At ZETA, school is a place that nurtures mind, body, soul, and connectedness so children can achieve their greatest potential.
- Mindfulness & Wellness. Mindfulness and wellness at ZETA are foundational, and permeate the school day.
- Taekwondo: Students practice Taekwondo for 25 minutes, two to three days per week, with optional additional practice after school. Taekwondo promotes physical activity and the principles of courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.
- Mindfulness Within Community Context: Once per week, teachers lead their classes in a community circle, during which time students practice mindfulness meditation and engage in the important work of self-reflection, resonating with others, and community-building. Students further engage in self-reflective character "badge" work for 30 minutes, four days per week.
- Healthy Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks. All ZETA students receive free, healthy breakfast, lunch, and two snacks (morning and afternoon) to fuel a strong body and mind. During Sports, students receive wellness education, learning about the practice and benefits of healthy eating, habits, and lifestyle.
- Wiggle & Giggle Breaks. Students take a 40-minute lunch and recess break every day to socialize and to run, jump, and play with their friends. Throughout the day, children have plenty of wiggle, dance, and giggle breaks, which hone their academic focus and are good for mind, body, and soul!
- Rigorous, Hands-On Academics. Academics at ZETA are rigorous and hands-on, tapping into students' innate curiosity and joy of learning to equip them with the critical thinking skills, habits, and practice they need to achieve to their highest potential.
- Top Academics with a Track Record of Success. ZETA employs world-class academic programming with a proven track record of success preparing every child to succeed.
- Core Academics. In addition to Reading, Writing, Math, and Science, students study social studies, culture, history, and geography through thoughtfully selected books and reading passages, rich discussion, and writing, as well as through cross-disciplinary project-based learning.
- Global Perspective for World Citizenship. Curricula at ZETA elementary schools follow an overarching Scope and Sequence for kindergarten through 5th grade that ensure that students develop a broad historical, cultural, and global understanding of the world.
- No ZETA Child Falls Through the Cracks. Students who need additional academic support receive small-group instruction and/or one-to-one tutoring throughout the day and after school to ensure mastery of the material. ZETA implements a comprehensive Response to Intervention approach to ensure no student is overlooked.
- Innovation Culture. ZETA students develop the skills and mindset they need to be creators and architects in an ever-evolving digital and modern world.
- ZETA Innovation Laboratory. At the heart of every ZETA School is an Innovation Laboratory (Z Lab), which is a cutting-edge creator's space where ZETA students of all ages and abilities learn in a rigorous way through design thinking and hands-on experimentation and play that crosses all disciplines. ZETA students spend two days per week in Z Lab during the school day, as well as extended periods after school, building and experimenting.
- Digital Learning. Students have the opportunity to engage with personalized digital learning programs that they access outside of class on ZETA laptops to supplement in-class learning.
- Coding Fluency. ZETA students learn age-appropriate coding skills starting in elementary school using a problem-solving approach to coding projects in Z Lab.
- Supportive Setting for Special Populations. ZETA invests in its special populations to ensure they have an extraordinarily successful schooling experience.
- Students with Individualized Education Programs. Students with IEPs receive appropriate supports, and quickly, so that they are able to meet the same high academic bar as their general education peers. ZETA aims to graduate students from their IEPs as soon as they are ready, continuing to monitor and support progress after IEP graduation.
- English Language Learners. ZETA schools are committed to meeting the needs of their English Language Learners in an English immersion program. English Language Learners receive individualized, small-group or one-to-one instruction to support English acquisition skills and academic achievement.
- Advanced Students. Advanced students have the opportunity to join higher grades in subjects they excel in, and/or to pursue independent Z Lab projects or reading, writing, or subject-specific projects with a faculty mentor.
- Experiential Learning. ZETA offers a broad range of activities and field trips for a rich student learning experience.
- Robust Enrichment: In addition to Taekwondo, ZETA offers Art, Chess, Music, and Sports during the school day in the afternoons.
- Free After-School: ZETA offers free after-school programming, allowing students to deepen their study of Art, Chess, Music, and Sports. ZETA may offer other after-school enrichment activities including foreign language, theater, yoga, and/or others.
- Hands-On Learning Through Field Trips. Students will explore and learn on many trips to cultural institutions, iconic and historic destinations, world-class performances, and educational play spaces.
- Safe and Orderly Schools. A strong school culture is the essential foundation for an extraordinary learning environment.
- No Bullying. ZETA schools are committed to ensuring safe school environments for all, free of violence, threats, and bullying. We will immediately and appropriately address behavior that interferes' with a student's and others' ability to fully and joyfully participate in all ZETA schools have to offer.
- Restorative Justice Approach. The primary aim of the school's discipline program is to reinforce mindful conduct and encourage restorative justice. A restorative justice approach helps students to increase empathy, accountability, and a sense of interconnection; to promote healing and restoration of relationships; and to advance social-emotional maturity and capacity for self-regulation and self-determination. ZETA schools set aside time at the end of each day, as needed, for restorative justice sessions, but restorative justice practices may occur more frequently throughout the day.
- Student Ownership & Family Partnership. Forging lifelong learners requires students to take ownership of their own learning and goals, as well as a close family partnership.
- Open Door Policy. ZETA has an open door policy for ZETA families. Communication and family partnership is key, which is why ZETA families receive all staff members' email addresses and cell phone numbers, and can expect prompt responses when they email or call.
- ZETA STAR Teams. ZETA students take ownership of their own learning and goal-setting supported by STAR Teams rooting for their success. The STAR Team is comprised of the student, parent/guardians, other key adults in the student's life, and the student's teacher or other ZETA adult. They meet multiple times during the school year to review the student's academic, social, emotional, and life goals and progress; celebrate successes; strategize together regarding challenge areas; and set higher goals. Through STAR Teams, students learn to take initiative to set, pursue, evaluate, and revise their own goals and progress, supported by their community of people.
- Community Service. ZETA students engage in regular community service built into ZETA's curriculum and culture work. It's not an extra activity they do, but a part of the ZETA way of being and doing.
Sample ZETA Student Schedule*
7:20 - 7:40 a.m. - Doors open for a free, light, healthy breakfast for all students
7:45 - 7:55 a.m. - Morning Meeting
8:00 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. - Morning Academic Block: Reading, Math, Science (with lots of Wiggle & Giggle Breaks)
12:10 - 12:50 p.m. - Lunch + Recess
12:50 - 1:00 p.m. - Transition + Bathroom Break
1:00 - 1:40 p.m. - Specials: Sports, Music, Art, Chess
1:45 - 2:25 p.m. - Writing + Independent Reading
2:25 - 2:35 p.m. - Healthy Snack + Independent Reading
2:40 - 3:40 p.m. - Taekwondo or Z Lab for 30 mins., followed by 30 mins. of Compass Badge Self-Reflection Work, or Community Circle
3:45 - End of Regular School Day (on Wednesdays, school ends at 1:00 p.m. for afternoon teacher training)
3:45 - 4:30 p.m. - Free After-School
- Enrichment Activities: Sports, Music, Art, Chess, Z Lab, and Taekwondo, and possibly Foreign Language, Dance, Yoga, Theater, and/or others
- Small-Group Instruction / 1:1 Tutoring
- Personalized Digital Learning
- Restorative Justice sessions as needed
4:30 p.m. - After-School Dismissal
*Schedule Subject to Change