Curriculum Guide

Students design their curriculum with faculty

Our curriculum is custom-made in collaboration between our Learning Experts and each student to suit their specific interests and learning goals. Students design a journey that not only includes the required high school subjects, but also important financial literacy skills, ethics, design thinking, and life skills such as time management and professional communication.

No traditional lecture-based classes

Sora Academics

At Sora, students progress academically through Projects and Learning Expeditions.

Independent Projects at Sora

Students work on independent projects based on what they’re interested in learning or studying–anything from computer science to 18th century Victorian fashion.

When a student works on a project, they mark what academic standards they’re planning to learn. They then work with faculty to create a project plan to complete their work. As a fully-accredited school, we’re continually ensuring students are learning a well-developed and guided curriculum, even in their independent work.

As students progress through their project, they regularly meet with faculty who are available to discuss, troubleshoot, and help guide them towards their end deliverables.

Learning Expeditions at Sora

Our academic calendar is divided into 6-week cycles, wherein students take a selection of learning expeditions to explore specific topics and skills. Instead of lectures, these learning expeditions are socratic discussions, projects, labs, and other active learning formats.

The content of these courses are not only informed by the areas of expertise of our faculty, but also by the interests of students. Recent popular expeditions include “The Science of Marvel,” “Engineering Rollercoasters,” and “Philosophy, Logic, and the Art of Argumentation.”

Students earn academic credit based on the material covered in the learning expedition by presenting deliverables to faculty that will be evaluated according to our mastery-based scale.

The learning expeditions meet synchronously at select times throughout the week, so students are able to share ideas with their classmates.

Mastery-Based Curriculum

As both an accredited school and a mastery-based program, our curriculum is assessed according to specific academic standards, which include all of the traditionally-required school subjects like math, English, history, and more. These subjects are split into more granular topics so that students are evaluated on their individual competencies, not their average ability to retain information.

As students progress, they demonstrate competency (and sometimes complete mastery) in these areas. Through this system, we are able to evaluate students holistically and fairly, and students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter.

0 means that student has not been exposed to the subject yet.

1 (Recognition and Recall) means that student is generally aware of the concept and can call it by name but has yet to apply it.

2 (Meaning and Intent) means that student can explain the concept meaningfully in their own words.

3 (Application) means that student is applying the skill to new situations and real-life circumstances.

4 (World-Class Work) means that student has applied their learning in a nuanced way, multiple times.

Students at Sora receive a mastery-based transcript

Our program packages all of the individual areas of mastery back into their academic subjects and produces a mastery-based transcript for colleges and other institutions of higher education. This format is informed by the Mastery Transcript Consortium’s approach, used by hundreds of other innovative schools across the United States.

We also feature students’ top projects and accomplishments at the top of the transcript, so admissions counselors have more context into the in-depth work performed by students at Sora. They get to see the student’s work that represents deep knowledge and interest in a certain field or subject. This also helps students draw a clear path of their journey through our program, adding context and color to their decisions.