Sora Schools proves that students thrive in student-led online education.
ATLANTA, Ga., (November 16, 2021) – Sora Schools has reached a significant funding milestone in its quest to re-imagine the future of school through project-based learning at the junior high and high school levels, adding $18 million in a newly closed Series A round of investments. This new funding will support the innovative school that puts students’ interests first. In its third year, the unique virtual program offers a project-based learning environment where students initiate projects and leverage a team of faculty and mentors to build their own path through the Sora curriculum that is representative of their interests and goals.
Sora Schools was founded by Wesley Samples, Indra Sofian, and Garrett Smiley, who met while attending Georgia Tech. Their progressive virtual education platform was conceived pre-COVID, which has only intensified the nationwide need for new innovative educational options. Sora Schools has reached its funding goal with the help of lead investor Hemant Teneja of General Catalyst, along with Rebecca Kaden of Union Square Ventures and Gokul Rajaram of Firebolt Ventures. In addition, the team has added Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap and former CEO and Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, as the schools’ new board member.
“Sora is all about community, where the individual interests of students are prioritized,” said Sora Schools Founder and CEO Garrett Smiley. “Our students learn in the way that best suits them and where they can gain hands-on experience in their personal areas of interest. We’re accelerating human potential in the most exciting way — by providing experiential learning with students charting their own course — and we’re thrilled to have this financial backing to continue creating the school of the future,” Smiley said.
At Sora Schools, each student’s path is customized to their personal needs and goals and developed in collaboration with learning experts. Each student designs their own educational journey that includes nationally-required subjects and incorporates financial literacy, ethics, and life skills such as time management and critical thinking. Instead of offering traditional lecture-based classes, Sora Schools focuses on 6-week schedules during which students attend synchronous learning expeditions led by faculty and complete a project on a topic of their choosing with the help of industry advisors in their career field of interest. In their expeditions, Sora students are exposed to new subject matters, including labs, Socratic discussions, and other interactive formats. Throughout the program, students collaborate and build strong relationships with their fellow students and the faculty in an active, vibrant community.
“Through COVID-19, countless students were subjected to subpar online educational experiences that led to many of them falling behind instead of accelerating forward,” said Sora Schools Founder and Chief Growth Officer Indra Sofian. “Sora Schools is dispelling the myth that virtual education isn’t effective. We are offering students an opportunity to continue their online education in a far more productive way that allows them to thrive,” Sofian said.
Sora Schools is fully-accredited through Cognia — the largest education improvement organization in the world. Parents and students interested in learning more about the Sora Schools experience can sign up for open houses, coffee chats, and virtual school visits at https://soraschools.com.
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