Microschools are called “micro” because they’re small, enrolling fewer than 120 students. Microschools are also often called learning pods. Students are part of a mixed-age class rather than split into different grades. Microschools are similar to private schools, but aim to remain more affordable. Many people also think of it as "outsourced homeschooling" since it favors homeschooling, but is taught by certified teachers rather than parents.
For the 2021-2022 school year, we offer 5th-12th grade. Ages 5th-8th comprise one class and attend Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-11:00am. Ages 9th-12th will comprise another class and attend Monday-Thursday from 12:00pm-3:00pm.
We are currently considering adding a 1st-4th grade class for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. There is currently no class for this age group, but we are accepting applications for this age group to see if this is an age group that we want to add for next year.
For most microschools and homeschools, there are 7 different styles of teaching (learn more here). The method we use is called Unit Studies. Unit Studies work very well for microschools because they allow students of multiple ages to learn together. It also allows students to learn naturally rather than in a certain sequential order. For example, if students were reading a short story in English that is set in the 1950s, students may learn about life during that time period in history.
Our goal is to create individualized and meaningful learning for all students. Our class size is small, meaning more one-on-one time for students. We also believe in hands-on experiences and relating real-life skills into our curriculum. This emphasis helps our students become well-rounded and ready for life after secondary school, whether they choose to attend college or enter the workforce.
For the 2022-2023 school year, tuition to the Spectra School is a comprehensive rate of $360 per month for a 10-month period. Parents also have the option to spread out tuition over a 12-month period for a rate of $300 per month, or even pay for the full year upfront. While many private institutions accompany tuition costs with numerous other fees, our goal is to keep Spectra affordable and remain transparent from a financial perspective.
Students learn using a unit approach, with the unit changing every few weeks. Students will always have their 4 core subjects, English, math, history, and science, with rotating electives. All subjects and electives will focus on a common theme within a unit. Electives will change depending on the unit being studied, allowing electives to closely match the skills being covered in other classes. Many aspects of the units will be taught across all grades in the class, with specific skills in math and reading being taught individually to the academic or grade level of the specific student. Check out a brief example of a unit below:
Example unit (3 weeks)
English: Students will read and discuss The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, as well as keep a diary for 3 weeks similar to the one that Anne Frank kept during the Holocaust.
History: Students study the 1940's and 50's, focusing on World War 2 and the Holocaust., exploring what everyday life was like during that time in America.
Math: Students complete a math lesson individually based on their grade level, then partake in a group project focusing on various statistics of World War 2.
Science: Students will study Mendelian genetics, relating its misuse by the Nazi party, as well as the importance of ethical treatment of people both in and out of science.
Geography (elective): Students explore the global culture and climate during the 1940's-50's. If available, students will hear from a guest speaker who was a child living during that time.
Art (elective): Students will study, recognize, and create art and photography using the surrealism and abstract expressionism styles of the 1940's.
All curriculum is created by owners and mentors, Casey Hardison-Pevey and Kathleen Bass-Brooks. We pull custom assignments from various resources to create a custom-curated curriculum that mixes core subjects and concepts with real-world skills. Within the custom curriculum, other programs like Khan Academy or Carson Dellosa's Spectrum curriculum may be used to teach core skills in math and reading. We are not accredited which means we cannot give credits for courses. This does not hinder a student from getting a diploma from Spectra or college acceptance, but may hinder their return to an accredited institution for grades 9-12 as public high schools use a credit system for graduation.
If you want more information, feel free to contact us at your convenience!