Nuestra Escuela ("Our School") provides educational services to youth and adults out of school who never completed their studies at higher level. It enrolls 350 students who are typically between ages 13 and 22, and maintains strong connections with the students' families. The vast majority of students have had major academic or life challenges.
Nuestra Escuela, “Our School,” is a widely respected community education program in Puerto Rico based on a mission of love. Founded in 2000, the school provides services based on a holistic model that stresses individualized education strategies. Nuestra Escuela also includes career exploration services, job training and placement in postsecondary education technical or university level, job skills and job opportunities that will achieve self-sufficiency, creating a better quality of life. Nuestra Escuela offers its services in five centers: Caguas Pueblo Community Bar in Caguas, Loiza, Vieques and Culebra.
In addition to core academics, students of Nuestra Escuela engage in arts, sports, and entrepreneurship, and a strong bio-psycho-social program provides young people with the social-emotional support they need to succeed. Students that attend Nuestra Escuela make a psychological and academic commitment to the school and participate in a 6 week, 12 step initiation process which helps to identify which students are truly committed to earning a high school diploma and helps teachers to gain a personal understanding of students before beginning in-class instruction.
By utilizing teaching methods that allow teachers to coach and mentor their students by providing them academic options which eliminate the threat of a failing grade, teachers help students pave the road to success by maintaining respectful relationships with their students as partners working toward the same goal. Constant analysis of technique and effect in the classroom is conducted, and style of instruction evolves over the course of students’ attendance so as to provide an individualized education for students committed to earning their diploma.
The Jefferson County Open School features a public pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade environment with inter-aged groupings throughout the school. Students at all levels of the program work closely with their family and advisor to develop highly personalized curriculum.