AltSchool Opens 2015/16 Academic Year with New Locations, 20 More Teachers, and Major Updates to its School Platform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO – Sep 15, 2015 – AltSchool today announced the opening of new schools in Palo Alto and Brooklyn, bringing the current network of schools to six locations. The 2014/2015 school year was a watershed moment for AltSchool as its single room schoolhouse expanded to four locations across San Francisco and new investors like Mark Zuckerberg committed $100M to support AltSchool’s vision: to create a new education model for U.S. schools.
AltSchool is a team of educators and technologists working together to support the next generation of schools. At AltSchool, teachers personalize learning for each child to foster both academic and social-emotional growth and empower students to shape their own future. AltSchool combines project-based learning, rigorous academics, community involvement, and diverse co-curriculars to prepare students to become 21st century citizens of the world.
“As a school, it’s amazing to see the amount of change and progress since last year, from how we support the role of educators, to improving our technology based on feedback, to building a strong community,” said Max Ventilla, CEO and founder of AltSchool. “Reimagining education isn’t a bet on a particular model, but rather a bet on an approach that can yield improvement over the long term. As we enter our third year, we’re starting to see those benefits and feel confident that we’re on the right track towards an educational model that keeps getting better and better over time."
In June, AltSchool had its first graduate, as it prepared to welcome nearly 200 new students to its expanding network of schools. Over the summer, 20+ new teachers participated in a month-long Educator Bootcamp, including the new Brooklyn educators traveling to San Francisco for one week to learn more about AltSchool approaches and processes. They’ll join a 50+ strong team of educators this fall, as AltSchool introduces new programs including Spanish immersion and bilingual German classrooms. Other developments include:
AltSchool Platform Enhancements
This fall, AltSchool will roll out many new features through its platform to improve the academic experience for parents, students and teachers. Educators will begin using Tetrapod, a teacher collaboration platform that enables any teacher in the network to collaborate, share best practices and discover activities and assignments targeted to each child’s individual needs. AltSchool will introduce Progression, a new tool to help educators and parents understand every child's development across 30 subject domains. Parents will also enjoy greater transparency and collaboration through parents.altschool, a dedicated parent app that streamlines communication between the school, individual teachers and parents.
Growing Student Population
With over 3,500 applications for 200 student spots, AltSchool has been working to meet growing demand. Demand was so high in San Francisco that, in July, AltSchool began adding capacity to all locations, with many students transferring from some of the Bay Area’s most prestigious schools. Demand for AltSchool’s first South Bay location in Palo Alto was so high that, in August, AltSchool announced it was opening a fourth classroom and hiring a new teacher. To meet demand from its expansion to Brooklyn, AltSchool signed a lease in Lower Manhattan to increase capacity in the area.
AltSchool’s Educator Team
With thousands of applicants applying for new educator positions, those teachers joining the AltSchool team represent a diverse and outstanding background. Over 80 percent have taught at independent schools, over 50 percent in public schools, and about half have experience teaching in both. Almost 45 percent have six to nine years teaching experience, while nearly a third have over 10 years experience. Nearly 70 percent have a Masters degree and over 30 percent relocated for the job. All AltSchool educators share the desire to reimagine what education can be in the 21st century, in an atmosphere that empowers teachers and prioritizes personalized, student-centered learning.
Redefining Teachers’ Roles
Over the past two years as it grew from 3 to 50+ educators, AltSchool implemented a series of programs to support and superpower teachers. Each month teachers take a 130-point Teacher Satisfaction Survey to proactively evaluate how AltSchool can improve their experience—from offering professional development opportunities to streamlining substitute teacher staffing to varying lunch options. During that time, AltSchool’s Teacher Satisfaction team addressed thousands of teacher requests, with an average time to solve tickets at 2.5 days, which led to major improvements in satisfaction rates.
AltSchool is reimagining K-8 education from the ground up with its mission to enable all children to reach their full potential. AltSchool’s world-class team of educators, operators, and technologists is building a network of micro-schools that offer personalized, child-centered learning experiences. Founded in 2013 by technology entrepreneur and parent Max Ventilla, and headquartered in San Francisco, AltSchool is backed by Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Emerson Collective, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's donor advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and other leading investors. AltSchool currently operates schools in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Brooklyn. More information at www.altschool.com.
Media Relations for AltSchool