At the start of each week, all Mysa students receive an individualized “menu” of activities and projects, delineated by course (e.g., Appetizer, Main Course) and based on the estimated time and engagement required to complete them. Menus consist of independent assignments, longer-term projects, and assessment activities with the purpose of carefully gauging student understanding and progress.
Mysa uses a “mastery-model” to evaluate and assess student progress. We have the tremendous privilege of freeing education from traditional subject-matter and grade-level boundaries. Learners quickly adapt to a culture without customary grading scales and imaginary age-based groups. Mysa faculty determine mastery of academic content and skills based on national standards in core subject areas. We decide the threshold which students must reach to earn mastery in primary subject areas, as well as secondary skills and dispositions (e.g., Writing>text type and purposes>narratives). Learners can achieve mastery of academic content standards in any order or combination, depending on the units of study and each student’s needs and interests. For example, writing standards may be taught in a more formal language arts exercise, but evidence of mastery can come from assignments and projects in other subject areas, such as a science lab report or written explanations of geometric proofs. Learner mastery at Mysa precipitates higher academic standards and expectations. For instance, a student may master a year’s worth of Algebra in a single semester and be free to move forward. For this same student, writing may be a challenge, so they could conceivably remain at relative grade-level in just that subject. At Mysa, we understand that children learn in different ways and at different speeds. Individual learning is also variable within or between subjects, depending on preferences and dispositions, or what may be going on in a particular student’s life outside of school. Every learner has an academic experience that is designed for his or her needs.