Advisory is the place where relationships between students and advisors are developed and manifested. During advisory, students are grouped with an advisor. As a cohort, the students are guided through their four-year high school experience by the one advisor who knows them best. In advisory, students work with their cohort on meaningful projects, discussions, activities and team building.
Authentic Assessment is applied when students document every aspect of their research and projects in portfolios, which are later refined during senior year and presented with their applications to colleges. Instead of multiple choice tests and exams, each student defends his/her work in hour-long exhibitions at the end of each quarter. Advisors, parents, mentors, and peers offer feedback and recommendations for the following quarter.
Rather than a report card filled with number or letter grades, a student receives quarterly narratives from the advisor. These are driven by the students learning plans and connect with goals outlined from previous meetings. The narrative describes each student's academic and personal growth in detail, based on the goals outlined in the learning plan, the portfolio work, and the exhibition. (Traditional report cards can be created for student's when required by another institution.)
Apprenticeships are the foundation of the personalized learning students engage in. These apprenticeships are where meaningful relationships are built with responsible adults through mentorship. Rigorous and relevant work is crafted through projects and experiences which help the student academically and professionally.
Academic Studies Each student creates a quarterly learning plan, revised and approved by the advisors and parents, designed to ensure that all students’ learning is comparable to the traditional subjects required for college. Emphasis is placed on real world learning and application of knowledge utilization. Students are exposed to a broad scope of ideas, concepts, designs, and facts etc. for them to stimulate possible interests. Students have a combination of general study courses and interest based projects and in-depth study.
Reflection Practices are initiated in the weekly assignments through journaling, the learning plan, the discussions, advisory activities, and the exhibitions. The types of reflection include responding to questions and elaborating on principles, theories, or positions. Students regularly contemplate on their insights, problems, challenges, methods, issues, goals, attitudes, ethical matters, and moral concerns. Critical reflection includes assumption analysis, contextual awareness, imaginative speculation, and reflective skepticism. Students are encouraged to frame and reframe complex or ambiguous situations, test out various solutions, and then modify their plans, actions, and ideas accordingly.
Personalized Independent Study allows students to work at their own pace to complete various tasks related to skill building, interest exploration, apprenticeships, badges, and the advisory assignments. Independent study is monitored and facilitated by advisors who ensure that students are making steady progress. Advisors are available for 1:1 assistance for students who need further guidance or support.
The Dual Purposes are to love yourself and live for the sake of others. The Life Goals Approach to (1) achieve individual maturity, to (2) cultivate harmonious and loving relationships, and to (3) make a valuable contribution to society provides great personal satisfaction as it enhances others’ lives as well.
The Four "P" Foundation is the combination of purpose, passion, perseverance, and positivity needed to develop successful grit. It is built by expanding interests, delving deeper, going beyond hindrances, and keeping hope through adversity.
The Four Capacities Outcome is the overall goal for each student to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen, and an effective contributor. The purpose of the Four Capacities is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes students will need if they are to flourish in life, learning, and work; now and in the future.
Character Strengths Development supports each person’s unique profile consists of varying degrees of the 24 VIA universal character strengths. These 24 character strengths fall under six broad moral and universal virtue categories: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Successful development of personal character traits build capability for helping ourselves and others and produce positive effects when expressed. Each quarter students are prompted to create a new strength-development habit through self-regulated incremental actions with a specific focus.
Discovering the Real Me focuses on issues specifically addressed for each age group. Youth aged fourteen to eighteen years of age look at the world in a much more complex manner than they did in their younger years. The complexity of their developmental tasks can make these years challenging, particularly in today’s socially toxic environment. The curriculum presents stories and situations with themes of the development of virtues such as mutual respect, taking responsibility, developing empathy and compassion, and learning how to be productive citizens. Themes of leadership, communication and relationship skills, and preparing for life in society beyond high school are also explored. Although these lessons are presented in the Advisory, discussion questions, that are always available to parents, provide an opportunity for families to have ongoing discussions on pertinent themes.