A series of theme-based high schools are springing up across New York City, based on a model that has been open for only a year but already is drawing rave reviews. Called the iSchool, this model school blends innovative technology with project-based curriculum modules--and its early success could have national implications.

In an open commons area on the fifth floor of SoHo's Chelsea High School, where the iSchool is based, students gather proudly by their projects.

"Hi, would you like to come and see what we're doing here at our school?" says one girl, dressed in a skirt and heels...

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