At we are in the business of...

Growing self-directed learners who are confident, competent, and caring human beings.

To accomplish this we have a couple of simple philosophies that guide what we do...

Each and every person brings unique life experiences, has signature strengths, and learns and develops at their own pace.

Humans learn best in an environment that favors authentic learning.

We have come to understand through experience and research that authentic learning thrives in environments that favor...

  • Passion, play, and purpose
  • Curiosity and questions
  • Meaningful relationships with peers and adults
  • Self-reflection and self-direction
  • Patience
  • An authentic audience
  • Individual agency in deciding the who, what, when, where, why, and how of learning
  • Connecting with the community outside of the school walls

Finally, to help students grow into self-directed learners in an environment that favors authentic learning, we designed our school environment around three overlapping and complementary models.

Micro school Keep the school small to favor relationship building and flexibility so that each student can have the school they deserve.

Democratic School  A truly student-centered school means that students have agency in their learning community.

Connected School Students should learn from each other, from their local community, and from the greater world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child 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. Graduates from have a Portfolio of Work, a transcript that summarizes the Portfolio of Work, experience with internships, service learning, independent projects, creating, producing, and managing projects with real world audiences like Artwalk,, and DWNTWN magazine. Our students take college classes at nearby universities while they are still at Our first two graduating classes had college acceptances from Kansas City Art Institute, Drury University, Belmont University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Hartwick College, Columbia College of Chicago (Honors Program), Saint Louis University, Middle Tennessee State University, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University.

Are you accredited?

As a brand new school, who opened to students on August 2016, we are in the process of being accredited. The accreditation process involves applying for membership, conducting a self-study of your school, hosting a visiting team to review your school, and developing a plan for continual review and improvement. This process can take anywhere from one to three years. We have taken the first steps towards accreditation and plan on moving as quickly as is reasonable. In the meantime, students who graduate from will still receive our diploma and build their own portfolio. In most cases, there are paths available to college for students with an unaccredited diploma. Homeschoolers and unschoolers are regularly accepted to all levels of colleges and universities without an accredited diploma. In some colleges the entry requirements will change slightly with SAT/ACT, college coursework, and a portfolio playing a larger role in admissions. 

What does it cost?

Our full tuition is $7500/year but we do have a Tuition Assistance program. See our Costs section for more information.

What is a micro school?

Micro schools can blend the best elements of unschooling, summer camps, passion projects, graduate seminars, project-based learning, independent study, homeschooling and direct instruction in a purposefully small school setting. One of the biggest factors in keeping students engaged in learning is their feeling of being known, appreciated, valued, and accepted as an individual. Each student is unique, staying small allows them to safely find their own voice and gain experience in using it. Too often larger schools ‘deliver’ education to students. We want our students to ‘create’ their own education. At we limit our enrollment to a maximum of 40 students in grades 6-12. 

Do students get graded?

There are some things that people associate with school that we don't do at We don't believe that letter grades, ranking students, or forcing all learning into semester long classes is conducive to creating self-directed learners. Our students keep a running blog that doubles as their portfolio. They capture authentic evidence of their learning through videos, photos, products, self-reflection, and expert feedback. By the time they are ready to graduate, students should have years of evidence stored in their portfolio.

Do you have art, pe, and music?

We do our best to learn in an integrated, holistic way. The opportunity for expression through art and music will always be available for those who desire it. We will also tap into the greater Springfield community for mini units in art, music, and PE. For example, we might schedule a six week ice skating unit and head over to Mediacom Ice Park a couple of times a week for skating. We could also bring in an artist for a few workshops to teach some specific techniques. 


What is a day like?

You can probably guess that our days don't look very typical. We start at 9am and stop at 3pm as a group but in between things depend a lot on each student. A student might participate in a teacher driven workshop or class that they are interested in. They might meet up with a book club, work independently on some research, interview a community member for DWNTWN, work with a small group on an art project, or write up a blog post for their portfolio. We have lunch from 12-1pm. Students might eat at a restaurant downtown with classmates or pack a lunch. Students go home at 3pm (although sometimes we have to kick them out because they are having to much fun together to leave.)

non discrimination policy

The admits students of any gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, creed, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, or creed in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship, and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.

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contact information
425 W McDaniel Suite 160
Springfield, MO 65806