Monday, June 6, 2011

The Freedom to Learn

Watch this incredible TED talk from Sam Chaltain, a friend of New Orleans Liberation Academy and explore three questions we've been asking ourselves as we work to further develop our school: How do people learn best? What are the skills of a free people? What does it mean to be free?

"The healtiest learning environment is challenging, engaging, relevant, supportive and experiential."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Preparing Our Students for Their Future

Lately, we've had a few people ask us about how our students will be prepared for their future, so we thought it made sense to post some of these questions and answers to the blog.

The questions:
Will NOLA support student's job-preparedness? Is training in a trade an option for NOLA students? What about students that want to take the GED? Can NOLA students receive a diploma? What about a high school transcript? What about college?

Our answers:
First, when it comes to college and/or job preparedness, following the development of a positive self-identity, meaningful relationships and the empowerment of young people that is so often lacking in public education, preparation for the future is at the forefront of our minds in developing the school, and in our work with students.

Our students begin by defining their goals and dreams and then pursue them through a combination of meaningful and engaging adventures. It is possible to pursue your dreams, and gain admission to any college of our students choice without a traditional high school transcript. We will prepare our students to fulfill college admission requirements by proving five preparatory results: intellectual passion, leadership, logical reasoning, background knowledge, and the capacity for structured learning. We intend to provide life-changing, confidence-building adventures that will allow students to demonstrate those through the development of individual portfolios and public demonstrations of learning. Home schooled youth are admitted to college all the time, and in fact, as of this year, new legislation allows approved home school programs to offer a high school diploma!

If our students are interested in preparing for a GED, we are also equipped to offer support for these pursuits. This will likely only be necessary as we work to provide interested students the option of duel-enrollment with us and a local community college (i.e. Delgado) during what would be their junior and/or senior year.

When it comes to career development and technical training, we will work to support our students in securing intensive internships with professionals in that chosen industry, providing opportunities for "real-world" learning, authentic assessment and experience that could eventually provide for certification and even job opportunities.

We love questions, so if you have more, keep them coming!