Our Model

We are committed to accessible, authentic, academically rigorous learning experiences that thoroughly prepare Sonoma County high school students for college, career and beyond.

MGAL’s 4 Signature Learning Experiences

1. Project-Based Learning

MGAL’s model and project-based learning pedagogy are based on the successes of High Tech High in San Diego, and New Tech School in Napa. Project-based learning is an opportunity to collaborate, think strategically, and learn faster from our mistakes. It’s proven to help students retain more information long-term, improves test-taking and problem-solving skills, and makes learning more enjoyable.

2. Internships

Internships are one of the most valuable tools to help students prepare for life after graduation. It offers real-world experience, a chance to learn the ropes and gain a feel for new career avenues and allows students to break out of their comfort zone and meet new people and mentors who will help them grow.

3. Externships

Externships are experiential learning opportunities that allow students to shadow experts and professionals in their field. These short-term opportunities enable students to break out of the classroom to dip their toes in many potential career paths that they’re interested in while networking and exploring new skills.

4. Domestic and International Travel

Travel is an opportunity for students to experience other cultures, communities, history, and more. Domestic and international travel are both linked to higher academic performance and compels critical thinking and leadership skills by breaking students out of their comfort zones, and propelling them to participate in new, real-world situations.

Why Global?

MGAL is global in scope but local in focus. Global issues are something we can’t ignore—cultivating responsible citizens means opening awareness and becoming problem solvers instead of blind-eye-turners both in our communities and the world at large.

Our Curriculum & Pedagogy

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MGAL practices a project-based learning educational philosophy, specifically focusing on
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). Our students work together and
collaborate to solve real-world problems, which has a demonstrated positive effect on students’
“higher-level thinking skills and interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.” MGAL strives to prepare
students to succeed in a four-year college after graduation not only through an emphasis on
STEAM but also through Career Technical Education (CTE).

Our Core Values

Our Design Principles

Magnolia Global Academy is guided by four connected Design Principles that set aspirational goals and create a foundation for understanding our approach:

  1. Experiential Learning: At MGAL, learning happens through doing. Through our four signature experiential  learning programs: project-based learning, internships, externships, and domestic and international education, our students are connected to the world beyond the classroom.
  2. Community Partnership: MGAL was built for Sonoma County students by Sonoma County natives. Students connect their studies to our community through fieldwork, community service, internships, and externships. We honor the past, present, and future of Sonoma County through place-based projects.
  3. Global Citizenship: MGAL students explore the world through a domestic and international travel experience, exchange student classmates from around the world, and a globally minded curriculum that explores our interconnected society.
  4. Commitment to Equity: MGAL honors the identities of our students. We uplift the lived experiences of our students through an inclusive, twenty-first-century curriculum and projects.

A Modern Education for the Modern World

Through interdisciplinary, globally focused project-based learning courses, MGAL students learn about our increasingly interconnected world. MGAL offers a 21st-century education to students through a two-pronged approach of international connection and experience. With our globally relevant curriculum and use of technology, we connect our students to schools and scholars throughout the world so that they can tackle projects together.

Our Commitment to Equity

MGAL is dedicated to creating an equitable learning environment and honoring the lived experiences of all our students. We strive to be a racially, socioeconomically, and geographically diverse school that serves students from all over Sonoma County. We embed equity, diversity, and restorative justice while creating our school programs, policies, and curriculum. Our curriculum further has a distinct focus on anti-racism and anti-sexism. In lieu of offering one-off “Ethnic Studies” or “Women’s Studies” or “Queer History” courses, the histories of marginalized groups are immersed into all our programming and curriculum. MGAL ensures that our students with marginalized identities, notably our students of color, see themselves and their lived experiences reflected through a culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy. We understand that culturally relevant learning benefits students holistically. A study from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2016 found that students who participated in culturally relevant ethnic studies courses “made gains in their grades and attendance and increased the number of course credits they earned to graduate” when compared to students who did not participate in ethnic studies courses. Further, curriculums that “recognize the importance of including students’ cultural references in all learning aspects” benefits students “at risk of dropping out.” These implications and more are why we actively prioritize equity in all aspects at MGAL.