Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Sora

You can begin the admissions process by attending one or all of our optional virtual events that are designed to help you get to know Sora. These include a Parent Preview, Affording a Sora Education, and a Virtual Open House.

After attending some of our events and speaking with a member of the Admissions Team, the first official step is to complete an online application which can be found here. This allows you to submit the parent and student questionnaires, upload the student video, download the official transcript/academic records request form as well as the teacher/mentor evaluations. Once your file is complete, a member of our team will reach out schedule the student interview.

During the interview, we will meet with your student over Zoom where we get to know them and learn about their interests, learning style, potential career aspirations, and more!

If you are applying for Flexible Tuition, families are asked to complete an online financial form through SSS, a National Association of Independent Schools tuition service, which evaluates a family’s ability to pay. After this step, the form is submitted to the Flexible Tuition Committee for review. Flexible Tuition deadlines are the same as the application for admission and vary on your preferred start date.

All items on the Admissions Checklist must be completed before the Admissions Committee will review your application and render a decision.

Sora Schools accepts applications for students entering Grades 7-11 beginning on October 4, 2021. There are three start dates in 2022: winter, spring, and fall. All of the information you need to know about the admissions process is found here

There are three admissions deadlines: winter, priority round, and second round. Please refer to the details below about specific deadlines, including notification and enrollment dates.

Priority Admission (Spring and Fall 2022)

  • January 28, 2022 – Priority Admission application and Flexible Tuition application due

  • February 25, 2022 – Notification of Priority Admission and Flexible Tuition

  • March 7, 2022 – Priority Response due to Sora Schools

We offer a variety of ways for you to get to know Sora. All experiences are optional and you are welcome to sign up for one, or all of these events. Each virtual event is designed to provide you with a different perspective of Sora, as well as opportunities to connect with our community. We encourage you to attend multiple virtual events to experience Sora yourself!

  • Parent Preview is where prospective parents will hear from Sora parent ambassadors as they discuss their experience at the school.
  • Through a Virtual Open House, you and your student will have the opportunity to see what makes Sora unique, meet our faculty and staff, and experience learning at Sora yourself.
  • Affording A Sora Education is designed to provide additional information about Flexible Tuition, our need-based tuition assistance program. 
  • Parent Meeting with Admissions allows you to connect individually with an Admissions Team Member to discuss our program further and so we can learn about your student.

A parent meeting is an opportunity to connect individually with an Admissions Team Member to discuss our program further and so we can learn about your student. We will speak with you to understand what you’re looking for in your student’s education and provide you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about our unique virtual high school. A parent meeting is scheduled for 20-minutes and is conducted over the phone. You can quickly schedule a meeting here.

No. Just as we don’t use traditional tests for assessment of students at Sora, we also do not use them in the admissions process. We evaluate applicants based on a number of other materials that they share including, the application, student video, transcripts or academic records (which may include previous testing), teacher/mentor evaluations, and the student interview.

Our unique virtual middle and high school seeks to enroll motivated, intellectually curious, and open-minded students who are eager to explore the world.

If you’re looking for a school that believes in hands-on learning, personalizes students’ education to their individual styles, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, ensures academic breadth in students in the subjects of math, history, science, and English, builds strong professionally-oriented skills and life skills, and prepares students for their future careers and higher education, then Sora will be a perfect fit for your student!

Student interviews are 30-minute conversations with a member of the Admissions Team in which we get to know candidates better, asking about their interests, favorite and least favorite subjects, preferred learning style, potential career aspirations, and more. Interviews take place over Zoom using a link we provide via email prior to their scheduled date and time.

Sora currently enrolls 150 motivated, intellectually curious, and open-minded middle and high school students in grade 7-12. While we have students all over the United States in more than 30 states, we have clusters of students around Atlanta, Texas, the Bay Area, Virginia/DC, and New England. We’re constantly growing, so you can expect us to have more students in your area in the future.

Yes. If needed, tuition assistance is available for families that apply to, and qualify for, our need-based Flexible Tuition program. Sora is determined to provide bright, motivated, curious students with a world-class education. Families wishing to be considered for Flexible Tuition must apply at the time of completing their application for admission. To help us objectively calculate what a family is able to contribute to educational expenses, families applying for Flexible Tuition are asked to complete an online financial form, which is submitted to the Flexible Tuition Committee for review before calculating the eligible tuition rate. Sora encourages all families to apply for Flexible Tuition if they think they may qualify. To learn more about our Flexible Tuition program, click here.

The Admissions Committee thoroughly reviews each candidate’s file and takes into consideration all aspects that will determine their admission to the school. Priority Admission (Spring and Fall 2022) applications will be notified on February 25, 2022, and Winter Admission applications on November 22, 2021.

