Frequently Asked Questions

General
What is your vision?

Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator—individuality, the power to think and do. The students in whom this power is developed are the students who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other people’s thoughts. Let students contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men and women strong to think and to act, men and women who are masters and not slaves to circumstances, men and women who possess the breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions. Such education provides more than mental discipline; it provides more than physical training. It strengthens the character, so that truth and uprightness are not sacrificed to selfish desire or worldly ambition. It fortifies the mind against evil.

Who is TRAVERSE for?

TRAVERSE is designed for all kinds of families! Families join TRAVERSE for a wide range of reasons. A few that we most frequently hear are enhanced professional, educational and spiritual life outcomes; a modern, research-driven way of learning; our focus on community and connection; and a desire for increased safety for their child.

We think our approach will offer a more fulfilling, stimulating, and well-rounded education for any young person. We’re likely to be of special interest to kids who find school boring, unstimulating, or bothersome. Students wishing for a more supportive social environment. Children looking for their assignments to mean something more than just a grade. Children wishing for more flexibility and a desire to have friends outside of their geographic neighborhood. Those living in a zip code that doesn’t offer quality public schooling. And, of course, those who are concerned about sending their child back to school this fall as a result of COVID.

What is the age range of learners who choose TRAVERSE?

Because we have a high focus on professional certifications and entrepreneurship will accommodate kids going into grades 6-12. We currently have no plans to expand to other grades.

Does TRAVERSE replace “traditional” school?

Yes, but we aren’t technically a “school.” TRAVERSE is an Education Management Program. Locally-rooted and globally connected, we give students the tools to live their most remarkable lives, starting today. TRAVERSE provides families everything they need to no longer send their kids to school – think home-based learning on autopilot. We offer all the benefits of learning from home (a flexible, self-paced, learner-centric education) without the usual frustrations (sourcing curriculum, finding socialization opportunities, evaluating your child’s progress, etc.).

Is TRAVERSE an accredited school?

No, we are not a school. However, the curriculum we use is an accredited curriculum. All of our professional certifications are industry-recognized and students graduate with an advanced ed diploma accredited by six of the eight accrediting agencies in the nation. The families who use TRAVERSE are technically choosing to ‘home-school’ in a modern, technology-enabled, and socially connected way. Registering as a homeschooler is a straight-forward process in most states, and we will help you along. Check Your State Laws.

Tell me more about the TRAVERSE philosophy?

The TRAVERSE educational philosophy is inspired by 21st-century learning, design-think principles, Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, and to a lesser but still important extent, by self-directed learning. Our philosophy includes:

  • A holistic approach to education that includes academics, life skills, and social skills and character development
  • Personalized learning that accounts for each child’s personal goals
  • Strong focus on learner choice and autonomy
  • Strong focus on group work and group discussions
  • Emphasis on hands-on projects and experiential learning
  • Focus on Interdisciplinary learning and projects
  • Focus on understanding concepts as opposed to rote learning
  • Education for social responsibility and purpose
  • Integration of service-learning and community service into our curriculum
  • Emphasis on lifelong learning and learning for learning’s sake (rather than for external validation, like grades)
  • Belief in teachers who facilitate and guide rather than lecture and impart knowledge (i.e. the “guide on the side” instead of the “sage on the stage”)
  • Assessment based on outcomes achieved through evidence
  • Belief in the importance of deliberate practice and developing a passion
What are the outcomes of a TRAVERSE education?

By utilizing the TRAVERSE curriculum and approach, we believe every learner will move on from our program ready for any university, gap year program, or vocational entrepreneurial endeavors they are passionate about. Mastering Math, Science, Social Studies, and more are just the start. But we believe that high school and college readiness is the bare minimum goal, so we go further. Learners who choose TRAVERSE will become: 

