We Prepare Students for Their Careers
At Sora, we help our students make a better, more informed choice about their next career step–be it college, a job, research, grad-school, or anything else they choose.
We’re intentional about putting student interests first and using them to create projects for students to learn real skills. They explore what interests them first–once they’ve narrowed down a few areas they want to dive deep into, we work with them to increase their understanding of the subjects and build portfolios of projects and work.
From new forms of assessment, to giving students real agency to make their own academic decisions, we’ve designed our school to accelerate students toward their wildest dreams.
Sora is a project-based learning environment where students can start their own projects, choose their own timeline, and set their own evaluation metrics. We follow an Oxford-like model, where our learning experts serve as topical experts and collaborate with students on their projects. Several studies have shown that immersive active-learning instructional methods like project-based learning through projects are much more effective than traditional instruction.
When students first enroll, these projects are designed by the staff and center on exposing students to this new paradigm of learning and its processes. As they advance through the program, students can start designing their own projects based on their interests–in turn, the staff keep them accountable to their goals and ensure rigor and breadth in their work. While students are exposed to a holistic set of academic standards, they also learn important soft skills like design thinking, time management, leadership, communication, and more.
Throughout the program, we’ll also incorporate as much exposure to real world application as possible. Periodically, students will work on group projects led by mentors and industry professionals. As an example, in the past, groups of students worked from different perspectives and areas of focus on a project geared towards reducing the impact of climate change in the world. This project was led by a climate scientist from UNC Charlotte, who gave feedback and exposed the students to a whole new world of research and science.
At Sora, we help students develop professional communication skills and the tools to build their own personal networks. At the end of their education, our students will be able to think critically, collaborate effectively, and handle complex problems.
We have built a network of 50+ expert mentors that are eager to share their experience with our students. We also have a large network of local businesses that provide meaningful internship opportunities.
Our mentors realize that they didn’t have the best high school experience and are eager to help our high school generation have a better experience with more practical, hands-on career advice.
True learning does not happen alone. At Sora, we believe in fostering a community that supports each other, keep each other accountable, and inspires everyone to work hard and dream big.
Our student community is an integral part of the Sora experience. Not only do students actively participate in clubs, workshops, and related events, but students also contribute to each other’s learning academically. Peer-to-peer accountability is a key aspect of their education, and students consistently enrich the education of other students through their presentations at Friday Showcase and group learning sessions. Students meet constantly throughout the week, academically and socially, allowing them to build strong bonds and lifelong friendships.
Students at Sora also participate in the development and growth of the entire program through Roadmap Club, a weekly open forum where students voice their perspectives on areas of improvement and provide feedback on initiatives.
Our Learning Experts
Our staff consists of math, science, humanities, writing, and engineering experts. Everyone comes from a strong career background in their area of focus, allowing them to provide meaningful and practical insights for student projects.
Our experts meet with students each week to consult with them on their projects. This begins as a project-review meeting. After they ensure the student is on-track, they work with the student to identify learning resources and opportunities for credit to be applied to their project. Overtime, these meetings serve to keep students on track, within budget, and to push students to expand their thinking to accomplish their goals.
Each student has a weekly meeting with their counselor to check in on their academic life, graduation progress, personal and professional development, and overall experience at Sora.
A student’s counselor is their accountability partner and mentor. They’re meant to help provide the resources they need to succeed with their learning plan, but also help them develop personally and professionally to achieve it. They stay on top of a student’s goals, connect them with resources like our Mentor Network, and provide a personal perspective of the student in their collaboration with the learning experts.
How We Assess
Sora doesn’t believe in tests as the primary form of assessment. We believe tests only spot check random standards and are a poor measure of true student progress.
We’re intentional about putting student interests first and using them to create projects for students to learn real skills. Our counselors help students design their projects so they can use them to learn relevant things for that specific career or field.
We don’t chunk subjects together like Math I or English II. Instead, we let students lead with their own projects and when they finish, we take what they did and determine what academic credit they have earned. As students complete projects, we track their credits so that they can graduate on time and apply to college if needed.
Because we’re measuring individual credits, students can visualize their learning progress and where they need to spend more time for mastery. And overtime, students will complete all academic subjects they need to graduate.
We have spoken to admissions counselors at top universities and they love our process. They see that our high school provides the skills needed to succeed in the future economy and that our students are diving deep in their areas of interest.
When projects are completed, the corresponding core subjects and standards that were completed will be checked off on the student’s profile.
A Sora transcript consists of 2 main parts. Students will have a project portfolio outlining each of their projects and experiences. We will translate this experience to tangible work and leadership experience, as well as include the completed credit sheet, down to the standard level, for college applications.
SAT and ACT Preparation
Students are required to take either the SAT or ACT in their 3rd year with us. We will provide world-class test preparation to ensure they preform to the best of their abilities.
Log-in from Anywhere
Enjoy our program from the convenience your own home, with instant, one-on-one help. Sora takes place online, in a virtual environment with your counselors and fellow learners.
Throughout the week, we have all synchronous activities (no traditional curriculums like recorded videos or tests), workshops, and student-led discussion groups. The majority of the time on the online days is dedicated to students doing independent/group interest-based project work.
We use programs like Slack and Zoom to foster our online community of learners. This allows students to quickly create channels and maintain the conversations and groups they care about.
Our daily video sessions give students a sense of accountability and help build relationships. In the morning, every student participates a group standup call where they define their goals and plans for the day. In the afternoon, students will participate in another standup to reflect on their progress.
No one schedule is the same.
Every student designs their time at Sora in the way that best fits them and their goals.
Online (5 Days / Week) 9:30AM to roughly 1:00PM, plus flexible meetings with project groups, clubs, and workshops
Location: Online, live meetings, and opt-in sessions
9:30AM – (daily standup) – Students meet with staff and the other students to discuss their projects, plans for the day, blockers, and ask for help if needed
For the rest of the morning, students work on their projects, meet with faculty, and attend workshops and other meetings.
1:00PM – (Checkpoint) – Students meet with each other to talk about what they accomplished in the morning and whether or not they’re on track for their goals for the rest of the day.