AltSchool Hub

The AltSchool Student Perspective

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Apr 7, 2016 10:22:37 AM

Why is personalization important? Why do we focus on project-based learning? And most importantly, how do we prepare our students for their future?

In this video, students talk about their experiences at AltSchool, the differences between AltSchool and other schools, how personalization works for them, and their relationship with their teachers. Watch below!

 Interested in learning more? Attend an Open House.

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Topics: Videos, Community

Watch: A New Model for Education

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Nov 30, 2015 1:58:13 PM


While we don’t know what the future will look like, we do know that children will live throughout an unbelievable amount of change throughout the 21st century. As a group of parents starting AltSchool, we began with the notion that, whatever the future might hold, we wanted our kids to become introspective, entrepreneurial, conscientious adults. We can't predict the future. But we might be confident that any future will favor people who know themselves and who can shape the conditions around them to meet their needs and the needs of their communities.

Our goal at AltSchool is to create a school that continues to adapt to the modern world we live in. In this video, founder Max Ventilla and AltSchool educators describe how we personalize education for children and families to prepare them for the 21st century.


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Topics: Videos

Watch: How we foster grit and growth mindset at AltSchool

Posted by Katie Gibbons

Sep 25, 2015 2:56:00 PM

To instill in our students the essential foundations of success, we kicked off the first school-wide meeting of the year with a discussion on grit, learning from failure, and practicing growth mindset.

To make the lesson stick in a fun way, we surprised the K-8 students with a song that will inspire them to sing along with failure and forge forward with their goals.

Watch to see the students' reactions and enjoy singing along with the lyrics!



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Topics: Videos, Classroom Stories

First Day of School in San Francisco

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Sep 1, 2015 11:12:00 AM



The first day of school has arrived for AltSchool San Francisco! We welcomed close to 200 families -- returning and new -- to our schools at Alamo Square, Dogpatch, Fort Mason, and SOMA.

The Head of School at each site recorded short messages with a preview of the school year. Check them out below!



 At our South of Market Middle School, Head of School Lorie Delizo, shares how the educator team (and one python) has built an emergent, project-based, and personalized curriculum within the math, science, humanities programs.



Emily Dahm, Head of School at Alamo Square, shares highlights about the three units that each class will explore this year, as well as the focus on personalizing the curriculum to each student’s needs and interests.





Fort Mason’s Head of School, Katie Gibbons, tells us how Fort Mason’s educator team has carved out learning spaces throughout the building that foster student reflection and creativity, including a library, “cafe,” and creativity lab.



Annette Bauer, Head of School at AltSchool Dogpatch, discusses highlights for the multicultural and multilingual focus at Dogpatch through the German bilingual and Spanish immersion programs on campus.
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Topics: School, Videos

Watch: What Do Parents Appreciate Most about AltSchool Teachers?

Posted by The AltSchool Team

May 4, 2015 1:46:20 PM

They really know Hank as a student and as a person, too. 

Seeing the transformation for Harrah has been amazing. She now loves to read, she’s willing to try to new things, and she’s transformed in this school year.

They are able to customize and tailor his learning to be about him and his strengths, his abilities, and his likes. 

To celebrate National Teacher Appreciation week, we recently asked AltSchool parents what they most appreciate about their children’s teachers. Above were just a few examples of their responses; watch the full video to see just how and why six parents (and two students!) appreciate AltSchool’s teachers.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and a big thank you to our amazing educators!


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Topics: Videos, Parents

Why Educators and Parents Chose AltSchool: Four New Videos

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Mar 12, 2015 3:38:00 PM

Now that you’ve had a chance to hear from our students, meet AltSchool parents and our inspiring educators.

In these four videos, parents and teachers share their experiences with AltSchool’s personalized learning approach, the use of technology in the classroom, and the growth they have seen in their children and students since embarking on their learning journeys at AltSchool.