  • A Witness. We encourage every student to grow and develop their relationship with God. We what them to study and understand from a historical perspective that Jesus Christ was an actual person and that he used connections to build a team of followers, and those efforts have grown for over 6,000 years. 
  • Voracious readers. Challenging reading is blended into all TRAVERSE learning experiences, so kids can practice reading by learning about the topics that most interest them. 
  • Formidable investors. At TRAVERSE, we encourage kids to spend time learning about how money works every day. We ask them to learn about Foreign Exchange think about investing in things they care about, so they learn about the importance of savings, taxes, tithing, and credit, not dread it. 
  • Mindful about overall wellness. There has not been a pandemic in most of our lifetimes. TRAVERSE integrates all eight dimensions of wellness and provides support and opportunities for students to become intentional about the body as a temple.
  • Thorough researchers. Research skills are more critical than ever in the age of Google and are also the key to success in many advanced academic disciplines. Learners who utilize our curriculum will become adept at designing their research questions and engaging in investigation and analysis. 
  • Digital Citizens. Today’s culture conditions our children that they can say whatever and do whatever behind the screen. We ask learners to think about their actions and provide numerous opportunities for them to write, assess, and advocate for digital citizenship with integrity.
  • Clear communicators. Although written communication is essential, we recognize that verbal and social communication skills are necessary for success. A significant focus of our curriculum and coaching is to help learners become better speakers, conversationalists, and presenters.
  • Confident leaders. TRAVERSE asks learners to make a lot of choices for a reason: we want learners to become the kind of kids who relish the opportunity to make decisions, forge their paths, and design their destinies. 
  • Compassionate helpers. We ask learners to think deeply about the world’s problems and imagine how they can be part of the solution, through service learning, community partnerships, and more. 
  • Effective collaborators. Learners work in groups on projects every day, develop strong social-emotional skills, and are encouraged to form clubs, give peer feedback, and plan social events. ‍
  • Lifelong learners. We believe that learning is supposed to be fun—‘hard fun.’ We encourage kids to be curious, enjoy learning, and follow their passions wherever they lead, in hopes that they will want to keep learning for life.
What about college?

Students who learn with TRAVERSE will be prepared with all the prerequisite reading, writing, math, and research skills to be successful in any rigorous, high-quality academic program, including those at the most competitive colleges and universities. The self-paced and self-directed nature of our academic model allows learners to move through content more quickly and at a deeper level than their peers in conventional schools. We also help learners develop impressive resumes that include expertise in technology, design, arts, and culture, well-developed verbal communication skills, and significant community impact and internship experience.

How is TRAVERSE different from other online schools?

First, we’re not an online school, we’re an Education Management Program. Many online schools simply transfer textbook material and testing to a digital format and then expect students to successfully learn. Our approach is entirely different and also offers so much more. ‍

  • Virtually powered, locally rooted – Bringing together kids from all over the country to learn, grow, play, and experience their local communities together for the purpose of education gives our online, home-based learning model soul. We encourage friends in the same neighborhood to join for an even greater experience.
  • Whole-person development – We equip kids with life-skills and habits that prepare them for the real world, foster wellbeing, and contribute to a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Empowerment, not ‘teaching’ – TRAVERSE journies are facilitated by Learning Mentors whose passion is to see kids light up. With TRAVERSE, there are no boring lectures, no teacher-dominated discussions, and no pointless busywork. 
  • Relevancy – Learning occurs within real-world contexts. Students know why what they’re learning is important and how it impacts them, their communities, and the world. 
  • Curated curriculum – We source and create a world-class curriculum to give kids options for learning using the most innovative and effective resources available.
  • Informed by the end-user (i.e. students themselves) – We are committed to continually refining our model according to the experiences and preferences of students and their families. 
  • Mastery – We give learners the opportunity to dive deep into their interest areas and experience the many benefits of being really, really good at something.
  • Connection and support paired with independence and self-direction – our learners split their time between collaborative live group experiences and independent, self-directed learning. Each child has dedicated 1-on-1 time with their coach regularly.‍
  • Not only online – We facilitate dynamic in-person bonding through a kickoff orientation and experiential learning trips as well as service-learning and family meetup opportunities. (These in-person components will be delivered in innovative virtual ways until COVID-19 risks diminish.)
Why choose TRAVERSE over any other school?

If you’re choosing between learning with TRAVERSE and a conventional public or private school you’d choose us for:

  • Our more flexible schedule: no more early mornings or late nights doing homework
  • Our small, supportive social experience: no more cliques, bullying, or getting lost in the crowd
  • Our focus on holistic learning that includes core academics and the development of faith, life skills, social-emotional skills, and global citizenship
  • The freedom we afford learners to follow their interests, learn at their own pace, and manage their schedules 
  • Our focus on project-based learning and experiential learning (including service projects, internships, and more)
  • Our focus on mastery and qualitative feedback rather than tests.
  • The quality of our mentors and the ability of learners to form lasting and meaningful connections with them 
  • Relative to most private schools, you’d also choose us because we are much more affordable

