Potential, Unleashed: Start Your Own school With Our 2hr Learning Model

Potential, Unleashed: Start Your Own school With Our 2hr Learning Model

Prefer to listen? Check out Mackenzie Price’s Future of Education podcast below/here.

In 2014, MacKenzie Price and Brian Holtz teamed up to build the first Alpha School in the United States. Set in Austin, Texas, it became the first academic institution to pioneer the 2-Hour Learning technology, philosophy, and motivation model. But what is their story? What did they learn along the way? How did their experiences lay a foundation for other parents, teachers, academics, and entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps and help change the future of education? Read on to find out. 

‘My kids were unhappy with school and were losing their spark to learn. I looked back at the traditional education system that I had also been a part of and realized that nothing had changed. And something really, really needed to change.’

The origins of 2hr Learning are deeply rooted in the personal experience of MacKenzie and Brian, who sought to revolutionize education based on their dissatisfaction with the conventional school system and the lack of progress over decades. 

Their concern turned into their vision, fuelled by children’s diminishing passion for learning and cemented by recognizing that the existing education model was failing to keep pace with societal and technological advances. Necessity begets innovation, and this was the foundation of the model. 

‘Their potential was untapped, they weren’t being pushed, and worst of all, they were unhappy. Spending six hours a day in the classroom but paying attention for a fraction of them was a situation that I wasn’t okay with at all.’

There was an immense need for change, for a difference to be made. Kids should not be consigned to mediocrity, nor should they be allowed to settle for it. Armed with their knowledge about what needed to be done, they built an environment that was better for the kids and did better by the kids. From 16 kids in a house to over 250 students across three campuses, they have brought change to life. 

So how did they do it? And how can you?

“When we started, we wanted to create a school for kids that were bright, but bored.”

  • Define Your Purpose and Mission: Why do you exist? What do you hope to help these kids achieve? What outcome are you producing as a school? 

When 2hr Learning started, the aim was simple: A school for kids who could and would do more but needed direction. They were special and needed more attention. So MacKenzie and Brian created a school with a healthy culture for these kids while making sure to bake life skills into the curriculum. Because school should equip kids for life, not a classroom, those commitments help us stay focused on our goals and the goals of our students. What are yours?

At Alpha, we have 3 core commitments that align with our purpose and mission. 

  1. Kids will love school. 
  2. Kids will learn twice as fast. 
  3. Kids will learn life skills. 

‘There is no one-size-fits-all all education. However, that is the system today. Individual style, pace, inclinations, and potential is crucial to be nurtured.’

  • Recruit Kids For Your School: Why would parents love your school and sign their kids up? What is the acute “pain” that families are experiencing with their current academic situation that makes them seek a better path?

Examples of this are parents in districts where gifted and talented programs are being deprioritized and stripped of funding, or bright kids who are not getting the attention they need to thrive.

Alternatively, maybe there are kids who are extremely promising athletically but don’t have the time to get better at their sport because they’re spending so much time in class.

With the post-COVID academic performance of students in decline and its serious impact on grade-by-grade development, each student is being “pushed through the system” regardless of where they may actually fall academically. The metric is arbitrary, widening the knowledge gap and creating the lack of confidence that comes with feeling behind and having no way to catch up. Alpha had identified this gap before the pandemic already and created the tools to bridge it.

When we use apps to deliver the learning for all of your core subjects, we’re actually saving time (and money) on planning, lesson plan creation, lectures, homework, and other time-consuming work – the app does that work for us. Guides provide emotional and motivational support, and are a lower cost and overhead compared to teachers.’

  • Financing and Funding Your School: You have to cover your costs, first and foremost, and keep them low to attract more families. You’ll want to consider avenues to additional revenue, like after-school programs, extended school years, and special programs during holiday periods. Ultimately, the tuition charged has to cover your costs, and/or, lean on Education Savings Accounts (ESA) if you’re in a state that offers that type of financial support for families. 

‘We focus on mastery which is consistently getting things right. And once kids understand what they are working towards and are motivated correctly, they exceed all expectations

  • Define Your School’s Culture: Working with young learners to develop a mindset – that they are limitless and can do anything they aspire to achieve with the right work ethic, effort, and support – and living that day-in and day-out. At Alpha School, the culture is defined by respect and appreciation for excellence. The kids create the standard, and hold each other accountable to that standard, which gives them a sense of pride and ownership to maintain the culture they’re creating together. 

‘Why would we waste 6 hours on something that can be done, and done better, in just 2 hours? By completing core academics in the morning, kids’ schedules have time to explore interests and develop life skills.’

  • Create Your Daily Program and Schedule: How will you schedule and structure each day at school? When will it start, end, and how will you fill the time in between? We do a morning launch to get everyone energized to start the day, followed by our 2Hr Learning focus of intense academics using AI and Adaptive Apps. Post lunch in the afternoons, we have freed-up time devoted to life skill workshops and for students to pursue their interests and passions. What “wins” can you create throughout the day to give students a feeling of achievement, and develop a habit of success? 

If you’re interested in learning more about starting your own school with 2Hr Learning, contact a member of our team today!

FREE DOWNLOAD How To Start Your Own School Your School, Our Model: Starting Your Own School with 2hr Learning.   

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