Rigor is overused buzz word to describe the harshness of today’s curriculum. No matter the school type, education leaders tell parents their schools are full of academic rigor. In today’s competitive education market, test scores will only get a private or independent school so far. Innovation and creativity can set your school apart from its competitors, and can draw perspective families to your doors. Consider that AltSchool, a micro-school founded by a former Google engineer, draws families in from other schools to pay $27,000 a year. (4,000 applications were received for 200 spots!) Many families are willing to leave their lower-priced elementary schools for this unique opportunity. AltSchool was one of 41 schools in the U.S. to be named to StartUp Noodle’s list of 41 Most Innovative Schools. AltSchool and the 40 other schools on the list provide five lessons that can be infused in any Catholic school.
Think Collaboration // E3 Civic High is located inside the San Diego Public Library. No need for an expensive new building or a capital campaign to build an addition! E3 was developed inside a public place filled with multiple books, study tables, and modern technology! In the days of pricey building projects and ever limited budgets, private and independent schools can build bridges with community partners – museums, zoos, libraries, colleges – for instructional space. . There are multiple, underutilized spaces in your city or county that can serve as laces for a class or entire school.
Corporate Partnerships /// From current scholarships to future careers, schools like Cristo Rey and P-TECH have teamed up with corporations to ensure students have the ability to prepare today and get ahead tomorrow. In the world of limited funds, corporate partnerships can provide funding solutions and educational opportunities to today’s students.
Green is In /// Environmentally-friendly schools are the wave of the future. From organic farming to solar lighting, green schools provide students with numerous learning opportunities from where food comes from to how energy is produced. Green education lends itself to more hands-on, innovative and creative education opportunities that can lead to an increase in enrollment, retention, and funding.
Self-Learning /// Self-directed learning transfers the primary responsibility, planning and execution of learning to the student. The pupil is given an opportunity to study passions, gain independence and take risks. Self-learning is the heart of homeschool movement! Parents often customize the curriculum to fit the needs of their child(ren). Within the Catholic school classroom, self-learning can take place through independent projects, self-pace courses, and outside internships.
Deep Bonds /// Innovative schools allow students to form deep bonds with their peers, faculty and others. These bonds allow for collaboration and communication in and out of the school. The coolness of your school – technology, project-based learning, and programs – will bring today’s families to your doors, the relationships with students’ peers and faculty will keep them in your building.