If you’re choosing between learning with TRAVERSE and an online school you’d choose us for:

  • The depth of social experience that we provide: most online schools offer limited opportunities for consistent bonding and interactions between learners
  • The richness of our in-person opportunities: most online schools do not consider socialization as a part of the learning experience.
  • The quality of our experiential learning: from our week-long orientation to our service learning month and our summer internship session, we offer a depth of experiences that easily surpass most online schools
  • The value of the mentoring relationship: our learners have mentors that interact with them for several hours each week and daily; most online schools do not provide this frequency or depth of interaction between students and teachers
  • The importance of our synchronous time: learners spend considerable time every day together via live video engaging in meaningful discussions and activities; most online schools have much more limited synchronous time that is often dominated by lectures, not student interactions
  • You’d also choose us for all the reasons listed under “why choose TRAVERSE over a traditional school” because most online schools adhere closely to traditional public school curriculums and pedagogical methods. TRAVERSE isn’t
Program
What is the curriculum?

The TRAVERSE curriculum has three core components: Academic Knowledge, Professional Learning, and Character Development. Each is important and learners spend about half of their time each week on academic knowledge and the other half split between the other two. Knowledge excursions incorporate the study of academic disciplines (English, Math, Social Studies, History, Arts & Culture, Tech & Design), Professional learning is comprised of trial and error, entrepreneurship, the eight dimensions of wellness, and Character development includes Life skills, Worldview, and Faith development.

How is educational content delivered?

Educational content is delivered via a variety of resources and mediums. Group time is primarily facilitated by live video, and we use a wide selection of apps and websites for uniquely paced, self-directed, and collaborative learning, as curated by our curriculum team. We also offer in-person components that both reinforce and enhance the online portion of our program.

Is everybody taught together?

Most of the academic knowledge is self-directed and support via our Learning Mentors. The other 50% of the curriculum is delivered to 6th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade separately.

How do students spend their time together?

We believe that time is precious, so we don’t ask kids to get together, on-screen or off, without a valuable purpose. Thankfully, fantastic resources exist for learning math, languages, and all sorts of topics independently. As such, learners’ time together focuses on worship and collaborative experiences that are enriched by a community environment, such as current events discussions, presentations of individual passion projects, debates ranging from ethics and history to politics and philosophy, experiential, multi-month group projects, community service learning, and more.

How do learners experience socialization and community outside of a brick-and-mortar school environment?

We are committed to frequently getting kids away from their screens and out in their communities interacting with one another. Part of what makes TRAVERSE exceptional is the community-focused elements of our program. Students are able to work on projects, socialize, and address challenging issues in their local communities.

But meaningful interactions do not only happen in person. Children today spend hours together playing collaborative video games while chatting through headsets. They compose music and layer in their friends’ instrumental accompaniments and beats online. Children have friends across the world because they are interested in lego-building and robotics design. There are so many new, effective ways for children to form strong bonds of friendship and collaborate in our digitally interconnected world. We leverage modern technology to facilitate meaningful, rich social connections. Our network allows learners to form social clubs and plan virtual activities to make new friends around the country based on common interests.

We are global and local citizens who create, debate, problem-solve, and play together.

Tell me more about the TRAVERSE philosophy?

The TRAVERSE educational philosophy is inspired by 21st-century learning, design-think principles, Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, and to a lesser but still important extent, by self-directed learning. Our philosophy includes:

  • A holistic approach to education that includes academics, life skills, and social skills and character development
  • Personalized learning that accounts for each child’s personal goals
  • Strong focus on learner choice and autonomy
  • Strong focus on group work and group discussions
  • Emphasis on hands-on projects and experiential learning
  • Focus on Interdisciplinary learning and projects
  • Focus on understanding concepts as opposed to rote learning
  • Education for social responsibility and purpose
  • Integration of service-learning and community service into our curriculum
  • Emphasis on lifelong learning and learning for learning’s sake (rather than for external validation, like grades)
  • Belief in teachers who facilitate and guide rather than lecture and impart knowledge (i.e. the “guide on the side” instead of the “sage on the stage”)
  • Assessment based on outcomes achieved through evidence
  • Belief in the importance of deliberate practice and developing a passion
What evidence suggests that the TRAVERSE model effective?