Middle School Parents Discuss Experiences at AltSchool

Lower and Upper Elementary Parents Talk About the AltSchool Community

Lower and Upper Elementary Parents Describe the Teachers, Curriculum, Technology in the Classroom

Meet AltSchool Educators

Receiving over 2,200 applications for 20 teaching positions, Altschool is honored to assemble a team of some of the best educators in the country.


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Topics: Videos, Parents

Watch a Day in a Life at AltSchool

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Mar 11, 2015 3:29:00 PM

What does an AltSchool classroom look like? What’s a playlist? How do students socialize in mixed-age classrooms? Well, who better to answer these questions than AltSchool students.

Our incredible students speak for themselves. Watch these videos to see a typical day at AltSchool through the eyes of students ages 6, 9, 11 and 13.


Lower Elementary:

“I’m grateful to be at AltSchool. It’s fun here, it’s not like an ordinary school.”

- AltSchooler, age 6

Upper Elementary:

“Here you get to learn on your own level and you learn things that you want to learn in a fun way.”

- AltSchooler, age 9

Middle School:

“I push myself to do better, they don’t have to push me to do better. They just put me in a situation where I feel that I can learn and from that I can push myself to do even better things."

- AltSchooler, Age 11


Interested in what parents and educators also have to say about AltSchool?

Watch these new videos featuring current parents and classroom teachers.


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Topics: Videos, Lower Elementary

What Parents Have to Say about AltSchool

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Mar 24, 2014 4:32:00 PM

We recently asked a few of our parents to share their experiences with us as members of the AltSchool community.

In the first video, Margaret discusses why she chose a micro-school environment for her 6-year-old daughter. Since being at AltSchool, Margaret has watched her daughter evolve into a confident child who loves reading.

"Sydney is performing and learning by leaps and bounds," says Margaret. 

In the next video, Patricia appreciates how her 9-year-old son has grown and matured this past school year. She has noticed how well her son manages his time at school with his weekly Playlists, so she can have more time with him at home.

"Time at home is spent in more quality family time, rather than in an ongoing struggle or battle with homework," says Patricia. 

Watch what other AltSchool parents have to say on our new video page

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Topics: Videos

The Science of Character

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Mar 20, 2014 1:06:00 PM

Today marks the global premiere of the short film, “The Science of Character.” Filmmakers from the Moxie Institute explore the neuroscience and social science behind character development. Check it out:

We find this movie incredibly inspiring. Our teaching approach is based on the research of Carol Dweck and others that shows that character development is one of the most important things we can teach our children.  

This week, for example, we’ve been cultivating environmental responsibility in our classroom.

A student recently mentioned that her father asked the family to take shorter showers because of the drought. She wanted to know more about what he meant.

So we engaged in a class discussion about all the things that we use water for. We came up with a long list - from farming to cooking, electricity, and pretty much anything that is manufactured.

“ANYTHING that is manufactured? Even jeans?” asked a student in disbelief.

“Yes, even jeans,” Carolyn (our Director of Education) replied.

The next day, teachers brought in several items, including jeans, and asked students to guess how much water was required to produce each item. Students then compared their answers with those provided in a short water documentary.

Tomorrow, students will be calculating their water footprint. We will also be studying early irrigation systems in Mesopotamia and designing our own irrigation systems to learn how water flows to our city. With this knowledge, we’ll be devising ways to save water at home and in the community.  

“Taking on the perspective of others and developing core character strengths is the whole reason why we go to school. I can teach a child math or how to read at home. But we come together in a school community to learn from each other, listen to various perspectives, and inspire citizenship,” says Carolyn.

For us, #CharacterDay is everyday.



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Topics: Dogpatch Classroom, Videos

The Key to Success? Grit

Posted by The AltSchool Team

Mar 14, 2014 3:55:00 PM

In advance of TED's 30th Anniversary, we've been thinking about some of our favorite TED Talks.

Angela Duckworth's TED Talk ranks close to the top for us. Duckworth explains the importance of persistence and passion in helping children thrive in today's world.

Her research finds that grit is a greater predictor of personal success than IQ or family income. 

Our favorite quote from the talk? "We need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier." 



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Topics: Videos