Brilla schools are built on the following cornerstones:
High Expectations. Because we believe in the inherent dignity and potential of every child, we have high expectations for our students’ academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on their background or socio-economic status.
Lead with Character. Good character makes for a meaningful life, produces lasting personal and social happiness and contributes to academic success. The development of the virtues of Courage, Justice, Wisdom, and Self-control in students is central to our educational mission.
Results Matter. Brilla relentlessly focuses on high student performance on standardized tests and other objective measures because we hold ourselves accountable for preparing students personally and academically in ways that will enable them to succeed at the best high schools and colleges.
Choice & Commitment. Students, their parents, faculty and staff of Brilla make a choice to participate in our unique and innovative program. Everyone must make and uphold a commitment to the school and to each other to put in the time and effort required to achieve success.
More Time. There are no shortcuts. Only with an extended school day and year will students have the time to acquire the academic knowledge, skills and habits that will prepare them for success in college and in life.
Teach the Best Content. All Brilla students learn math and science while also becoming familiar with the classics of Western Civilization, because of the way the traditional liberal arts convey truth, beauty, and goodness, and because students need the world’s best content in order to become good citizens and be competitive globally.
KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS
Based on these foundational principles and inspired by the effective practices of some of the nation’s best charter schools, all Brilla schools incorporate the following key design elements:
Smart Start. We start with kindergarten then grow a grade level each year until we serve students in a K-8 school.
Blended-learning. Accessible computer hardware and advanced learning software help teachers individualize instruction. Drawing from the successful experiences of a handful of urban charter and Catholic elementary schools that have been achieving outstanding academic growth results, our students spend 25% or more of their instructional time on computers, allowing teachers to spend commensurate time providing targeted small group instruction. Computer literacy is also an essential 21st century skill.
Paideia. Based on the Paideia approach, our pedagogy integrates didactic instruction, coaching and student-centered discussion.
Literacy x2. The education program provides a double block of literacy instruction daily, which is integrated with history and other content and balanced with strong mathematics and science instruction.
Core Knowledge. Brilla shares the belief with The Core Knowledge Foundation that every child deserves equal access to common knowledge. We believe in the simple but powerful premise behind Core Knowledge that knowledge builds on knowledge and we reject the false choice that schools must choose between knowledge and thinking skills. Therefore, Brilla will utilize the Core Knowledge Sequence, a detailed outline of recommended curricular content to be taught in language arts, history and geography, mathematics, science, music, and the visual arts from grades K-8.
Power To Lead. The Brilla Network selects entrepreneurial school leaders who have demonstrated teaching success with underserved students and provides them with the authority and resources to implement our vision, build a team of mission-driven professionals, and manage school operations. School leaders are then held accountable for results.
Parent Involvement. Brilla provides parents/guardians with frequent communication about student and school performance, quarterly parenting workshops, and many in- and out-of-school opportunities to be involved in their child’s education.