We plan to build a new kind of digital high school but we’re starting with high school extracurriculars.
A lot of the most impactful learning actually happens outside the classroom. Yet most high schools today focus–for understandable reasons–on what goes on inside the class. When we talk to families, they tell us they are looking for innovative, new ways of learning and doing that aren’t currently being addressed in their schools. Many of them are also looking for an edge with college admissions, where extracurriculars can make a big difference.
Ratio 21 programs feature a mix of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, and are designed to be flexible to fit around different lifestyles and time zones. They are also designed to be taken throughout the school year–we schedule everything outside regular school hours.
You will meet twice a week for live instructor-led sessions with our expert mentors, but don’t worry: if you can’t make these live sessions, you can always view recordings later. In addition to these sessions, you will also hear talks and get to interact with visiting experts and mentors, work with groups of students on projects, and interact and collaborate with other students via Slack channels. Some of our mentors may drop into these channels from time to time to answer questions or give you guidance or feedback.
As we said above, don’t worry. We know that every family’s needs are different, and Ratio 21 is designed to be flexible. Some of our students attend all the live sessions, some attend a few, and some just watch the recorded sessions. Every family can decide for itself what works best
Our extracurriculars are designed to help high school aged students in many ways. Among other benefits, you will meet adult mentors and accomplished experts who can introduce you to new fields and answer your questions. You will get to “test-drive” careers and explore work options. You will participate in cutting-edge extracurriculars that you can list on your college applications. You will also learn to collaborate with other students (vital skills for your working life), working under the supervision of our instructors to produce research projects and other specific outputs that you can share with college admissions officers.
We would never promise that our programs alone can get you into college, but college admissions offices do look closely for extracurricular activities. If you really want to see maximum benefit, we recommend that you don’t simply attend the sessions but also work hard to produce meaningful research and other projects under the supervision of our guides. We also introduce you to a number of potential mentors through the programs, and you might find it helpful to form relationships with them (they are all busy people, so please don’t be too insistent!).
The starting dates are listed on the individual program pages. Additional start dates will be added on an ongoing basis, including during the school year. There will be multiple cohorts running at different times, to be finalized closer to the start dates in consultation with families. If the program times don’t work, you can watch recordings (or, if you don’t want to access the material asynchronously, you can ask for a refund).
Each program module lasts four or five weeks, but we will be adding additional modules for students who are interested in deepening their knowledge and experiences. Just like with real-world extracurriculars, we hope that you will participate over several semesters. That’s how you’ll get the best experience, and it’s the best way to really get to know your fellow students and, together, build projects that have lasting value.
How much time you spend depends entirely on you. We expect that most students will want to attend the two live sessions and spend another 2-4 hours per week collaborating with other students and working asynchronously. But these are extracurriculars, not classes, and there are no participation requirements or grades, and we don’t monitor how much time you spend.
Absolutely! These programs are designed to work just like real-world extracurriculars or clubs, which last the whole year. The live sessions are scheduled for evenings, after school hours, and if they conflict with other activities you can always watch recordings later. Your collaboration with other students and time with mentors can happen asynchronously or at a time of your choosing.
Yes! We have students from around the world, and if you’re in a different time zone you can watch the class recordings at a time that works for you.
The programs cost $99 per week, or they are available at a discounted rate of $300 if you sign up for a four week module ahead of time. All course payments are refundable after the first week if you are not fully satisfied.