The TRAVERSE model draws inspiration from project-based learning, inquiry and problem-based learning, interest-driven learning, social-emotional learning, and deeper learning theory. Each of these approaches has empirically proven positive results for learners including increased academic performance, critical thinking, creativity, long-term motivation, and love of learning.

What makes an interactive, experiential online learning environment better than a traditional classroom?

Our flexible, online learning environment allows learners to deepen their understanding of the content that interests them by learning to be independent researchers, confident digital citizens, and skilled project and time managers. Instead of being limited to the resources available inside four school walls, learners have the freedom and guidance to follow their curiosity wherever it leads, to destinations virtual and physical. Our interactive components allow learners to collaborate authentically with their peers, rather than listening to dry online lectures or conversing in dull discussion forums. Our mentors are trained in using technology to enhance their ability to educate, rather than trying to poorly reproduce traditional classroom methods online.

How is much of TRAVERSE is focused on academics?

Academic rigor is highly prioritized with TRAVERSE. Learning just happens differently here, for the better! Instead of checking boxes to meet externally derived educational benchmarks, we help guide their interests and passions within standards designed to grow the whole person. This fuels learning that’s fun and engaging while facilitating whole-person development. Learning this way, along with the skillful support of our Learning mentors, enables the achievement of academic mastery while allowing the love of learning to flourish. Much of the recent wave of innovation in education focused on acceptance to highly ranked colleges and high test scores as the gold standards of success. We believe that mastery of ‘core’ content and exceptional educational outcomes can be achieved without test anxiety, without dry lectures delivered to students. We also know that now more than ever, top colleges are looking for well-rounded students with a rich portfolio of projects, a resume of real-world experiences, and the ability to express themselves with originality and confidence. Learners who utilize TRAVERSE will be far ahead of their traditionally-educated peers in this respect.

What is the yearly schedule?

TRAVERSE operates on a year-round schedule, with several breaks ranging in length from two to four weeks. Learners spend September through June working on Knowledge, Life Skills, Worldview, and Mastery badges during three twelve-week learning cycles. Each cycle ends with an expo day, where families come together to celebrate students’ hard work on their self-directed projects. In July and August, learners pursue an Experience badge by completing a summer opportunity of their choice. The summer cycle schedule is highly flexible, to accommodate family travel and other summer fun.

What does a typical day look like?

Learners who choose TRAVERSE generally expect to spend 5-6 hours per day learning. Each day starts with worship at 9 am. Then a Stand-up meeting with other learners and their Learning mentor. Learners then participate in collaboration core, this is where students teach students in a supervised environment in areas of Math and science. Peer-to-peer teaching helps reinforce learning. Learners are then free to structure their time in the way that works best for them, be it working on Knowledge Excursions, practicing for their Journey of Passion presentation, Business Excursions, or working with other learners on a group project.

How flexible is TRAVERSE with regard to scheduling?

The schedule is designed so that all the enrichment, academics, and socialization can work together without getting lost. Learners generally engage in morning live group learning with afternoons reserved for independent work (offering greater flexibility later in the day). Because our goal is for your child to have a rich educational experience, including contributing to a collaborative group environment, we ask learners to consistently participate in synchronous group time. That being said, we’re willing to consider your family’s flexibility needs and missing a day here and there is totally fine!

Are there grades?

Yes, kids who learn with TRAVERSE are graded based on showing evidence of an outcome or standard reached. Keep in mind if you ever decide to transition back to a traditional school model (we don’t know why!) having grades will make for a seamless transition. For our core academics, we use a standard-based scale. However, nobody fails. We work with each learner until a minimum proficient standard is achieved

Will I get a transcript for my child?

TRAVERSE Curriculum can be translated to create a mastery-based transcript that would be recognized by any traditional school. We help each learner maintain a cumulative portfolio containing their documentation, writing, projects, and mentor feedback that families can include when applying for admission to selective schools and programs.

What technology requirements does TRAVERSE have?

In order to participate in TRAVERSE, learners need a strong internet connection. We provide an entry-level computer with a camera so students can have consistent access. We also strongly recommend that learners have access to a quiet and private learning space that’s free from distraction. We are working on providing “hot spots” in the future but currently we do not have the capability.

What computer and technology skills are needed to navigate the TRAVERSE program?

Learners who partner with TRAVERSE should be able to independently navigate online resources such as live video, learning websites, Google Docs and PowerPoint, etc.

Learning Mentors
Who are your Learning mentors?

