Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, celebrated painter, accomplished architect, visionary inventor and dedicated scientist, is representative of some of the highest achievements of the Italian Renaissance. At the Renaissance Learner Academy we strive to invoke the da Vinci in all learners with small classes, academic challenge, inclusion and personalized support. RLA’s program builds well rounded learners with interdisciplinary curriculum, project based learning, and focused attention to developing life skills, teamwork and community. RLA’s design is the fulfillment of our dream to create a dynamic, hands-on, learning centered school where all students can succeed.
Lab and Applied Science Curriculum
The RLA science program will explore classical Lab Biology through field and traditional lab work. This biology class meets the NGSS and college preparatory lab science requirements with numerous labs, field excursions and integrated technologies.
Key topics include life, living systems, cells, genetics, evolution, taxonomy and animal/human anatomy. We will conduct a year-long study of living systems in four distinct environments, including the micro-biomes. The results of the study will be documented as a film.
The concurrent Computer Science/Engineering program will construct an aquaculture system and a greenhouse. We will code sensors, monitors and systems to respond to environmental changes. Through the lens of applied mathematics, we will account for the cost of construction, maintenance, labor and consumable resources and create a business plan to sell plant starts and liquid fertilizer. Students will learn to use hand tools, 3D printing, computer aided design software, spreadsheets, data arrays and micro-controllers to produce and sell products.
Students have daily mathematics tutorials to build number sense, fluency and content knowledge. Math tutorials are selected by the student’s math level (General Math, Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra II). Students who need advanced math beyond algebra II will take a course at a community college, or on-line with RLA support.
The 2019-2020 humanities program will explore how we got from the Industrial Revolution to this New (Global) World Order. This course meets and exceeds the CCSS and college preparatory coursework for World Literature and World History with added emphasis on geography and economics. Key topics include geography, economics, the Age of Revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, Neo-colonialism, WWI, WWII, Cold War, and the New (Global) World Order.
The World History and Literature course begins with physical and world regional geography through an exploration of ecosystems, resource distribution, transportation networks, political/religious systems and economic interactions. With a firm grip on the contemporary world order, the course will follow the threads back to uncover the ideas, inventions and interactions that influenced the course of history. We will explore the development of our modern world from both Western and Non-western perspectives, and take advantage of local museums and points of interest to experience history first hand. This course will examine technologies, arts, literature, film, music and other media from the time periods and cultures studied. Student work will include maps, graphic organizers, data charts, computer illustrations, audio and video productions and writing.
English Language and Composition Tutorial
Students have daily reading and writing tutorials to build fluency and skill in reading and composition. Tutorial assignments are designed for each student to meet and extend language competency. Reading selections and writing topics will be generally based on student interest.
Graphic and Visual Arts
Although Graphic, Visual and AV arts are fully integrated into the science and humanities programs, students will also explore aspects of Basic Design (color, line, form, composition, perspective) and a variety of traditional and electronic art media (sculpture, drawing, painting, pen and ink, sequential art, computer aided design, computer illustration, 3D printing). This course of study meets and exceeds a first-year college preparatory Art class.
Performing Arts and Music
Students will write and perform plays, "living museum" projects and practice pragmatics in context. In addition to live performances, students will make films and record audio and music projects. Music instruction will be provided depending on the student's experience or skill level in music on entry to RLA. Music instruction will include listening and performance. Musical experiences may include Rock Band, Chorus, Guitar, Rhythm Instruments and/or Electronic Music.
Electives and Language
Elective and language classes will be selected based on the student’s interest and fatigue level. Courses may be taken from RLA staff, independently (private guitar lessons for example), on-line, and/or at a community center or college.
Health and Exercise
Light exercise, mindfulness, nutrition and other healthy habits are developed daily. Students are encouraged to take PE courses and participate in recreation league sports at a community center or college.
We are located in San Jose, CA. near San Jose City College.
Renaissance Learner Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, age, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, employment, access, and participation in Learning Farm programs and activities.