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Key Design Principles

It has been said that students are always absorbing and storing information. However, there is a distinction between a scholar and a student. A scholar doesn’t just take in information but instead,

“a scholar takes in information, stores it, creates an opinion, creates a thought, and then when asked to regurgitate that information, presents not only the information, but their thoughts on it too… The real difference is that a true scholar thinks that their opinion counts, while a student will always look for approval on their opinion… Knowledge needs to be set to action. Like that, knowledge will endure from generation to generation.”

~Andre Ivory

Our Academic Design Elements

  • Learning through projects
  • Specific Engineering, Science, and Technology courses
  • Competency-based grading
  • Cohort model and multi-age classrooms
  • Art, Music, and Sports
  • Learning about the histories of Black, Brown & Immigrant peoples around the world
  • A balance of independent learning and projects
  • Extra help in reading, writing, mathematics, and executive function

Our Social-Emotional Design Elements

  • Advisory with a mentor
  • Ubuntu principles
  • Caring and loving teachers
  • Culture, family, and community

Our schools feature a multi-aged cohort model where students learn with other students who are slightly older and younger. Teachers use a project-based learning approach to support the development of scholarship. Thus, our scholars engage in rigorous hands-on experiments and design projects as the primary method of learning. Nevertheless, there are daily opportunities for independent learning.

Our curriculum centers the histories of historically marginalized communities including immigrant communities, students of color, and others. As a STEAM school, scholars spend half of their day learning and doing engineering and technology projects, while learning the science and mathematics concepts that make problem-solving possible.

Scholars receive Art and Music education two to four days a week. We partner with a sports organization to offer sports and physical movement three to four days a week.

Our personalized approach guides the design of our schedule. Students have an advisory once a week with a designated mentor who helps them monitor their own academic progress as well as support them in their growth and development of our Ubuntu principles. Part of our personalized approach also includes the opportunity for independent learning in addition to project learning time and a separate time when scholars receive extra help with executive function, study skills, and academic subjects.