Charlotte, NC 28212
ALC Mosaic, originally The Mosaic School, began with 12 students in 2013. After connecting with the first Agile Learning Center, which opened at the same time in NYC, ALC Mosaic became a major partner in the rapidly expanding ALC Network.
By 2017, ALC Mosaic moved to a larger campus as the community had grown to around 60 students. The community officially serves ages 2-15, though people of all ages participate in various ways. ALC Mosaic is a legal private school in the State of North Carolina and plans to graduate students as they determine they are ready to move on to the next stage of life.
While ALC Mosaic is a fully age-mixed community, we provide support in developmentally effective ways. For the youngest students at ALC Mosaic, the SDE experience is built around free and spontaneous play, supported by nurturing facilitators and daily rhythms. For the older students, we focus on daily intention-setting, self-organization, intentional culture creation, and building authentic relationships.
ALC Mosaic, like many Agile Learning Centers, takes a radical approach to its tuition structure. While the school must operate outside of the publicly funded system to provide a real Self-Directed Education option, access is imperative.
SDE Optimizing Conditions
- Responsibility – Personal responsibility and shared responsibility for the community are implicit in our structures. Students decide how to spend their time and co-create as much of the school as they want to with the facilitators.
- Freedom – #1 and #2 go hand in hand here (Freedom/Responsibility). At Mosaic, young people are free to spend their time however they please within the context of community.
- Access to Tools – We focus on providing resources, tools, and materials that are relevant and inspiring to students. We approach the use of these tools from a partnership perspective and do not place arbitrary limits on the use of technology.
- Nonjudgmental Support – When classes or activities are organized at Mosaic it is because someone is either requesting it or someone is passionate about offering it. In both cases, all participation is voluntary. There's no grading or testing involved in these contexts.
- Age Mixing – ALC Mosaic is a legal school for ages 5-18 and a half-day program for ages 2-4. While we do implement agile tools and practices differently for developmental ranges, age is never used to sort children.
- Healthy Community – Weekly plans are made collaboratively by students and facilitators at our Set-the-Week meeting. Similarly, community agreements and cultural practices are created, implemented, and iterated at our (usually) weekly Change-Up meetings.
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