David Morgan, founder and director of the Winston-Salem Street School, began his association with the Street Schools as a volunteer teacher at the Denver Street School in Denver, Colorado, while serving as a small group pastor at an area church. David Morgan, a Wake Forest graduate, was impressed by the Denver Street School staff and the uniqueness and effectiveness of their approach in working with at-risk youth. When he returned to North Carolina, he noticed the increasing number of dropouts in the local school system and the struggle the school system was having with alternative placements. Students expelled from public schools encounter many obstacles in continuing their education. Many of these students are hindered by environmental factors such as poverty, abuse, neglect, high-crime neighborhoods, drug activity and the absence of appropriate role models.
In the summer of 2003, with the help of Tim Wagner, a retired professor and his wife Barbara Wagner, a retired teacher and pediatrician, David Morgan began to plan for an alternative high school in Winston-Salem. The Winston-Salem Street School (WSSS) opened in the summer of 2004 with a summer tutoring program that included three students. Over the past twelve years more than 400 youth have attended the WSSS.