What Is The MUSE Virtual School Blueprint?

MUSE Virtual School BluePrint - Private Virtual School

For most of us, a report card is a teacher’s written evaluation of a student’s academic performance over a period, usually a quarter. The standard report card is pretty black and white: a percent score that translates to a letter grade. You’ve likely experienced this assessment firsthand, as report cards are a longstanding tradition here in the United States, and there isn’t much room for interpretation.

At MUSE Virtual, we believe our student’s education is far more than the sum of its parts. Instead, it’s a personal journey of growth and discovery, making it impossible for five letters, and the occasional teachers’ comment, to capture the nuances needed to properly tell this complex narrative – which is why we created the award-winning MUSE Blueprint.

Why The Blueprint?

We designed this innovative approach to student assessment to address every aspect of a student’s learning experience, including their abilities to live and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. Instead of relying on percentages and letter grades, we use a compelling narrative to walk parents through their child’s educational journey. It’s an 18-page, in-depth guide that doesn’t just tell parents how their child is doing in class – it shows them what motivates, inspires, and drives their child’s success.

Until the late 1800s, teachers used detailed written reports that gave a more accurate depiction of a student’s academic progress. That changed at the turn of the 20th century when schools adopted a more standardized approach in response to newly passed compulsory-attendance laws. Since then, educators have voiced concern that students are more focused on grades than learning. Unlike traditional report cards, the Blueprint doesn’t incentivize students to hyper-focus on grades. Instead, it highlights the student’s voice, including goal setting and self-reflection, and provides a clear action plan to help them meet their goals and explore their passions.

How It Works

The MUSE Blueprint uses a scale that takes five stages of a student’s development into consideration: skill-building, emerging, developing, proficient, and mastery. As a part of this process, we also assess their oral and written work, passion-based projects, independent work, and group work. Then, each semester, we host a culmination event where students present their passion projects to family and friends. While doing so, they demonstrate their ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, and use many of the other skills important in our Blueprint assessment. See an excerpt of a typical MUSE Blueprint here.

The Blueprint, which MUSE Virtual distributes to parents twice a year, includes narratives from teachers (core and specialists), the student’s goals and achievements, and their grade’s academic standards. It incorporates both qualitative and quantitative assessments related to the student’s learning within the MUSE Five Pillars. If a student is facing challenges in a particular area (academic, social-emotional, behavior), teachers or parents may request a virtual conference.

Commitment To Academic Excellence

Our commitment to academic excellence is apparent through the MUSE Virtual approach to our students’ overall learning and development. We aren’t here to grade our students and send them off to college, but we want to help them understand their learning style and discover their passions, and then relate those back to the academic material to keep their excitement for learning alive long after they move on from MUSE. This is why we infuse Passion-Based Learning with our Core Academics to create learning opportunities that are meaningful and unique. Students connect their passions with academics while teachers ensure that grade-level milestones are woven into classroom studies and projects as well as individual passion projects. This structure of our academic programs makes the MUSE Blueprint process even more important, since it lets the teachers evaluate student performance and growth on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Parents sometimes ask if our evaluation method will impact students’ ability to apply to college. Although many schools and universities are now accepting new forms of student assessments, the Blueprint can be translated into traditional letter grades when needed for a cumulative GPA.

The proof that MUSE Blueprints really work is apparent in our success stories. MUSE Virtual School has alumni in many top colleges and universities across the country, including NYU, USC, Chapman University, and more, many of whom received substantial scholarships to attend.

We started this piece by defining the term report card, so it’s only fair that we end with the definition of a blueprint. A blueprint is a detailed guide for completing a complex task – or a plan for building something. At MUSE Virtual, our Blueprint meets both parts of this definition. It’s a detailed guide that gives students what they need to find success – and it’s a plan that helps students develop into educated, successful, and caring adults.

It’s a biography of our student’s educational journey… and we’re honored and proud to help them write it.

Final Thoughts

Interested in enrolling your student in MUSE Virtual? We offer rolling year-round admission into our K-12 virtual school programs. We’d love to speak with you – reach out today, or learn more about our academic programs here

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