TRAVERSE Learning mentors are caring, inspiring individuals who love students and are deeply motivated to facilitate their growth. From a diverse range of backgrounds, TRAVERSE mentors have been top-rated public and private school teachers, counselors, youth mentors, and more. 

Common qualities that all of our Learning mentors possess are a connection with Christ, a love for learning, a passion for working with―and facilitating the holistic development of―students, high social, emotional, and analytical intelligence, and a curious and courageous approach to life. All Learning mentors go through a rigorous selection process that includes multiple interviews, a written assignment, sample lesson plans, a video of them teaching/facilitating a class, extensive reference checking, and a thorough background check.

What are TRAVERSE Learning mentors like?

TRAVERSE Learning mentors are: 

  • Facilitators who provide daily opportunities for thoughtful, intellectual discussions among learners
  • Connectors who build strong relationships with learners and encourage lifelong relationships 
  • Developers who identify each learner’s individual strengths and areas for growth, give honest and thoughtful feedback and bring out the best in each learner 
  • Communicators who know families on a deep level and are clear, organized, and responsive to feedback and concerns
  • Dreamers who believe in a bright future for every learner and support students in building the skills they need to be their best selves

TRAVERSE Learning mentors are not: 

  • Taskmasters: Learners manage their own academic journeys, going at the pace and depth that is most suited to their needs. 
  • Graders: Learners get detailed and authentic feedback that motivates them to do their personal best. 
  • Judgers: Each child is unique, talented, and gifted in their own way. Learning mentors see learners as individuals and know that one size does not fit all. 
  • Punishers: If a learner is struggling with the material, mentors connect them with help and support. If a learner isn’t trying their best, mentors have a conversation.
  • ‍Test Score Obsessed: Learners are more than a test score, so we don’t measure mentor effectiveness by testing. Learning mentors focus on the depth of learning over multiple-choice mastery.
What is the role of a TRAVERSE Learning mentor?
  • Create and foster an environment of engagement, collaboration, feedback, and intellectual curiosity amongst learners
  • Meet with each learner one-on-one at least every other week to check-in, discuss progress toward goals, and give feedback 
  • Facilitate daily Life skills and Worldview opportunities, during which learners discuss, debate, and create 
  • Provide mentorship and guidance, support learners when they face challenges, and celebrate academic and personal successes 
  • Plan and supervise social meetings, including team building activities, experiential service learning opportunities, and celebrations of learning
  • Conference with learners and families at the end of each cycle to discuss progress toward goals, strengths, and growth areas.
What training and ongoing development do Learning mentors receive?

TRAVERSE Learning mentors engage in a robust on-boarding process that provides comprehensive training for implementing our model and facilitating high-quality, effective, and joy-filled experiences for learners. In addition to already having lots of experience and cultivated skills working with youth before they join our team, mentors are trained in academic methodologies and equipped with tools for navigating difficult conversations that they may need to successfully support learners.

Learning mentors are themselves coached and supported by our learning experience design team and senior leadership, who have experience mentoring and leading teachers as well as cultivating an exceptional work environment for teams. We work to ensure that each mentor feels connected and supported with a wide network of resources from which to draw. Just like we curate the best, world-class curriculum for our learners, we also curate the best resources for our Learning mentors to continually grow their skills and effectiveness in communication, leadership, facilitation, and beyond. Additionally, all of our mentors are in part selected for their individual love of learning and growth mindset, so you’ll find they’re incredibly motivated to continually refine and enhance their craft!

Who will be my child’s Learning mentor?

The TRAVERSE curriculum and approach works best if the learners and mentor are located in the same time zone. We currently have excellent Learning mentors on board for the Pacific time zone and the Central time zone. As we grow our program we are seeking to train and develop eastern and mountain time zones. Depending on the amount of interest you can request for your family to work with a Learning mentor in a time zone close to yours. We will be able to provide more information during your family’s application process.

How will experiential and service-learning be handled during COVID

A key responsibility of TRAVERSE Learning mentors is to develop extraordinary experiential learning experiences. Mentors work alongside learners to plan service-learning opportunities and connect learners with internships, apprenticeships, or volunteer opportunities of interest. This year, due to COVID, we are building service and experiential learning opportunities that are fully virtual for all learners, and fully virtual families will be part of this network. TRAVERSE prepares students to become well-rounded, confident, capable individuals ready to tackle today and beyond, and we believe the experience of making a positive impact in their own communities is a key part of that journey. Learners gain experience collaborating effectively as a team and solving complex problems with creativity and curiosity. the TRAVERSE experiential and service-learning components offer students a sense of personal agency—we believe in empowering students to help them discover that they can change the world.

