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- Are prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist
- Believe and engage in anti-racist leadership to disrupt inequities
- Build healthy relationships and healthy communities
- Care for their own mental, emotional and physical well-being
- Communicate and problem-solve with ease
- Embrace their unique genius and know how to leverage their strengths
- Are emotionally intelligent and have strong critical thinking skills
- Experience financial abundance by knowing how to make, save, protect, spend, borrow, leverage and invest money
- Launch extraordinary businesses
- Protect our planet
- Set and achieve goals
- Solve our world’s greatest challenges
We’re Physical Schools With a Virtual Presence
The Illuminated Life School Network serves students from birth to graduation in physical schools with a virtual presence. Students have the option to move between a physical school and an online academy, as meets their needs. Follow the links for more information on attending, opening, or converting your school to the Illuminated Life School model of education.
Loving Community | We cultivate a loving, nurturing and nourishing community where all students and families are welcomed and supported, and where our students learn to engage respectfully and generously with each other and the world, developing a spirit of responsibility and commitment to service.
Identity | Our students develop a strong sense of identity, built on the richness of their racial and cultural history and traditions, which fosters in our students the confidence and resilience to fully express their unique genius.
22nd Century Skills | Our students are empowered to forge the future through mastery of the world’s most in-demand skills, including emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, racial consciousness, servant-leadership and more.
Rigorous Inquiry | Our students develop the ability to identify and analyze complex issues and to research and design compelling solutions, a process which will prepare them for excellence in higher learning and every profession (from Entrepreneur, to plumber, to neurosurgeon, to artist, to stay-at-home dad, to President).
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Everything! The current model of education was designed during the industrial revolution to create good factory workers (put kids in metal desks under fluorescent lighting for 8 hours a day with a bell that rings every 42 minutes, and everyone was happy if at least 65% of students graduated). Our model is designed for the 21st and 22nd century, and our goal is to graduate 100% of students AND prepare them to live an extraordinary life. Scroll through this carousel to learn how.
22nd Century Skills
- We empower students for the future by strengthening their ROOTS and connections to their forbearers. We believe when students know where they come from, they can go anywhere.
- We help each student identify their natural STRENGTHS and abilities and show them how to cultivate and leverage them.
- Students learn critical LIFE SKILLS such as how to take care of their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, communication, healthy relationships, negotiation, public speaking, First Aid, nutrition, gardening, food preparation, and MUCH more.
- Students are provided a thorough FINANCIAL EDUCATION. Before graduation, our students are successfully earning and saving money. They understand how to spend, borrow and invest money. They know how to rent an apartment, buy a car, buy a home and save for retirement. They understand interest, insurance, money mindset and how the world of money operates.
- We offer a free, optional ENTREPRENEURSHIP program.
- Our 7th through 12th grade students learn on-the-job and LEADERSHIP skills through service-learning internships in the community.
- Curriculum is centered around ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS, structured to be culturally relevant and designed in real-time to connect to students’ interests.
- Instead of memorizing facts, our students develop the ability to IDENTIFY AND ANALYZE complex issues and to research and design compelling solutions. Students have access to the knowledge and wisdom of world-class experts who are considered the best-of-the-best in their field and use that as a springboard for innovation.
- We celebrate LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY and create LINGUISTIC INCLUSION; we commit to developing every student’s mastery of their first language and growth in one or more additional languages.
- We have a Tapping into Brilliance Team with the sole purpose of helping NEURO-DIVERSE LEARNERS THRIVE.
- Our schools are TRAUMA-INFORMED, and resources are coordinated to ensure every student has an opportunity to heal, grow through life’s challenges and fully access learning.
- We don’t do any labeling. At our schools, a student is a student. We provide the SPECIAL ASSISTANCE every child requires, however, children are never tracked or singled out. Children are treated as the brilliant superstars they are!
- There’s VERY LITTLE HOMEWORK – most days the only homework that students have is to read.
- We are a RESTORATIVE SCHOOL that never gives students detention, suspension or expulsion.
