The teachers at Avalon allowed and supported me in exploring my interests. A project-based learning curriculum ensures that students who are successful at Avalon become curious, independent learners with strong time management and organizational skills.
After Avalon, I attended and graduated with honors from college. I'm currently working as a policy analyst for the Philadelphia city government's anti-poverty office. I would not be where I am today without having attended Avalon.
I am an Avalon School alumni.
Avalon helped me succeed after highschool by improving my problem solving skills and independent research skills through project based learning. Learning about subjects by creating personalized projects boosted my ability to self teach.
There are a lot of problems to solve and things to learn after highschool. The skills I gained from Avalon help me with them every day.
Traditional schools give you a genetically modified fish stick, while Avalon teaches you to fish.
I graduated from Avalon 10 years ago and I loved my high school experience there! Having the autonomy to create my own projects meant I was almost always very interested in the topics I chose which made me excited to learn and do well on my projects. This is a great school for students who are self-starters and able to learn independently. Many of the teachers I had are still at the school. They were all great though I will admit my favorites were Gretchen Sage-Martinson and Carrie Bakken :) I also made great friends at Avalon that I am still very close with today!
It looks to me (as a parent) that nearly every Avalon student was, in one way or another, a square peg trying (or not trying!) to fit in a round hole at their previous school. Some have learning challenges, some social challenges, some were dissatisfied with the slow pace or focus of their previous school.
Avalon is probably not the right place for a kid who fits comfortably in a typical public middle/high school. Of course, it’s not the right place for every square peg either, but it could be an outstanding option for a kid who just doesn’t fit in a typical public school.
The project orientation means that learning is individually tailored. Faculty guide and push students, but the push is most often not so much about standard curricular achievement, but about finding something that motivates the student and leads them to thrive academically. In other words, the project focus is at least as much about learning to learn as it is about learning specific things. My guess is that students whose families choose Avalon learn more than they would in a traditional public school, but that exactly what they learn is often quite different.
The state standards still get checked off one by one, but maybe in kind of unusual ways, at least in humanities and social studies. Parents have a lot of input and responsibility for exactly how that works out because parents, as well as advisors, must approve every project.
Avalon is a school where students can make the best of themselves. If they work hard, they move up quickly, attending college classes during high school. If they have a hard time with certain skills, they will receive support. If they are in between, they are encouraged and motivated to accomplish all that they are capable of.
Like any school, some teachers are better than others, and that opinion is different from student to student. An advisor will work as an intermediary if there are conflicts between students and teachers.