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  • Writer's pictureTodd R. Hepworth

What's a Micro School?

"I'm an educator." "Really? What do you teach?" "Elementary school." "What school do you teach at?" "Well, I'm working with another educator to create a micro school." <Puzzled look> "What's a micro school?" You know what? There really isn't a standard definition. There are some shared characteristics among micro schools. Micro schools are small--usually 5 to 100 students. Many micro schools are a modern version of the One-room Schoolhouse common in 19th century America. Many micro schools convene in leased commercial spaces, churches, community centers, and even private homes. Most micro schools are founded by educators--teachers who want to get back to the fundamentals of teaching and learning, without all the administrative overhead. Many micro schools offer a smaller student/teacher ratio. Many micro schools have non-traditional approaches to learning, such as project-based learning, service learning, nature-based learning, expeditionary learning, etc.

Micro schools are governed by teachers and parents, and operate with learner-centered programs, rather than a standardized curriculum.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is this: Micro schools are innovative and agile. They can accommodate requests from parents, adapt to changing community needs, and improve teaching methods. In large school districts, that could take years. Please take a few minutes and explore our website to learn about Orchard STEM School, an innovative micro school in an agricultural community.

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