Health & Wellness
- Students start their day with yoga, meditation, and a “GRATITUDE AND GOALS” journaling practice.
- Every school has an organic GARDEN and students help plant, grow, harvest and prepare the food they eat.
- Exceptionally healthy food is served – nothing is processed or refined. It’s mostly ORGANIC, free of all major allergens, meets all major religious standards and the meal plan has been proven improve kids’ overall health.
- All students and faculty EAT FREE (students get up to 3 meals and 2 snacks per day for free – no child goes to bed hungry on our watch). Parent volunteers also get a free meal.
- High quality FILTERED WATER is provided to students and faculty.
- Students learn to care for their physical, mental and emotional WELLBEING.
- Students learn about a variety of health & wellness modalities ranging from EFT to homeopathy.
- Our school’s “nurses’ station” looks more like a spa – a calm quiet oasis for students to take a break and get whatever physical, mental, and emotional nourishment they need. It’ll be stocked with natural elixirs and homeopathic remedies in addition to all of the “normal” stuff. The space is designed and our nurses are trained to NURTURE and CARE for our students and faculty.
- Students have AUTONOMY and learn to manage their time and care for their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing through fun and engaging experiences.
Innovative School Calendar
- Our schools transform into free, enriching RECREATIONAL CENTERS before and after school which provide extracurricular programs, sports and activities, as well as additional paid programming.
- We run an optional, weekly SATURDAY FAMILY PROGRAM, where parents and guardians can come eat a free, healthy, delicious breakfast with their kids while taking a free educational class from a world-class expert.
- Students get a short break between each quarter, but the school is still open as a FREE enriching recreational center so that when parents and guardians have to work, they can still drop their kids off at school.
- We’re a year-round school with a FLEXIBLE J-TERM in July. During J-Term, students do a deep dive on a passion project either in school or out of school, or they can spend the month at home or traveling with their family. Classroom staff are off during J-Term to recharge and the in-school passion projects are run by community leaders, guest experts and student teachers.
- Students get 15 “FLEX DAYS” per school year that can be used for doctor appointments, mental health days, religious holidays, sick days or vacations.
- Our schools are generally capped at 300 students and classes always have 22 or fewer students, ensuring each child in the community is well-known by staff, and staff have strong RELATIONSHIPS and communication with one another.
- We use the STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHER-EMPOWERED model of education which means that much of your child’s experience in school is custom tailored to their unique awesomeness, and our staff members are empowered and given the resources to do their jobs effectively.
- We provide a significant amount of PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT to our staff. This ensures that your child will be interacting with adults who are centered and who exhibit a positive, growth mindset.
- We provide a significant amount of PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT to our staff. This ensures staff are equipped with innovative and highly effective social-emotional, instructional and classroom management skills, which accelerates learning.
- Staff are PAID ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE and held accountable for results. We do not have an academic tenure program.
- Illuminated Racial Consciousness is one of our primary learning strands. Our students engage in IDENTITY STUDIES and develop racial literacy.
- Students LEAD THEIR LEARNING, with cultural relevance and connectivity at the heart of the process.
- Students are encouraged to demonstrate mastery by drawing upon their INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY, personality and creativity.
- Staffing reflects the diversity of the culture, language, and race of the STUDENT BODY and extends it.
- Staff utilize a framework to SELF-CHECK what racial and cultural lenses and biases may be informing their mindset about what content and learning students have access to.
- Individual schools have the FLEXIBILITY to design a school day schedule and school year calendar that align to the Illuminated Life School Mission, Vision and Values and that reflect their unique cultural values, needs and holidays.
- School communities will use an ANTI-RACIST LENS to interrogate the selected leadership model to ensure that it remains in alignment with our Mission, Vision and Values and anti-racist and anti-bias ideals.
- We prioritize contracting with BIPOC owned and operated, anti-racist organizations and use our CONTRACTING PROCESS to help BIPOC owned and operated organizations grow.