Walking into a school is always an adventure. You're never sure exactly what you'll find. Will you find bored kids, angry teachers, neglected hallways, and overwhelmingly cluttered or barren classrooms? Schools, in other words, that make you despair that schools can help kids prepare for their adult lives.
Like many other successful high-poverty schools with a high proportion of students of color, Laurel Street isn't doing anything wildly "innovative." Rather, they have clear goals for their students to be educated citizens and they believe every one of their students can at the very least meet state standards.