Start Your Own ALC!

The Agile Learning Center approach is being received extremely well by educators, parents, caretakers, and social innovators seeking a powerful approach to education. An ALC can take many forms, from small homeschooling collectives, summer camps, or after-school programs to fully operational schools. Some families have found our guide helpful for their home-based learning, and some non-education focused organizations have found it useful for working with teams of adults. We love hearing about what folks have found helpful and what they’ve adapted for their unique situations!

To support our mission of making a world in which all young people are free to learn and grow in supportive communities, we decided in early on to put the ALC Starter Kit online for free. It got a light update and expansion in 2018, but 4000+ downloads later it’s desperately in need of an update that expands the perspectives, contexts, and possibilities that it offers. One of our 2021 goals is to prepare and publish our Starter Kit upgrade! Follow our social media or join the ALC Network as a member for process and release date updates!

Checkout our Network Home page for more information about ALCs.

Get the 2018 Starter Kit Free!

Give us your email to get an access link as well as notifications when newer versions and additional resources get released. We won’t use contact info entered here for any other purpose, unless you consent to us sending other information, and we won’t sell your contact info or otherwise share it outside the organization.

Not sure? Take a look inside the current version…

Table of Contents

Organization & Administration (Vol. I)

  1. Building a Founding Team
  2. Gathering Advisors, Partners, Supporters and Participants
  3. Running your Planning Meetings & Governance
  4. Becoming a Legal Entity
  5. Compliance with State Requirements
  6. Financial Planning
  7. Location, Location, Location!
  8. Enrolling Students
  9. Financial Management & Administration
  10. Employment: Hiring, Contracting & Firing People
  11. Volunteers

Communication & Promotion (Vol. I)

  1. Tips for Getting the Conversation Started
  2. ALC Educational Model – An Agile Tree
  3. School Name, Brand & Message
  4. Establishing Communications Infrastructure
  5. Infrastructure for Local Community
  6. Infrastructure for Online Community
  7. Marketing Campaigns & Outreach
  8. Upgrading your Communications / Messaging 2.0

Facilitation (Vol. II)

  1. What is Facilitation?
  2. The Theory
  3. The Agile Tree // ALC Model
  4. Deschooling
  5. Facilitation & Beyond
  6. The Practice
  7. An ALFs Hierarchy of Needs
  8. Intentional Culture Creation
  9. Meetings & Practices
  10. Useful Tools
  11. Final Thoughts & Further Reading

Samples From the Starter Kit

Building a Founding Team

(pg 1)

You should find and build your team of co-founders as quickly as possible. As long as you’re holding this alone, it’s subject to the limitations of any personal project. The Agile Learning Center really becomes a vibrant reality when is is a team of people holding the vision, doing the work together, and speaking to their friends, family and network about it.

Sample Organizational Chart

(pg 10)
Org Chart from the Starter Kit

501(c)3 Tax Exempt Status

(pg 12)

Schools as educational organizations generally qualify for 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS, which makes donations tax deductible for the donors and may qualify you for grants or other types of funding reserved for 501c3 organizations.
However, the application is complex (almost 30 pages) and can take months of back-and-forth correspondence to get approved. This is probably not a good use of time and energy since approval may be retroactively applied to 2 years of contributions.

Visual Brand Identity

(pg 37)

Having some visual/memorable way to present your name and/or logo is important for brand recognition. It’s more about an emotional connection to people who encounter your brand. An image, font, and layout creates a kind of emotional experience. That experience is what sticks and has them remember it upon multiple exposures to it…

Operational Framework

(pg 51)

Every school or educational program operates within a structure or framework. This is a summary of the ALC framework and exploration of the role of an Agile Learning Facilitator (ALF). You are encouraged to adapt and modify all of these structures, tools and practices to fit your community. These are the leaves on the Agile Tree which change with seasons or evolving needs…

Admissions Process

(pg 21)

It is important to have an admissions process that provides a clear path for people to follow and clear status for you to manage so that people who actually want to come to your school don’t get lost in a complex process. A sample process might look like: Prospect — You receive someone’s information either because they contacted you or were referred to you. Invite them to engage…

Sounds interesting, but I have a question or two.