Curriculum & Culture

We focus on the WHOLE CHILD, valuing not just academic success, but also SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL GROWTH. We are also committed to INCORPORATING TECHNOLOGY and field trips that bring the classroom LEARNING TO LIFE into the real world.

We Feature the Following Elements:

Individual Learning Plans

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) personalize goals and instruction for each child. We believe that learning should be interest-driven, peer-supported and focused on powerful outcomes.

Project-Based Learning

We offer a dynamic classroom approach in which learners actively explore real-world challenges to acquire deeper knowledge. Research shows that learners’ retention of content and attitude toward and interest in learning increase when PBL is done well.

Presentations of Learning

At the end of the year, facilitators and learners give their own Presentations of Learning based on their reflections of their achievements and growth toward those particular goals.

Social-Emotional Learning

Academic achievement is only one component of a learner’s education at iLEAD. We also support the learner’s development of emotional intelligence, life skills and community engagement.

Multi-Age Learning

Multi-age education is an approach to teaching and learning that truly allows the academic and social-emotional needs of every learner to be met. In multi-age environments, learners are able to work on skills and concepts that are appropriate based on where they fall in the learning continuum, regardless of their age.

In the meantime, social interaction among older and younger learners promotes leadership and positive social-emotional behaviors. Older learners may model problem-solving and communication skills for their younger peers and vice versa.

Lastly, multi-age education allows each learner to spend at least two consecutive years with the same facilitator. This process results in seamless transitions from one year to the next. Because half the class has returned for the second year, classroom culture, procedures and expectations are already understood early on.


Deeper Learning

In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find learners who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining indispensable knowledge, skills and beliefs, including:

Mastery of Core Academic Content: Learners build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Learners think critically, analytically and creatively. They know how to find, evaluate and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems.

Collaboration: Collaborative learners work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view, and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.

Effective Communication: Learners communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback and construct messages for particular audiences.

Self-Directed Learning: Learners develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Learners who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.

A Growth Mindset: Learners with a growth mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.

When learners are developing knowledge, skills and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more efficiently.

They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.

Mastery of academic content is critical to a learner’s future success in college, career and life, so it is the foundation of—and never overlooked in—deeper learning classrooms.

Read more in-depth definitions of this set of knowledge, skills and beliefs.

What Is Project-Based Learning?

Our educational model is similar to High Tech High, New Tech Schools and Big Picture Schools.
Our facilitators have undergone training from High Tech High, New Tech, and Manor School.

We are a people of purpose, establishing a new paradigm for education.
We are a caring culture that values the contribution our community can make to a better society.

Our focus on developing empathy allows for respect and invites an engaging, positive, rich environment. We believe people are natural-born learners. We provide opportunities for discovery and wonder to nurture a lifelong love of learning.

Success is demonstrated through leadership, self-direction, problem-solving skills, creativity, collaboration, innovation and service. We embrace stepping out of our comfort zone.

We value joy, fun, choice and voice, and we celebrate that our differences contribute to our common humanity.

We work as a team to create a culture that shifts from a top-down model to a multi-point model, where leaders emerge throughout the class, school and environment.

We guide learners to master content, rather than specific skills, through dynamic projects.

We know the quality of our learning by examining the rigor evident in our efforts.
We know the quality of our school culture by examining the quality of our relationships.
We know the value of our efforts by examining the quality and relevance of our work products.
We are Reflective Thinkers who ask essential questions.
We maintain and support a growth mindset.
We are driven by curiosity and wonder, inquisitive thinking, and searching for innovative answers.
We are guided in our efforts by Community Engagement and Relevance.
We are all engaged in co-facilitating our own learning.
We measure our success by comparing our work with the evidence of best practices.