for Innovation Lab High School. After school, they will ride a bus to their local area middle school and transfer at the middle school to their assigned bus home. Students who can drive will be able to drive and park at Innovation Lab.

Athletics & Activities

Innovation Lab students who want to participate in traditional high school athletics will be able to do so through their home area high school. Clubs and activities at Innovation Lab High School will be responsive to student interest.


How does Innovation Lab compare to a traditional high school?

Innovation Lab has…

  • Demographics that represent Northshore School District and inclusion of all students
  • Open learning spaces
  • Collaborative and quiet work spaces
  • Cafeteria with hot and cold food delivered
  • Classes based on curriculum, with interdisciplinary connections / exploration of ideas
  • Visual and performing arts options
  • Public celebrations of learning
  • “Push-In” support for students with IEPs, 504s and English Language Learner needs
  • Support for Highly Capable students through personalized learning plans, Project-Based Learning, and rigorous coursework
  • Activities & clubs based on student interest

Innovation Lab doesn’t have…

  • Large full-service cafeteria
  • Extensive school library collection
  • Facilities to support large performing arts groups
  • Traditional science lab facilities
  • Extensive list of elective courses
  • Traditional PE
  • Athletic teams
  • Assemblies in a gym or stadium
  • Pep rallies


Interested in joining Innovation Lab?

We have opened the application process to current 8th graders who will enter the 9th grade in fall of 2022.

Current 9th graders can also apply by using the district's transfer forms.