    Yes, Sora is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which allows us to meet the requirements of all 50 states and colleges and universities. We also have a second accreditation through Cognia, which is widely recognized within the U.S. and internationally. Learn more about why accreditation matters here.

    Sora is only currently available to U.S. students, or those international families that are flexible with their schedules as we do not currently have synchronous activities for every time zone. For example, we currently have students in Panama, Canada, and the UK. We plan to launch much more extensively internationally in Fall 2022. To be notified when Sora becomes available internationally, please click here to join the international interest list!

    Our baseline curriculum is rooted in the same academic standards that students learn in a traditional high school. In a traditional school, they learn these through lecture-based classes. We’ve taken those 22 or so subjects and broken them down into their individual academic standards. There are 2 things we do to ensure that they learn them and cover all of the subjects.

    To learn the foundational concepts and gain a base understanding of the standards, we have students work on online learning platforms like Khan Academy along with our Learning Experts. Once they’ve been exposed, the students use projects for application and to demonstrate competency. When a student works on a project, they mark which academic standards they’re learning in their project plan.

    For example, if a student is building a rocket, they’re going to learn things like trigonometry, some elements of physics, and other related standards. Over time, we cover all of the subjects of English, Science, Math, History, and others so that they can graduate on time and apply to any college that they choose to.

    For more information, please refer to our curriculum guide.

    Sora is a mastery-based system. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s a way to continuously assess students, as opposed to the spot checking method of traditional grading. That means that students at Sora aren’t subject to a high stakes testing environment. If they do a project and fail to demonstrate they’ve done it properly or learned the embedded academic standards, they can always try again and improve.

    In the mastery system, we assign students a number based on the level of competency they’ve demonstrated in that particular standard. On that 0 to 4 scale, 0 means they have no idea what the concept is, 1 means they have a general understanding of the concept, like its definition, 2 means they’ve been exposed to the concept multiple times, and 3 means they’ve applied that concept and have demonstrated that they know how to use it in a specific context.

    If and when students apply to college, we use the Mastery Transcript Consortium’s format, which is a collection of top schools in the US on the mastery system that all use the same mastery transcript so colleges understand the rigor and nature of the programs, like our own.

    Learning Expeditions are active learning experiences designed by our Learning Experts. These expeditions are held a couple of times per week and center on a topic based on community level interest. An example of an expedition is one our STEM Learning Expert is holding at the start of the school year: it’s called The World Ocean, and in this expedition students explore the world’s oceans and the hydrosphere and have to justify the designation of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in order to protect the ocean in a certain scenario. These expeditions are somewhat similar to a class, but they aren’t lectures. They’re socratic discussions, projects, labs, and things of that nature. They typically take place over the course of a few weeks, after of which the expeditions change and new ones are offered, sometimes on new topics, sometimes on further exploration of previous expedition topics.

    Correct, we don’t use traditional tests for assessment at Sora. That being said, while we are idealistic in our educational philosophy, we are also very pragmatic in what it takes to prepare students for their futures.

    For students who are college-bound, we prepare them to take standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. Older students take part in a test bootcamp, outside of their normal academic work, that lasts for a couple of months and involves learning test taking strategies and taking practice tests and drilling on practice questions. In doing so, we make sure to prepare them to do well on those tests.

    The day to day schedule generally falls between 9AM and 3PM. However, it’s not like a traditional high school schedule, where students have block period schedules and are continuously sitting in class for several hours. It’s much more similar to college, where students will have some required meetings and expeditions and the like throughout the day, with breaks and gaps in between.

    To learn more about the day in the life of a student, watch this video of a student talking about their day at Sora!

    Yes, they certainly will be. Our assessment and approach may be non-traditional, but our program is rigorous where it counts and really pushes students. We still prepare them for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. We also provide college preparatory services, helping them to complete their college applications, search for the right college for their intended field of study, and overall think about their future academic and career paths.

    Additionally, we’ll reach out to the colleges and universities that the students want to apply to and do everything we can to strengthen their application and candidacy when the time comes.

    While we don’t have a trial program, prospective students can do a Virtual Visit Day where they experience a day in the life at Sora. During their visit, students will be paired with a Student Ambassador and attend House meetings, Learning Expeditions, Track meetings, eat lunch, and connect with faculty and students. Please reach out to the admissions office directly to schedule your student’s Virtual Visit Day.

    We also offer a number of opportunities to attend a Virtual Open House, an event that shows prospective families what going to Sora might look like for their student.

    You can register for the event here.

    All academic instruction and general school operations happen virtually at Sora. However, students located near each other can certainly get together socially on their own outside of school!

    Certainly! If your student attends Sora for at least an academic year, they will be able to transfer their academic credit they have earned to a different institution. However, most schools will still require your student to complete some type of assessment to determine their academic level upon transferring.

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