May 28, 2020
Meraki is an independent study high school that focuses on growing self-starters, independent thinkers and responsible young adults. We offer a blended approach to learning which includes small group and/or individual projects, interest-based assignments and online courses. Students are assigned to a small advisory group and are paired with an advisor who will co-create their learning with them all four years.
Students who are successful here have some, but not necessarily all, of these attributes:
- Students who are willing to have frequent conversations with their advisor and their peers
- Students who want to express their voice in the Meraki experience
- Time Management:
- Students who are willing to learn time management and understand that this educational model will require a plan
- Students who recognize that procrastination may be a problem and seek to solve that
- Problem Solving:
- Students who are willing to keep trying and seek help when they “become stuck”
- Students who can work independently
- Students who enjoy exploring new interests and are willing to take advantage of opportunities that might push them out of their comfort zone.
- Students who have a strong interest in a particular area and are willing to leverage that interest into their learning plan
- Future Forward Thinkers
- Students who want to understand how math works in the “real world”
- Students who understand there is a “science” to science
- Students who want to get involved in public policy and be politically aware
- Students who recognize that health & wellness is a lifestyle not a class
- Students who want to be involved in their community
- Students who want to become a leader
- Students who want to start college or internships early
The Phoenix, our student selected mascot, represents our overall expectations:
Rise up to the Challenge:
- Become a leader
- Move out of your comfort zone
- Persevere through obstacles
- Accept challenges and challenge yourself
Rise up to Responsibility:
- Be accountable to yourself and others
- Become empowered by being self-reliant
- Be able to demonstrate your learning publicly
Rise up for the Community:
- Be interested in giving back to your school community
- Be interested in giving back to the greater community
- Become a leader in impactful areas which will support you as you navigate life after high school
Studies of why students leave college early reveal that it is rarely an issue of academic ability, but more frequently difficulties in other skills including:
- The knowledge of available resources (and willingness to seek out)
- Managing time and choices
- Reflecting deeply
- Asking the right questions
- Being comfortable with who they are - an affirmed identity
Too often traditional systems are not set up to develop these traits. Through our blended and guided approach, Meraki values, fosters and expects these skills.
Meraki follows the San Juan Unified School Calendar. Our students attend school Monday through Thursday from 9:00am - 2:30pm and Fridays from 9am-12pm. After a morning advisory meeting, the student organizes their day independently. A few of the learning opportunities students participate in during the day include:
- Small group “crash courses” which may address reading, writing, critical thinking, engineering, finance, etc.
- Independent or group projects
- Participation in physical activity
- Projects in the maker space
- Local field trips
- Student government or leadership committee meetings
- 1:1 meeting with an advisor
- Rock Band practice
- Online courses
- Community college courses
Our schedule is flexible, which allows for internships and community college courses during the school day. We also offer “work from home” days throughout the year. With the threat of the pandemic looming over educational practices we are looking at models which allow for a blending of student time on campus and coordinated distance learning.
Finally, Meraki students receive a high school experience which offers students a voice in their education, a chance to jumpstart their college or career plans, and opportunities to explore the greater world to find their true selves in a social environment that is personal and supportive.
For more information, please contact Scott Evans - firstname.lastname@example.org.