Do you love to learn?
But hate School?
There is another Approach to Learning

Welcome to u.school

We focus on Learning instead of schooling.

We live in an age of information abundance. There are hundreds of ways to learn about just about anything. So why limit yourself to what a single school offers or thinks is important? Why not follow your interests and learn about things that you want to learn about? Why not learn in a way that works best for you?

And guess what? 

You can learn what you want and learn in a way that makes sense for you ... and still get into college.

At u.school we are here to help you design a Learning Journey that makes sense for YOU. And we are here to help you capture it and record it. In the end, you will have a great story to tell. A story about your unique Learning Journey.

A story that colleges will love to hear.

Learn from Anywhere

There are hundreds of ways to learn something. Why limit yourself to one school when there are so many different ways to learn. You can learn in a classroom, online, doing an internship or volunteering, conducting independent research or creating interesting projects, working with a tutor or a coach, or while traveling.

We work with you to plan and select appropriate Learning Opportunities and map a Learning Journey all the way to college. 

Capture and Record Your Learning

We have developed a system to help capture all of the evidence of your learning along the way.

It doesn't matter if you are learning in a classroom or if you are an unschooler, we work with you to make sure we are recording and reflecting on your unique adventure. 

U.school is here to help you craft an adventure and capture it as you go. 

Tell Your Story

In the end you will have a story that is as unique as you are. This is the story you will be able to tell when that college admissions counselor says to you, "So... tell me about yourself..."

So take chances, follow your passions, explore widely, be true to yourself. 

Let make your Learning Journey the story of a lifetime.

Does it Work?

We don't guarantee that u.school will get you into every college.

No one can make that guarantee.

Our learners spend a lot of time thinking about what college would be the best fit for them socially, academically, financially, and geographically. They also spend time thinking about what it means to select a school, what the application process means, and they figure out ways to make their story a good match for their preferred schools. 

Many of our students end up applying to only one or two schools. Because they have done their homework and they know what colleges are a good fit for them.

We are a small school with only a small group of graduates (so far). But here is a list of places our graduates are attending college.  

Let's Get Started

Here is your opportunity to make your own path in life. We do not offer a lockstep solution. Our process is as varied and unique as the learners who engage with us. But... here is a rough idea of how things go.

  • Step 1: 

    Meet with a u.school guide

    We will schedule one or more introductory meetings  with you, your family, and a u.school guide to talk about you and begin to craft a Learning Journey that is a fit for you. Everyone has their own interests, experiences, and learns in their own way. We want to figure out a plan that works for you.

  • Step 2:

    A Field Guide to Learning with u.school

    It is usually necessary to unlearn everything you think you know about school. We have classes, e-courses, videos, and workbooks to introduce the u.school approach to learning. Don't worry, it's not complicated. For many people it just makes plain sense but it does require you to be willing to think creatively about learning.  

  • Step 3: 

    Check In Meetings

    Your u.school guide is available to help plan, to assess, to encourage, to brainstorm, and to help find ways to do the things you want to do. Check in meetings can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or whatever make sense for your schedule and style.

  • Step 4:

    Crafting your Story

    With each step we are working towards crafting a Story of your Learning Journey. Some of that means capturing, recording, and reflecting on your Learning Opportunities. It also means seeing all of your individual choices, experiences, and challenges as part of a broader story that is unique to you. As you get closer to graduation we will begin honing your story and identifying which colleges are going to be lucky enough to have you in their freshman class.

     

Who are we

Patrick Misterovich

Co-founder, Executive Director, Learning Journey Guide, Teacher

Pat has taught English, history, social science, entrepreneurship, programming, film, and more. He was also an IT director, a stay-at-home dad, and inventor of the PEZ MP3 player. He has lived in Springfield since 2002 with his wife and three sons. 

Sandy Frye

Co-founder, Learning Journey Guide, Teacher, Writing Tutor

Sandy wants to live in a world full of poetry, cats, tennis games, champagne and breezy beach days. She will settle for just the poetry and cats on a daily basis. As a teacher for the last fifteen years, she has taught just about everything except math (yuck). Her passions lie in teaching and reading literature, poetry and writing of all genres. When Sandy’s not teaching, she is having fun with her teen-aged daughters. Sandy graduated from Drury University.

