The Portage School Of Leaders

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A School Culture that Elevates Student Engagement

Looking for a relationship-rich and engaging high school environment where students encounter relevant and purposeful learning opportunities? At The Portage School of Leaders, we empower students to co-create their learning and to take on genuine leadership roles within the community. Our bold vision of school culture revolves around a commitment to student agency, where students experience a sense of freedom and responsibility within a community of learners.

Competency-Based Education

Vigor, Wonder, and Collaboration

Students at the Portage School of Leaders encounter challenging and relevant coursework in a setting that emphasizes connections among the academic disciplines and with the broader world. Our inquiry-driven, project-based approach to education fosters wonder, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Here, learning comes alive. At the Portage School, students thrive in a high school setting with a dedicated and experienced faculty of certified teachers who guide students in a high-trust academic environment.


As members of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, our model emphasizes skills that go beyond course content. We design learning experiences for students that enable them to develop important competencies and skills that cut across content areas, preparing students for success beyond high school in both college and careers. Our belief in personalized learning emphasizes mastery of learning over seat time.

Relevant Learning

Connected with our community

Our approach underscores the teaching of knowledge and skills that can be applied in real-world settings. We encourage students to contribute to our understanding of the world rather than just providing them with information. We invite students to create useful designs, to have important conversations, and to participate in civic society in tangible ways.


Students at the Portage School pursue coursework in our Career Pathways—Engineering, Health Science, Precision Machining, Computer Science, and Entrepreneurship—and have access to our state-of-the art Future Lab within the Portage School of Leaders building. In Design Thinking classes, students learn to tackle meaningful questions and identify opportunities to design solutions for relevant problems. Whether it is in these courses, as a part of our FIRST Robotics teams, through participation in the arts, by creating solutions or products for community partners, or through selling their own creations in our makers’ market, students are empowered to make contributions of enduring value to our community. At The Portage School of Leaders, we make connections between disciplines, with students’ interests, with the wider community, and with the world.

What people say about
our schools

"The creativity and resourcefulness I had was unlocked at this school, I loved the connections with teachers."
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"Thank you for fostering the kind of community that most schools only dream about. (I can't believe you can like school so much.)"
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"The Portage School of Leaders isn't a High School just about textbooks and tests; it's where we discover who we are, forge lifelong friendships, and lay the foundation for our futures."
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Meet our Staff

DR. Andrew Hoyt, PH.D

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Our Head of School, Dr. Hoyt, is a longtime South Bend resident and a school leader, teacher, and scholar. He is deeply invested in our city and committed to making transformational educational experiences available for all students.


As the founding Head at The Portage School of Leaders, Dr. Hoyt is eager to partner with students and teachers to create a relationship-rich learning environment that fosters mastery, agency, and creativity.


Dr. Hoyt attended public high school in Iowa and earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He began his educational career in Texas, helping to open the doors as a founding faculty member of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston. Most recently, Dr. Hoyt led La Lumiere School, where he previously served as Assistant Head of School, Academic Dean, Director of Teaching and Learning, and as an English, ethics, and math teacher. He lives just a short walk from The Portage School of Leaders, with his wife, Bridget, and their two sons, Colm and Eoin.

You can apply now

Interested in the Portage School of Leaders for the upcoming school year?
Applications are now being accepted or the 2024-25 school year.

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