Design Element #1: Project-Based Learning
Our curriculum is project-based. It provides relevant learning experiences that engage learners’ interests and include the California Common Core State Standards. As a result, learners discover underlying concepts and develop a deep understanding of subject matter as they continually build on prior knowledge.
Students work in teams to research real-world issues affecting their community and develop viable solutions for the community’s challenges. This process involves researching and analyzing the problem, designing and testing possible solutions, choosing the best design based upon the best outcome, and sharing results with civic authorities and professional experts. During the process, students discover how the academic disciplines interact with real-world applications. These hands-on experiences foster self-motivation and directness as students discover and develop their uniqueness while striving to become competent lifelong learners.
Design Element #2: Community-Based Learning
Our diverse community becomes the classroom for students because powerful learning extends beyond the walls of a school building. As a result, students grow to understand their community rather than seeing it through the deficit-finding lens frequently used in public education.
Students can see themselves making a real impact when using a curriculum deeply connected to the community’s aspirations. Learners become invested and are motivated to become community problem solvers and agents of change.
Design Element #3: Individualized Learning
Individualized learning honors the diversity of each learner’s cultural, intellectual, physical, and social-emotional backgrounds. It provides educational support and opportunities that remove learning barriers and enable full participation in school programs. Every individual understands that they are a valued member of the school community, and they are provided the resources needed to realize their full potential.
Learners meet with a facilitator to create an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). The ILP includes academic goals, social-emotional goals, and a plan for how outcomes will be reviewed. Students learn to evaluate their strengths and areas of growth. They showcase their talents in modalities that best suit their distinct learning styles.
Design Element #4: Social Emotional Learning
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful. SEL programs focus on helping students develop a strong sense of identity, set goals, build resilience to overcome problems, and cultivate empathy to support constructive relationships with adults and peers.
Design Element #5: Creative Learning
Creative learning develops students’ capacities to imagine, create, and innovate. A rapidly evolving world requires students to be creative problem-solvers and collaborators. Creative learning advances the concept that students need to interact with ideas and concepts in multiple ways because they come to classrooms with particular gifts and learning preferences (linguistic, kinesthetic, spatial, mathematical, and musical).
True student-centered classrooms are structured to honor students’ diverse way of knowing the world and themselves. Our educational program immerses students in a “knowing by doing” model. Arts and movement are the most critical vehicles to support creative learning, and we refer to them as co-academic subjects because they are as essential as academic subjects. Classrooms become working studios where students have opportunities to interact with and master essential academic concepts and skills through a creative multi-sensory experiences.
Student growth and education comes first.
Commitment to excellence, innovation, professionalism, and integrity.
Foster a nurturing environment of creativity, respect, and collaboration.