Frequently Asked Questions


Who attends and does well at Emergent Academy?
Emergent students are 6 to 14 years old. They are determined, hardworking, self-aware children with a strong sense of integrity and a good dose of humor. They are results oriented and push themselves to achieve, especially when faced with challenges. Children who embody these qualities typically thrive at Emergent Academy.

The Emergent Academy is a family-focused school. We offer an academic program for students and their families that want to be part of a new model of education, one that champions a learner-centered approach supported by technology. Our most successful students have parents that are not afraid of putting their children in challenging situations and can readily accept both success and failure, as an acceptable outcome for their child’s learning journey. The Emergent Academy believes a student can learn as much (if not more) from struggle, as they can from success.

What is blended learning? What is the Emergent Academy curriculum?
Blended learning combines the best of using online media approaches with the main features of a traditional instruction to provide an integrated learning experience. Generally, students have some control over time, place, and path in the online learning environment which provide a self-paced and personalized experience. Online courses and tools, such as Aleks and Khan Academy, are always supported with guidance from the Emergent educators.

The learning environment at The Emergent Academy commences with our Level 1 Learning Program. Level 1 students experience a more structured learning environment and work towards a deeper focus on fundamental Core Skills like reading comprehension, math, spelling strategies, and exploring the joy in writing. This is the beginning phase of becoming an Emergent Independent Learner.

In Level 2, students experience more freedom of choice in their Core Skills work and are challenged to deliver greater effort resulting in higher quality work. Writing, Math, Sciences, and Comparative History are all strong focus areas during Core Skills, for these Emergent Learners. Deep Socratic discussions are also introduced as a means of developing areas of critical thinking and group discussion skills.

In Level 3, higher expectations around Writing Skills are introduced, as well as vocabulary study and project-based learning. This is the program where the greatest work around passions and curiosities are developed and expanded.

What is a typical day for students?
Learning days are follow a consistent and structured format centered around Core Skills time and workshop/skills-based learning. The day starts promptly at 9 a.m. with Morning Launch, which is when students and Guides connect and discuss important matters of the day. Then students create their learning and project goals for the day, which are then approved by Guides. Accomplishing these goals and working on Core Skills are the focus of the morning hours until lunch. Afternoons are spent in workshop and skills-based learning groups. We also understand that students need breaks, so we offer both morning and afternoon breaks, each 15 minutes, to qualifying students. In order to qualify, students must have met their most challenging goal of the day. Students wrap up the day as a group by reflecting on the status of the goals set at the beginning of the day, creating a plan of action for the future, and giving shout-outs to fellow classmates for their successes. The school day ends at 3:30 p.m.
How long is the school year and what are the school hours?
The school year runs September through late June with a four-week, intensive Summer Academy in July. Emergent students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to participate in Summer Academy. Please see our school calendar for more information.

Our school day runs from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We know that flexibility is important for our families so you may drop off your child at 8:30 a.m. before the school day begins.

How are the grade levels organized?
Emergent Academy students are grouped into three learning levels. Level 1 includes students who are typically ages 6-9 (grades 1-3), Level 2 includes students who are ages 9-12 (grades 4-6), and Level 3 students are generally ages 12-13 (grades 7-8). Students move to the next level by completing a series of academic goals and by advocating for their advancement. These mixed-age groups and our community culture encourage collaboration rather than academic competition. There is also student collaboration between levels during workshops and community meetings.
What is a Guide?
An Emergent Guide is an educator with a love of children, fascination for learning, and passion for sharing the learning and growth process with children. Guides are subject-matter experts that provide one-on-one support to students regarding academic content, goal setting, time management, project development, and learning how to learn. Our Guides lead students through unknown or unlearned territory by asking questions and providing opportunities for students to discover answers for themselves. This inquiry-based teaching empowers children to develop self-awareness, independence, perseverance, critical thinking, and passion for learning.
What subjects will my child study?
The Emergent curriculum is grounded in core content areas (language arts, mathematics, science, technology, fine arts, and fitness) and enhanced with comparative history, geography, and creative writing and public speaking.
How do students transition from public school or other traditional learning environments to Emergent Academy?
There is certainly a transition period for children when they start at Emergent, just as there is when children join any new school community. Emergent uses the same state-based academic standardized tests as public schools, so students find comfort in already knowing these processes and expectations. The biggest changes for students are often multi-aged groupings, open learning spaces, more independence, inquiry-based learning expectations, and increased control of learning content and pace. Students new to Emergent Academy are encouraged and supported by their peers and Guides. Goal check-ins with Guides are especially helpful for new students as they transition to a new learning environment.
Do Emergent students have physical education classes?
Emergent students regularly use the outdoor spaces at our academy and in our neighborhood. Structure and unstructured fitness activities are present to students based on their interests.
How much homework should Emergent Academy students anticipate?
Emergent Academy does not assign mandatory homework. Students are encouraged and supported to meet their academic goals during the school day. If goals are not met at school, students do have the opportunity to accomplish their unfinished goals at home but it is not required. While students are often self-motivated to work on their goals at home, the Emergent schedule and culture encourage children to spend time with family, travel, and pursue other interests outside of school.
Can students accelerate to a higher grade level faster at Emergent?
The Emergent program is designed to allow students to take ownership of their learning and move through content at their own pace. Thus, students are motivated to accelerate their learning and dig deeper, especially in areas which they are passionate. Students are often self-driven and typically test a year or two ahead of their traditional grade level in math and language arts.
Is Emergent a school for gifted/talented students?
The Emergent curriculum provides personalized learning that meets the needs of many students with various learning styles and interests. We are not a school specifically targeted at students who have been identified as gifted/talented. Emergent students bring different academic backgrounds and abilities to our program.
Can students with an IEP or 504 plan be supported at Emergent?
The Emergent curriculum provides personalized learning that meets the needs of many students with various learning styles and interests. Please contact the Head of Enrollment to discuss your child, his/her educational needs, and whether Emergent Academy may be a good fit.
How does a parent’s role in their child’s education improve at Emergent?
The Emergent Academy strongly believes in the power of the parents. Without parents being a part of our educational team, our students would not be able to accelerate their learning or reach their full potential. Emergent Parents report feeling more like coaches in their child’s learning rather than taskmasters. Emergent Academy strives to maintain a close and collaborative partnership with parents by providing transparent access to student projects, accomplishments and goals, and opportunities for family involvement in school-wide projects and councils.
Is there an extended day program?
Yes, Emergent Academy will pilot an extended day program beginning in September 2017.

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