Michal Leshem founded AABC in 2019 out of a passion for providing her four boys, and other young learners, with a forward-thinking education model.
Before launching her own school, AABC, Michal worked as an Acton Guide.
In September 2019, AABC launched with 13 learners in one Discovery studio.
In September 2020, we added a Sparks studio, and our learners' population nearly tripled and now counts 38 Learners.
In 2021 we are planning on opening a third studio - Journey.
As a micro-school, we limit each studio to a total of 25 learners of mixed ages.
This model allows for advantages such as creating leadership opportunities, improving social skills, developing an intimate community, helping friendships to form, and encouraging the spirit of cooperation and caring.
Elements in our day-to-day
The students learn Reading, Writing, and Math via online platforms like Khan Academy, Lexia, and DreamBox. Those platforms enable students to progress at their own pace, ensuring that no learner ever gets “left behind.”
Quite the opposite. By being able to advance at their own pace, our learners are able to ensure the mastery of essential skills before moving ahead.
In addition, at least once a week we will Drop Everything And Read (“DEAR”) and we also do “Writers’ Workshop” twice a week.
Hands-on projects in science, entrepreneurship, and various art domains prepare the students for real-world challenges. In a Quest, which usually takes few weeks, we take practical challenges from our daily life and package them into personal and group activities. In each Quest, we integrate different learning subjects, and the learning is by ‘doing’ and not by listening or memorizing.
At AABC we don't give tests and grades. Students celebrate the mastery of tools, skills, and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios, and participating in public exhibitions.
Parents can review a student’s academic progress by reviewing their earned badges in Core Skills like reading, writing, math, and spelling and character development in “Learn to Be” Badges.
At the end of most Quests, public exhibitions allow young heroes to present work to experts, customers, or the public for a real-world test.
Mindfulness and Nature
We integrate daily meditation into the schedule and we practice Yoga at least once a week. We feel it is important that the students spend significant time in nature as part of the weekly schedule and that will occur through outdoor lessons, activities, and trips all year long.
Critical thinking, debating, raising questions and doubts are developed through discussions about important people, historical events, civilization, and social case-studies. The ability to listen, think and contribute to a discussion is extremely important alongside the understanding that in many cases there is not only black and white but a lot of gray too.
Volunteering and Giving Back to the Community
We live in a community and we are taking an active part in it. We go outside, meet our neighbors, help keep our parks and woods clean, and volunteer in as many places and activities as we can. We believe that giving back to our community is a privilege and a great opportunity for our students to connect with the real world.
Field Trips and Guest Speakers
To the extent possible, we will incorporate a field trip or host a guest speaker that relates to the given Quest, like visiting a local farm/nursery during Gardening Quest, visiting an architectural firm in NYC during Architecture Quest, having a botanist visit us, and take us on a nature walk to show us how to identify edible plants during Survival Quest.