Why Sora

At Sora, we help our students make better, more informed choices about their next career steps–be it college, a job, research, grad-school, or anything else they choose.

We are intentional about putting the interests of students first and using them to create projects for students to learn real skills. They explore what interests them first. Then, 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.

What Makes Sora Special

Hear from the students themselves what makes Sora truly special and different from any other high school.

Our Unique Program

Project-Based Learning

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 Oxfordlike 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 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.

Assessment

Sora doesn’t believe in tests as the primary form of assessment. We believe traditional 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 Learning Experts help students design their projects so they can use them to learn relevant topics for that specific career or field and the required high school academic subjects. At Sora, students demonstrate their knowledge and competency through their projects, work in Learning Expeditions, and various learning platforms.

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. This is done through our mastery-based learning system.

Because we’re measuring individual credits, students can visualize their learning progress and where they need to spend more time for mastery. Over time, students complete all of the academic subjects they need to graduate.

Counselors

Each student has a periodic 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.

Learning Experts

Our faculty 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. 

Over time, these meetings serve to keep students on track and to push students to expand their thinking to accomplish their projects and goals.

A True Community

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 project presentations and Learning Expeditions. 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.

Career Mentorship

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.

College Preparation

Our program was designed with feedback from college admissions officers across the country. Universities look for students with demonstrated diligence, critical thinking skills, and focus on their field of study. At Sora, we prepare students with the skills needed to succeed in the future economy and help them dive deep into their areas of interest.

Academic Credit Mapping

When projects are completed, the corresponding core subjects and standards that were completed will be checked off on the student’s profile. Over time, students at Sora will complete all of the required academic subjects for high school, including but not limited to Math, Science, English, History, and more. Learn more about our curriculum here.

Transcripts

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. Learn more about our transcript here.

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 perform to the best of their abilities.

College Counseling

As students approach graduation, our counselors work with college-bound students on their goals and plans after leaving Sora. We help students navigate higher education opportunities and begin focusing their projects and portfolios around their intended fields of study. Our counselors will help students with their college application and ultimately prepare them to graduate Sora.

Flexible Schedule

Sora offers a structured yet flexible schedule. Our program blends synchronous and asynchronous learning, allowing your student to stay connected with others while also allowing time for them to work independently.

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 Discord 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.

Ready to attend a high school built for you?