Introducing Great Hearts Microschools

Great Hearts Microschools student online class

Over the past year or so, families have experienced—by necessity—new educational models, including distance learning and online school. What if we could take the best aspects of virtual school, such as flexibility and family togetherness, and provide additional support and sense of community? This is what we are building into Great Hearts Microschools, based on the Great Hearts Online platform.

Growing Community at Great Hearts Microschools

Imagine . . .

  • Gathering your children with a few others in your community to do school together in a shared physical space.
  • This strong-knit group of families and children, across multiple grade levels, living life and doing school together.
  • This small community joins their teachers and other students across the state for a few hours each morning in meaningful, live virtual classes.
  • Your kindergartener has a kinder teacher, specific to them, and a world-class kindergarten classical curriculum. Your fourth grader has a fourth grade teacher, specific to them, and a world-class classical fourth grade curriculum.
  • Each student in your in-person group has their own online teacher, their own virtual community, their own individualized feedback and instruction.
  • After live, virtual classes, your unique community is learning and growing together in-person through hands-on projects, reading great books, playing sports, and designing science experiments.

Welcome to a Great Hearts Microschool! For families who are willing and able, their students will receive a rigorous, grade-and-content-specific online education with world class curriculum and instructors alongside a close-knit, in-person, and flexible community. We will pilot Great Hearts Microschools during the 2021–2022 school year to promote additional community and flexibility for families, while building on the platform of Great Hearts Online.

Building on Great Hearts Online

All students in Great Hearts Microschools will be enrolled in Great Hearts Online, a virtual classical academy that launched in Texas in January 2021 and will launch in Arizona for August 2021.

We believe that school communities matter deeply—for student formation, for family well-being, for academic success, and for student happiness. With Great Hearts Online, we create community virtually through small class sizes, live classes, daily homerooms, lunch gatherings with families, an active Parent Service Organization, and small intervention groups. We train and develop our faculty in creating genuine virtual communities, and students share that they are excited to come to school and see their friends every day. Additionally, we are facilitating the gathering of families and students—virtually and in-person—through school events as well as by grade-level and regional parent-organized gatherings.

Great Hearts Microschools will be powered by Great Hearts Online. Students will be enrolled in Great Hearts Online as the core academic program and Great Hearts Microschools as an additional community and support layer wrapped around this rich, educational model. Great Hearts Microschools will provide in-person class and family community, student support, and enrichment.

Great Hearts Online student

Piloting Great Hearts Microschools

In pursuit of additional community and school flexibility options, we are piloting Great Hearts Microschools next year, and we are seeking input and participation from families. What we are building, with Great Hearts Online as the foundation, is a national body of families and students, connected by a common purpose, in community and citizenship together. We will offer excellence in virtual classical education with a focus on tight-knit online and in-person communities.

The Great Hearts Microschool model is a location-based, flexible community with corresponding quality control, training, support, and enrichment. At a Great Hearst Microschool, scholars will attend live virtual classes with students across the state, socialize and play together with their in person Microschool peers, receive asynchronous assignment support, and participate in a variety of clubs and enrichment opportunities.

Currently, we are talking with multiple parent communities and are actively iterating on the design based on these conversations. Simultaneously, we have posted a job description for a Director of Microschools and Local Communities who will work closely with our Executive Director, Kurtis Indorf, to pilot Microschools in partnership with parents and communities.

In the coming weeks, our website, greatheartsonline.org, and our social media feeds, including Facebook, will have more information about Great Hearts Microschools. We are looking to talk with families about deploying Microschools in the 2021–2022 academic year, so please look for details and sign up for an upcoming conversation. In the meantime, apply now for enrollment at Great Hearts Online. Scholars must be enrolled in Great Hearts Online in order to participate in Great Hearts Microschools.

Charter Moms Chats

Kurtis Indorf, Executive Director of Great Hearts Online, joins Inga Cotton to discuss Great Hearts microschools on Charter Moms Chats on May 11, 2021 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

As the Executive Director of Great Hearts Online, Indorf is leading the design, development, launch, and growth of Great Hearts’ classical online academies. Indorf joined Great Hearts Texas as the Executive Director of Instruction, charged with launching and leading a new strategy and team to support strong instruction and achievement across Great Hearts’ growing school network in Texas. Indorf also provides executive level consulting and systems advising to select clients as the Founder and Managing Partner of Build the Future, LLC. He serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Compass Rose Education, a high performing and rapidly growing charter network in San Antonio, Texas.

Previously, Indorf served in various leadership roles at KIPP Public Charter Schools, including Chief Academic Officer, Chief People Officer, Deputy Chief of Academics, and Head of Schools. Before joining KIPP, Indorf was the founding Executive Director of The Achievement Network in Colorado building partnerships with district and charter systems across the state to develop leaders’ skill in leadership development and data-informed teaching and learning. Also in Colorado, he served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Charter School Institute’s board of directors, an independent state agency and the only state-wide charter authorizer in Colorado.

Earlier in his career, Indorf served in four founding school and district leadership roles at Achievement First, a public, charter management organization running 30+ schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. He started his career teaching English Language Learners in Phoenix, Arizona through Teach for America.

Indorf lives in San Antonio with his wife, three daughters, and dog. He received a Master’s of Science in Education from Arizona State University with a focus in secondary English curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor’s of Science from Ithaca College in Integrated Marketing Communications and Legal Studies.

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