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Advanced Learning Academy

Advanced Learning Academy (ALA) lifts the ceiling on learning for all members of the educational community. ALA provides 21st-century opportunities within a caring and open community and fosters a depth of thinking, problem-solving, creative design, and real-world applications. Students develop deep content knowledge and cutting-edge learning skills to prepare them for any and all futures they can envision.

The curriculum at ALA relies heavily on Project-Based Learning, which is an approach to education that emphasizes learning through creating. Projects aren’t just replacements for tests, they’re real-world creations that start their development at the very beginning of a new unit of content.  

ALA is built around four commitments in service of its bold vision for a transformative educational model:

  • Deep Learning: authenticity, integration, tenacity
  • Individuality: self-advocacy, voice, curiosity
  • Flexible Design: individual needs & learning styles, student-centered grouping, multi-age experiences, collaboration
  • Connection: personal and social awareness, empathy with meaningful action, community partnerships

By initiating this partnership, we can share best practices and swap ideas. Creativity goes hand-in-hand with this kind of innovation. We already work together to figure out what our students need to be successful, and this is where the collective and collegial mind is most helpful.

- Amy Stengel
ALA parent and teacher

Fast facts

  • ALA is open to students in Pre-K to 12th grade
  • As a professional development school for Trinity University, education faculty at the college help facilitate the curriculum design.
  • ALA uses the RULER approach to teaching social and emotional learning that was created by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
  • ALA employs design thinking as a major pillar of its educational philosophy, which uses empathy to understand the needs of real people and understands that problems seldom have one perfect solution.
  • ALA offers college prep opportunities like AP and dual-credit courses, and extracurricular programs like newspaper, gardening, and art.

Message from the Principal - Kathy Bieser

CAST Schools share many of the same principles as ALA, working to inspire student learning by igniting curiosity and working through project-based learning."

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