When will my family meet our child’s learning mentor?

In light of COVID-19, we will offer virtual opportunities to get to know your child’s Learning mentor. We will host Live Q&As, which help you learn more about your child’s mentor as well as the TRAVERSE model.  Your child’s mentor will also connect with your family directly to learn more about your child’s learning needs and interest areas before the start of the first learning cycle.

How can I connect with my child’s learning mentor?

In addition to scheduled virtual meetings with your family, TRAVERSE provides mentors time in their schedules to talk with parents more informally and without a lengthy wait. You’ll have direct contact information for your child’s mentor and are invited to reach out at any time. Our mentors view connecting with parents as a chance to collaborate in supporting each learner on the path to becoming their best selves.

If my child needs additional support or challenges arise, what can I expect from their mentor?

A wealth of encouragement, guidance, and well-matched challenges to grow them, of course! One of our mentors’ primary roles is to provide proactive, caring mentorship, accountability, motivation, and support to your child and other learners. Whether connecting your child with a different learning resource to better match how they learn best, unpacking roadblocks in moments of strain when they feel mentally stuck, empowering them to shoot for a wild goal that is achievable with diligent effort, or just supporting them during a hard day, your child’s mentor is here for learning and more and is eager to lend a hand where beneficial!

How do TRAVERSE mentors ensure positive, safe experiences when learners are interacting online?

A  positive, safe, mutually respectful learning environment is baked into the culture at an elemental level with TRAVERSE. We intentionally build a strong base of trust and esteem with participants so that every learner feels a sense of safety, belonging, and freedom to be themselves. Bullying and other detrimental means of interacting are not tolerated. Our leadership team has two nationally certified Anti-bullying trainers. Because we heavily emphasize the creation of shared group norms through a collaboratively-built contract early in the year, learners are able to enjoy a great deal of freedom to collaborate together on projects, form interest-based clubs, etc. via online break-out groups. Any time learners are in a peer-only online environment, the cohort’s coach and members of our leadership team may check the tenor of the conversation to make sure that it’s both uplifting and, when relevant, productive. We do not monitor external interactions (such as via social media) that learners chose to engage in outside of official TRAVERSE channels. However, if it is brought to our attention that behavior outside of what we want to be associated with the TRAVERSE program is observed I’ve on through a platform we reserve the right to remove students from or program.

Enrollment
Who is TRAVERSE for?

Learners who choose the TRAVERSE model may be extroverted, introverted, funny, opinionated, pensive, gregarious, eager, reserved, a little bit rebellious, and everything in between! A bit of curiosity and adaptability goes a long way in enabling learners to flourish in our community, and basic digital skills for navigating online learning are important too (We can help with this). Our goal is to see every child who learns with TRAVERSE is brimming with self-esteem, the confidence to be their authentic selves and share their faith, a strong sense of personal agency, and passion for at least one thing that deeply excites them. We also are committed to fostering a collaborative and community-oriented environment that encourages students to thrive.

How do families enroll in TRAVERSE?

The first step is a conversation with our executive director. You can request a meeting by emailing our Director, Cliff Wright Jr.

 I have more than one child. Can I enroll all my children?

Yes. We will accommodate kids going into grades 6-12. We will also look at discounted pricing for multiple children or you can elect full pricing to provide this model to families who cannot afford it but desperately need their child in a different environment.

Pricing
What does TRAVERSE cost?

Pricing information can be found here.

What if I can’t afford TRAVERSE?

Because we believe that your ability to receive a phenomenal education shouldn’t depend on your ability to pay, we are actively looking for sponsors to offer financial support for families who cannot afford our standard pricing. We also created a $100,000 TRAVERSE Support Fund for our families who need additional help. Our goal is that at least 40% of learners in each cohort receive financial support, so please don’t let your ability to pay stop you from applying.

How do I request financial support?

You can request financial support within your student’s enrollment process. Within your child’s application you will be asked to state your income along with what you can afford to pay for TRAVERSE. Given this information and any other factors that you wish to share, we’ll evaluate your request for support. We have limited funds available at various pricing levels for our initial pilot, so we recommend that you apply as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of support being available.

