Our approach to learning focuses on the development of the whole child as an individual learner.
We present content that is personalized to each learner following their own unique pace and academic path.
Students learn best when their school experiences have context and are connected to their lives and global affairs. We provide students with opportunities to engage in real-world projects that are interdisciplinary and are driven by the students own interests and design.
Instead of grouping students by a fixed trait such as age, we group our students into learning pods based on their independence and academic levels. Students progress only when they master their individual goals. Students are given as much support and structure as they need to be successful academically and socially. This grouping strategy puts students in control of their progression.
At the Academy we understand that students need a good foundation of mastered skills along with an opportunity to apply those skills in meaningful ways. We spend 25% of our day working on foundational skills, 50% on innovations, and 25% on social, emotional, and mental well-being.
Students learn and grow when they have opportunities to interact with peers in meaningful ways. Our students are arranged into mixed age "houses" in which they learn to care for and celebrate with each other. Common group times include morning meetings, roll call, lunch, and celebrations. Older students learn how to teach and care for younger students while younger students benefit from the good peer model of their more advanced peers.
We believe learning should happen anywhere and everywhere. We aim to foster a meaningful connection with families and require a commitment to be an active member of our learning community. We also encourage community members to be involved in the learning process with our students and desire to create powerful collaborative partnerships in which our students become valuable members of the community.
We used a literacy approach that incorporates guided reading, read-alouds, independent reading, phonetics, and writers' workshop. We also believe in an integrated approach to literacy in which students use their foundational skills of reading and writing through out the day to explore and create content they are passionate about.
We take a hands on approach to math. Students should be able to feel, see, and explore the way mathematical concepts work. Additionally, students are guided to apply the foundational math concepts to the hands on exploration and projects they are passionate about.
Students are encouraged to explore topics they are fascinated by. They are given the tools to discover how the world works through examination, research, journaling, and hands on manipulation. We also focus on taking science and the humanities out of the classroom into the world using our outdoor classroom and garden, where the magic happens.