Youth Leadership Academy Charter School's tenth year was a challenging year, but a fantastic one! Students showed improvements academically, physically, and socially. Our mission is to help each student discover and come into confident possession of his/her unique abilities, demonstrate mastery of the academic foundational standards necessary for a successful future, and establish qualities that will enable him/her to become a healthy, productive citizen and community leader. Youth Leadership Academy provides a combination of classroom and outdoor learning experiences to engage students, promote wellness and physical fitness, inspire creativity, foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and cultivate citizenship and leadership skills through rigorous and relevant content and projects in a natural setting.
Youth Leadership Academy's innovative model is ideal for students who want to experience success outside the traditional middle school setting in a small, hands-on learning environment with a rigorous curriculum based on teamwork. With teachers as facilitators instead of conveyors of knowledge, our student-centered curriculum shifts the responsibility for learning to the student and encourages each learner to be responsible for his or her own academic success. Our students thrive in this school environment.
We understand that the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired in the middle school years will be the foundation for future learning. Our school is helping all students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by fostering creativity and innovation in every classroom through projects where students must use critical thinking and problem solving to find solutions to real world problems. Our classrooms promote critical thinking and problem solving instead of rote memorization and copying notes. Students are well-versed in collaboration and teamwork as they are seated in group formations and learn how to support each other through activities specifically designed to promote leadership. Every classroom is equipped with one-to-one technology, as students practice communication through gathering information via media and technology. YLA emphasizes knowing how to learn over simple learning.
Through meaningful field excursions, students are able to relate what they're learning to real-world situations and see firsthand career opportunities that utilize subject-specific content standards. We believe that student learning must include experiences outside the classroom to be authentic, and our teachers do a phenomenal job in finding appropriate opportunities.
The 21-22 school year continued the curve ball of a global pandemic. Our students and staff adapted quickly and did great with the situation that we were in. I think the learning continued and relationships were fostered. The students came out of 21-22 with a new appreciation for the opportunity to attend school every day and this is something they will carry with them the rest of their educational career.
As we head into 2022-23, with a renewed charter, we look forward to seeing our students achieve even greater goals, as we truly prepare them to be tomorrow's leaders in the Upstate, South Carolina, the United States and the world.