Take an in-depth look into our innovative school practices and the research behind them.


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PROJECT-BASED LEARNING (PBL)
Dozens of schools and districts in California are using project-based learning (PBL) as a cornerstone of their curriculum in order to achieve the rigor of the Common Core standards, which include explicit expectations that students learn how to work together, acquire skills to solve real-world problems, and persist in doing so. ILA’s project-based curriculum correlates exactly with the skills necessary for 21st century civic and economic prosperity.
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SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL)
Social-Emotional Learning responds to students’ increased levels of stress and anxiety in the 21st century. ILA understands that in addition to content knowledge and academic skills, students need to develop sets of behaviors, skills, attitudes, and strategies that are crucial to academic performance in their classes. Thus, ILA has created the schoolwide environment necessary for the successful implementation of Social-Emotional Learning.
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ADVISORY
One of the most important aspects of relationships in schools is how connected people feel to one another. Safe, caring, participatory, and responsive school climates tend to foster a greater attachment to school and provide the optimal foundation for social, emotional, and academic learning for middle school and high school students. The important role that relationships play in school climate is examined in this Brief.
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SMALL SCHOOLS
ILA will maintain a 25 to 1 student to teacher ratio, while implementing core structures within the school model. Advisory groups will create opportunity for relationship building with both adults and peers. Block scheduling will allow for teacher collaboration, and a socio-emotional curriculum that will be thoroughly implemented in thanks to smaller class sizes and intentional time allotments.
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COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Small, community schools strategically bring educators and community partners together to strengthen neighborhood schools. In partnership with the community, small schools, such as ILA, provide the resources, opportunities, and support to make meaningful learning and whole child development a reality for every student.
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MEDITATION
The term meditation has been used in such a loose sense, that the ability to describe the practice in one reduced definition is near impossible. ILA will implement a concentrative technique (Transcendental Meditation) to train students’ ability to rest their attention on a single focal point and consequently disengage from their usual turbulent emotional responses and mental processes.
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PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Research shows that when schools are strategic in creating time and productive working relationships within academic departments or grade levels, across them, or among teachers schoolwide, the benefits can include greater consistency in instruction, more willingness to share practices and to try new ways of teaching, and be more successful in solving problems of practice
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