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What is ALA?



The Advanced Learning Academy (ALA) was founded in 2016 with a mission to lift the ceiling on learning for all members of the educational community. Since its opening, ALA has committed to providing 21st-century opportunities within a caring and open community that fosters deep thinking, problem-solving, creative design, and real-world application of learning. Students develop deep content knowledge and cutting-edge learning skills to prepare them for any and all futures they can envision.

The curriculum at ALA relies heavily on Project-Based Learning, which is an approach to education that emphasizes learning through creating. Projects aren’t just replacements for tests, they’re real-world creations that start their development at the very beginning of a new unit of content.  

ALA is built around four commitments in service of its bold vision for a transformative educational model:

  • Deep Learning: Authenticity, Integration, Tenacity
  • Individuality: Self-advocacy, Voice, Curiosity
  • Flexible Design: Individual needs & learning styles, Student-centered grouping, Multi-age experiences, Collaboration
  • Connection: Personal and social awareness, Empathy with meaningful action, Community partnerships



ALA is a member of the CAST network of schools, a group whose mission is to reinvent schooling in order to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life.


Fast Facts:

  • ALA is open to all students city wide in Pre-K to 12th grade. Application details are here! 
  • As a professional development school for Trinity University, education faculty at the college help facilitate curriculum design and emerging teachers work full-time alongside ALA Master Teachers in earning graduate degrees. 
  • ALA uses the RULER approach to teaching social and emotional learning that was created by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Restorative Practices to guide students in understanding the effects of their words and actions.
  • ALA employs design thinking as the core of its educational philosophy, which uses empathy to understand the needs of real people, understands that problems seldom have one perfect solution, and employs prototyping, multiple drafts, and revision to arrive at creative products that have a real impact on the world. 
  • ALA offers college prep opportunities like AP and dual-credit courses through partnerships with San Antonio College and UT Austin, and extracurricular programs like journalism, gardening, art, theatre, and so much more.
  • ALA shares some extracurricular programming with the Fox Tech High School campus including athletics, Band, Mariachi, and Dance


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