YPA harnesses the power of relationship with a maximum school-size of 15 students, grades 5-8, in its first year of operation. Students check-in daily with a personal Learning Coach who acts as a mentor and project facilitator and bridges the home, school, and community connection. The student/staff ratio averages 8:1.
YPA students use a state-accredited online learning program & curriculum - Minnesota Virtual Academy - in core subjects: English, math, history, and science. Students work at their own pace and level to ensure rigorous and relevant instruction. They plan and reflect on learning activities with the guidance of a personal Learning Coach to make learning applicable to life outside school walls.
YPA students practice HOW to learn and how to apply their learning. They discover their SUPERPOWERS for success by applying problem solving, communication, and collaboration in a variety of settings. Through the process of learning how to learn, students develop the foundations that will inspire life-long, expert-learning skills that will serve on their paths to college and career.
YPA students understand that they are a part of a larger community. They build purpose through service-learning and interaction with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and community members. Projects during the school year will call on students to use apply the subject matter they are learning. We have a general material idea, but projects are ultimately student selected.
"Tutoring" is for everyone! - not just when a student is falling behind. By participating in after school peer mentorship at least once a week with high school students, YPA learners practice helping others help them learn. The programming increases self-advocacy, accountability, and critical thinking, and builds the student's vision for what is to come in high school.
YP bases project work on Innovation Design Thinking, represented by The ChangeMaker Innovation Process. ™ This process develops empathetic problem-solving skills and inspires stewardship of ideas. It extends students beyond “Create” to “Collaborate” and “Connect," guiding them to be good stewards of what they have been given by serving, sharing, and contributing with their ideas.
Arrival, planning the day, working on projects
Morning classes and student/learning coach conferences
Lunch and recess
Afternoon classes and student/learning coach conferences. Students may go off-site for projects as long as they are signed out and accompanied by an adult.
The school day ends at 4pm. Students may stay until 5:30 to finish homework, do projects, and meet with their high school peer tutors. If students are doing a sport through district 112 or other districts, they may be picked up in time to attend. They're responsible for completing the work that they missed at home that evening or coming in early the next day.