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