Terri Bray

Journey Guide, Teacher, Math Tutor

Originally from Central Maine, Terri Bray obtained a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Secondary Education from the University of Maine Orono. Terri taught high school math for over ten years in Maine before moving to Springfield in 2012 with her husband Bill and grandson Damien. In addition to teaching math Terri coaches running and CrossFit. She also loves kayaking, hiking and visiting her five grandchildren.

Costs

Going on a Learning Journey has some costs. We only charge you for the u.school services you use. 

Membership 

$25 per month

Membership in u.school gives you access to the digital tools we use for capturing, recording, and reflecting. It also allows you access to our community server where you can socialize, share, and interact with other u.school students.

Guides, tutors, coaches

$25 per hr or $15 per 30 minutes

Our guides, teachers, tutors, and coaches are available to meet virtually on a schedule that works for you. 

Classes  and Workshops

$120 per 8 week class

Even though a big part of our focus is helping you identify Learning Opportunities from anywhere, we also offer a select group of classes during our four 8 week sessions. 

Trips, Projects, Misc

From time to time we might offer a group trip, project, or other activity that has an associated costs. These are always optional and the costs will be announced in advance. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this an online school?

While we don't have a physical location, we think we are quite different from most online or virtual schools. We are more about a philosophy that involves learning anywhere and everywhere. That includes utilizing virtual space, where appropriate. But our students typically mix in classes at public schools and community college, travel, internships, community service, independent study, books, movies, art projects, video production, podcasting, tutoring, and more. We don't expect our students to be sitting in front of a computer screen all day. And we don't expect everything they find important to learn will be delivered by u.school. 

Can I be a member of u.school but not do any of the u.school-led Learning Opportunities?

Yes.
If you would like to work with our staff to plan, map, and record your learning adventure but you aren't interested in any of the u.school-led activities, that is no problem. You can still be a u.school member. We will still work with you to help identify Learning Opportunities and fit them into an overall plan.

Can I participate in u.school-led Learning Opportunities without joining as a member?

Yes.
The u.school-led Learning Opportunities are open to anyone who would like to participate.

Click here for a list of current and planned Learning Opportunities.

Can I be a Homeschooler or Unschooler and be a part of u.school?

Absolutely.

You can work with a u.school Guide and use our tools to capture and record your Learning Journey even if you are following a homeschool curriculum, participating in a co-op, or straight up unschooling.

You can also join our community of u.schoolers or even take some of our u.school led Learning Opportunities. 

Will I be able to get into college?

Yes.
In the past two decades colleges have become friendly to students from new and innovative charter, magnet and private schools; homeschoolers and unschoolers; and other non-traditional students.

U.schoolers will have a transcript that reads more like a story. It will include the evidence and reflections from a wide variety of learning experiences including internships, service learning, independent projects, creating, producing, and managing projects with real world audiences.

Many of our students elect to take college classes at nearby universities or public high schools while they are still at u.school. Those records will be included in the overall story of their Learning Journey.

I just want help getting into college but I plan on staying at my current school. Can you do that?

Sure.

Maybe you are doing fine at your current school but you just want help figuring out which colleges make sense for you. Or maybe you want help preparing your Story for admissions. We can help with that. 

In a case like that, your current school would be your school of record. They would be responsible for your official transcript. But we can work with you to produce a supplemental materials to help tell your story. 

How old do I have to be to join u.school?

It is more a matter of maturity than age. If you are ready to take responsibility for your learning, work with adults who will serve as your guide rather than an authority figure, and if you are capable of recording and reflecting your learning, you are capable of succeeding in our system.

It is also important that you have some kind of idea about what you want to pursue after high school. We will use those initial long-term goals to begin crafting a journey.

But don't worry. You don't have to know exactly what you want you life to look like. Most journeys are crooked roads with lots of side adventures. It is totally normal to change your mind, discover new passions, and re-think things. 

In fact, part of the reason we exist is to give you the time and freedom to figure things out. 
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I'm Ready to Learn More.