The primary mission of SailAway is to ignite excitement about learning and life for all students, especially those who have fallen through the cracks during their educational journey. SailAway levels the path and smoothes the way for every student to be a Scholar—a valued, contributing member of the learning community. SailAway embraces all Scholars where they are, regardless of the reasons they stumble in a traditional school. Our Scholars may be gifted or challenged, battle attention or memory problems, live in the midst of a difficult personal situation, like the death of a parent or their own life-altering illness, or just need a major academic jump-start to get back on track.
SailAway’s MicroSchool compassionately and diligently creates the learning environment and educational plan to guide each Scholar firmly but gently to new heights of academic and personal success.
It doesn’t feel like a typical school. The classroom is filled with hands-on learning tools and hums with the excitement of interactive learning and exploration. Scholars freely participate in creative lessons and engage in projects that promote personal inquiry and discovery because SailAway MicroSchool feels more like home than school. The low student:teacher ratio allows individualized attention to each Scholar’s specific needs and creates the perfect environment to develop academic and social skills that promote a lifetime of personal success.
SailAway pioneered this special type of school beginning in 1999. In the mid 2000s, small schools with big, creative visions and powerful student-outcomes began to be known as MicroSchools. Today the MicroSchool Concept is becoming one of the fastest growing solutions to 21st century educational dilemmas. And, SailAway exemplifies the best of the MicroSchool movement.
The MicroSchool Concept
What is a MicroSchool? A MicroSchool, by definition, is a small school with fewer than 120 students, created to meet the specific and unique needs of a group of students. It is a school where:
- Multiple ages learn together in a single classroom;
- Teachers act more as guides than lecturers;
- There’s a heavy emphasis on digital and project-based learning; and
- Education is highly personalized and more attuned to children who excel with non-traditional learning methods
The SailAway MicroSchool difference focuses on ensuring an atmosphere well suited for students who have “fallen through the cracks.” SailAway’s proprietary instructional methods and educational approaches intentionally zero in on eliminating the stress-causing aspects of learning like lengthy lectures and pages of tedious busy work. We know our Scholars’ frustration points and avoid them at all costs. Our staff and faculty work hard to ensure that every Scholar has the rock-solid academic skills and tools needed to understand the information in front of them and never reach the point of tears in learning it!
SailAway Scholars “do not do their work” rather they embrace the knowing and the world in which it exists. As they do, they no longer see learning as “work” but a joy-filled, adventure-generating activity. They learn multiple, disciplined approaches to learning and engage with knowledge from all disciplines. They solve problems and complete projects, individually and collaboratively—and are never trapped in bookwork.
The SailAway MicroSchool philosophy of education rests on the foundational belief that the root of all learning—whether English, history, science, or mathematics—is founded in words. Thus, the academy’s academic program produces a language, literacy-rich environment.
SailAway offers its Microschool Scholars educational placement options. Some Scholars want the MicroSchool to be their home through high school and become a SailAway graduate. Others simply spend a short time here, filling academic gaps, healing wounds, and becoming confident in their ability to achieve in any learning environment. SailAway Scholars have moved successfully to public, private, and home schools after their season at SailAway, fully equipped to take on any challenge they meet anywhere.
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“We are truly thankful for the school environment of SailAway Learning & Academy. Our son has always felt believed in and we have seen him mature in many ways. Academically he has been given the chance to flourish in areas of strengths. In areas of struggles, he has been allowed to work at his unique place and pace. As a result, he is less stressed, more confident and has made significant progress. SALA creates an environment of care, hope and success.”Carol Jordan