Aspire – Missoula’s Self Directed Democratic High School (grades 7-12)

Registration is now open on the classes page. Aspire and eNDVR students register for the same classes, but Aspire students also attend on Fridays. Our new 3000 square foot building for the Aspire students is located less than a block from eNDVR, so students can walk between the buildings for classes. We are also a block away from the Southgate mall, making it easy for students to reach us on the city bus.

Our week at Aspire looks a little different from the traditional school week. Classes run from 9:30-4:00 daily. Two days of our week have an academic focus, two have a themed focus and one is completely up to the students. Students learn all week long, but they learn by doing, not by sitting in a classroom. Each student is asked to choose a minimum of 5 credit areas as their focus for the school year. They then choose courses in the academic and theme days that give them approximately 4 hours of weekly study for their chosen credits. Here’s a brief overview of our schedule.

Academic Days (Monday & Thursday): Our offerings include classes for all levels of students, including AP courses for advanced students.
Theme Days (Tuesday & Wednesday: Our four themes give students an immersive 8 week experience. Students can attend either or both days.

Survive: Our survive theme gets students out into the woods: biking, hiking and rock climbing. We also mix in some Native American history, Montana history, mindfulness and self awareness.

Express: We create movies, produce music and express ourselves through visual arts. Students in our zombie movie are required to attend both days, but will spend their “off” time working on additional projects according to their interests.

Innovate: It’s all about technology in this term. Students can work on the eNDVR Minecraft server, make a video game or build an online business. Our movie editing crew will be hard at work on editing and sound design.

Connect: This term is about connecting with nature and our local community. Students will spend time in the woods, do volunteer work in the community, market our zombie movie and learn from local organizations like Watershed Education Network.

Democratic Days (Fridays, Required): The students run the school! These days begin with a reflection of our week, using our online tracking software to document students’ weekly work and help them determine their own academic path. Then, students have a weekly meeting to discuss school issues, projects and upcoming events. The rest of the day is spent completing large group or small group projects determined and scheduled by the students.

Click here for pricing information

Apply to Aspire

This is our first year offering a “formal” high school program, but several of our students have been with us for 1-2 years. If you are a current eNDVR student, you do not need to apply to Aspire. Just sign up on the classes page! If you are a new student, we invite you to fill out this form and submit an “expression of interest”. Basically, we want to know that you want to be here (not just that your parents wanted to sign you up). You can express your interest by writing a brief paper (1-2 pages), filming a video, creating a work of art, or any other method you choose. We want to know WHY you want to be at Aspire and how this opportunity might affect your life. Submit your expression of interest (a photograph of artwork is ok) to info – at – learningwithmeaning.com.