Teaching & Learning

Many students come to Eastside Academy because they have not found meaning, value, or success in a traditional school. They are not seeking a school that simply repackages traditional instruction with fewer students in the room. They are hoping for – and they deserve – a different approach to learning.  

Eastside Academy leverages the very unique opportunity for a student's learning to be supported by their counseling, and vice versa. These two pillars of school life work in tandem, aligning in real time to provide real world opportunities to develop stronger habits and skills.  

At Eastside Academy, we are designing a unique approach that reframes the reason for learning. We do not simply learn to memorize information, take a test, check a box, and move on to the next thing. We learn because it helps us know ourselves better, to discover our unique gifts and develop those gifts in pursuit of our true purpose. We learn because it helps us better understand the world around us and how we can solve today's problems. We learn because it helps us understand each other, building stronger and healthier relationships.   

With these priorities at the foundation of our learning and instruction, the classroom at Eastside Academy takes a different shape. Learning at EA aligns with state standards and expectations, but our approach asks students to take a more personal role in what they learn and how they demonstrate that learning. We try to provide flexibility so that students can take personal responsibility and include their own voice in the learning process. We want students to be active participants in their education.   

This approach to learning presents tremendous opportunities for growth in our students. It can also challenge them in new ways. Recognizing a need for support, our licensed therapists work with students to build the skills and resilience needed for success.  

Student Life & Culture


EA prioritizes restoring trust and nothing is more vital to building trust than to have strong relationships. For us, this means cultivating positive peer relationships through activities both in and out of the classroom. Collaboration and teamwork is a common characteristic of classroom learning. Shared activities like field trips and outdoor recreation – where teachers are often co-participants, rather than simply supervisors – help promote healthy adult-student interactions.  

Student Life at Eastside Academy is designed to support the growth and development of our students. Our culture and community promotes the following characteristics:  


Many students have not felt safe in their previous school. One of our primary goals is to help EA students feel safe physically, emotionally, and relationally. Intentional strategies are in place to ensure that EA is protected from harassment, dangerous substances, and dangerous technology. Teachers and staff at EA don't just interact in classrooms and offices – staff and students often eat lunch or socialize together throughout the school day. We want our students to feel safe not to protect or coddle them, but to create a culture where they feel confident to step out of their comfort zone in pursuing new opportunities, developing trusted relationships, and sharing their gifts.  


We seek to create a safe and relational environment so that students are confident stepping out of their comfort zone. We want EA students to be willing to take healthy and appropriate risks in order to discover and develop their gifts. We want them to become bold, courageous individuals who are comfortable confronting new challenges and complex problems. Because many EA students have often experienced hardship, we want to harness their resilience and direct it in a positive way.