Parents
How involved do parents need to be?

The level of involvement expected by parents will vary depending upon the needs of each child. Some children will be able to navigate TRAVERSE nearly fully independently. Others will need a lot more support and aren’t yet ready for total learning autonomy. We expect parents—together with their child’s Learning mentor—to periodically evaluate how much independence, autonomy, and support is right for their child. This is an evolving process with learners progressing toward greater independence and self-direction as they move through their education journey.

TRAVERSE has live virtual and in-person components, the structure of which is highly influenced by the students themselves. When considering whether to join, we will help you understand the expectations to make sure it’s compatible with your needs. In addition to supporting your child, you will be responsible for registering your child as a homeschooler (Some states require this; others do not.) and meeting the homeschooling requirements in your state (This varies by state. In some states there are little to no requirements; in others, there are more, though none are overly burdensome.). If your child is accepted, we will support you in this simple process; however, the ultimate responsibility will lie with each family. If you are curious to learn more about homeschooling requirements in your state, this website is very helpful.

How is child safety prioritized with TRAVERSE?

Child safety is our utmost priority. We address safety in the following ways: 

Technology: All of the platforms that power TRAVERSE are password-protected to ensure only students, mentors, and parents can access them.
Content: We endeavor for our content to be objective and age-appropriate. Needless to say, discrimination, hate speech, and violence is strictly prohibited.

Peer interactions: A key focus at TRAVERSE is developing a culture within our program that is supportive, respectful, inclusive, and kind. Each grouping, along with the learning mentor develops its own code of conduct, to which they must hold themselves accountable. Continued membership in the group will depend on learners meeting the requirements of the code of conduct. Learning Mentors are also responsible for ensuring that peer interactions are respectful, but we think that peers holding peers accountable can be even more powerful.

Learning Mentor: Our Learning mentors go through a rigorous selection process that includes multiple interviews, a written assignment, sample lesson plans, extensive reference checking, and a thorough background check. Synchronous sessions between the learning mentor and their group are recorded and are monitored for quality and training.

At home: Parents are responsible for ensuring that all students are supervised by a trusted adult while they are working on TRAVERSE at home to ensure their safety.

Will TRAVERSE prepare my child to be successful in college?

One of the most integral commitments within the TRAVERSE model is preparing learners for life ahead. Preparation for success in high school and college is part of this vision; however, we don’t stop there. To us, the scope of holistically successful outcomes extends to interpersonal relationships, financial literacy, global citizenry, stewardship of natural resources, and more. Students will be prepared both for education beyond their time in TRAVERSE and for life beyond formal learning.

Is TRAVERSE a good fit for parents who want to facilitate some of the learning themselves?

Although with TRAVERSE we are striving to create a cohesive community of learners, we recognize that some families who are used to homeschooling may want to handle some academic topics themselves. Learners have the option to “opt out” of completing certain academic competencies if their parent is willing to teach them a comparable topic instead. However, we do not typically offer exemptions from our Life skills and Worldview badges that are completed synchronously to ensure that kids bond with their coach and their cohort.

If we aren’t happy with TRAVERSE how do you make sure my student can transfer to another school (whether public, private, charter, or non-traditional?

Our hope is that TRAVERSE works exceptionally well for all learners, and we will continue to refine the design of TRAVERSE so that it serves a continually broader and more diverse group of learners as we grow. If families choose to no longer utilize the TRAVERSE education management program, we will provide them with a student portfolio (documenting all key learning milestones and developed competencies). We would prefer not to use grades, the reason we use standards-based grading is you can have a “transcript” that captures all the courses (i.e journeys) your child has completed with TRAVERSE. This serves as your home-school transcript and would be yours to edit and add to as you see fit.

Support
What happens if my child needs extra support?

Our Learning mentors are multi-talented guides who come alongside learners to offer an individually appropriate type and amount of guidance and support in challenging moments. We also encourage students to support one another in their educational journeys. Often one child is currently struggling where another has achieved mastery. We are building the capacity for learners to reach out to one another for support and peer-tutoring. In addition to cultivating a mutually supportive community, ‘teaching back’ to a peer offers proven cognitive benefits to the learner who’s achieved mastery as well.

Is TRAVERSE a good fit for learners with disabilities?

Yes. TRAVERSE may be a fit for students of many different abilities. For more about the accommodations we are able to offer, please read our Inclusion Vision Statement.