Academic Rigor & Support
All students enrolled at VLA are provided a high quality, student-centered, and rigorous academic program. Primary school students receive instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, and social justice from their homeroom teachers. Instruction in science, art, music, Spanish and physical education are provided by instructors with training in those particular content areas. The academic program for middle school students mirror the primary program. However, all instruction is delivered by content area experts as student’s transition to the various classrooms. All VLA students have access to tutoring services in reading and math.
Social Justice & Global Studies Curriculum
VLA utilizes global studies curriculum and a social justice teaching approach, to engage students in uncovering social, political and economic systems impacting their lives and the lives of others. The curriculum is broken into six areas: All About Me, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Students become more aware of patterns of injustice and ways oppressed communities have combatted past injustices in order to inform their efforts towards social change. The curriculum exceeds state standards and replaces traditional social studies curricula. It is further integrated into visual arts, science, and physical education programs in order to support the development of the whole child.
Youth Organizing: GrassRoots Campaigns (GRC)
Beginning at the kindergarten level, each classroom develops an ongoing service-learning project designed to reduce a societal problem affecting their community, nation or world. Through participation in Grassroots Campaigns students gain practical leadership skills as they amplify their voice, demand accountability from influential forces, and work to reduce social barriers.
Culturally Relevant Arts Programming
VLA students have access to high quality, engaging extracurricular programs which are infused into the extended school day. Extracurricular activities include traditional music instruction, dance, African Drumming, Capoeira, Tabura, and Step Team. The goal of this programming is the development of positive social skills to prevent at-risk behavior.
To enhance student’s ability to achieve important life tasks and goals, each child enrolled at VLA participates in the Life Skills class for one hour each program week. This class is facilitated by our school counseling staff and focuses on personal development by teaching strategies that enhance self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision making.
World Scholars Program (WSP)
The World Scholars Program teaches global leadership development through a year-long academic and extracurricular exploration of the history and culture of the Community of Focus. The students focus on the historical and cultural appreciation of people of the world; critical analysis of global commonalities and differences; and a culminating cultural and educational excursion to the Community of Focus.