Albert Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, he’ll spend his whole life believing he’s an idiot.”
For many students, this is what traditional school systems feel like.
Take for instance the young man who knows he is destined to play basketball professionally and spends every free moment training, practicing and perfecting his skills. His coach believes the young athlete is talented, his parents encourage his love for sports, and he is well on his way towards playing at a collegiate level. However, his math score is too low based on school accreditation standards, thus he will not be able to move from the 11th grade to the 12th grade. He is being held back a year. Because he struggles in one academic area, he is unable to move forward in his dreams and professional aspirations. Sadly, students all over the world experience the realities of similar stories.
At CMASAS we believe that student’s test scores do not define their ability to succeed, and that school should not be an assembly line of benchmarks and check points to meet. Instead, we believe that online high school can be a catalyst for personal growth and a time in life when students can find their genius.
Our online school empowers students to chase their dreams and discover their talents in several ways:
- We design graduation plans around each student’s current skills and abilities, interests, hobbies, and learning styles.
- Through what we call Student-Designed courses, students and course instructors are able to collaborate in creating classes that expand on a student’s goals. Past Student-Designed courses have included song writing, music engineering and mixing, theatrical performance, musical performance, surfboard engineering, and artistic design.
- Upon enrollment in our online school, students engage in a learning styles inventory which helps students, parents and instructors discover the student’s preferred learning styles and strengths.
- Courses and assignments are then designed around the student’s learning style and pace.
Each instructor and administrator at CMASAS strives to provide multiple paths for individual goals. We are passionate about helping each student discover their genius because we understand how frustrating, discouraging and inhibiting traditional school systems can be for many students.
In a spoken word poem from the Youtube video “This is Genius,” Ryan Lotocki challenges the design and ethos of many modern traditional school systems. “School is a project when student’s never get to project their abilities,” says Ryan. In the video, Ryan and other young people declare that they are genius in their own ways and challenge the traditional school systems that judge students based on test scores while ignoring their gifts and talents.
“Stop labeling us by standards and put us all on a level playing field,” says Ryan. “But let us choose our positions based on our passions, values and where we can be proactive. Make schooling less multiple choice and more interactive.”
Watch the video "This is Genius." Spoken word poem by Ryan Lotocki. Filmed by Nick Stroczkowski and Kurt Schlewitt.
At CMASAS, we completely agree with Ryan Lotocki and are inspired by his words. Many of our graduates have gone on to play professional sports, record music, attend top universities, travel the world and engage in social causes. It is inspiring to watch young people from our online high school touch the future and positively impact their communities. We hope that every student will find a place where they can discover their talents and be empowered to use them.