“Most schools face the problem of oversight without context, so giving more power to the teachers - who are actually trying to make things work in the classroom - can be useful. Trust and support them to do their jobs.” - Indra Sofian


Listen on:
iTunes | Android | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | Email

Audio version:


Summary

Indra Sofian offered us an inside look at the founding and launch of a progressive, student-directed high school known as Sora Schools. He walked us through the launch process from inspiration through formulation and iteration and ended with a glance towards his dreams for the future.

As a co-founder at Elevate Media, an Atlanta-based content-driven digital agency that provides marketing strategy, consulting, and content production services for businesses, Indra might seem to be an unlikely candidate for starting a school, but that is quite possibly what makes him so compelling. He is unfettered by the constraints of traditional education models and seems intent on formulating a new way of educating young people.

Have a listen, and enjoy the energy and inspiration of someone determined to reinvent the wheel - as long as he ends up with a rocket.

In our discussion, we cover:

00:24 Andrew asks Indra how the Sora Schools journey began.

6:03 Indra talks about the inspiration for and first steps in founding Sora.

11:20 Andrew advises Indra to keep a record of the journey so that others can benefit from his process.

12:15 Indra discusses the onboarding process for new students.

14:20 Andrew asks - what were the hardest challenges you have already overcome in the launch?

16:26 Indra discusses the need to stay focused on the student experience in spite of the administrative challenges of having students all over the country.

19:55 Andrew wonders about how the homeschooling trend will continue to evolve over time, and how Sora interfaces with the homeschooling community.

24:52 Indra offers advice for traditional schools on how to improve the educational environment.

30:23 Indra talks about other innovations that might be coming in the future.

36:34 Andrew asks - How can we collaborate with and support what you are doing?

Quotes:

13:00 “At every step of the way, we want student input because we really, really believe in giving the students agency.”

22:40 “Once a child gets to high school age, it becomes a bit more difficult for a parent to homeschool - regardless of the education level of the parent.”

26:30 “Most schools face the problem of oversight without context, so giving more power to the teachers - who are actually trying to make things work in the classroom - can be useful. Trust and support them to do their jobs.”

32:15 “I hope that the students who graduate from our program are entrepreneurial, thoughtful, independent, self-directed people.”

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

John Danner https://twitter.com/jwdanner

Keith Rabois https://twitter.com/rabois

Homeschooling https://twitter.com/rabois/status/1068167341949603841

Outschool https://outschool.com/

Workspace Education https://workspaceeducation.org/about/team/

One Stone https://onestone.org/

Where to learn more about the guest:

Personal website - indrasofian.com

Twitter - @indysofian
@soraschools

Indra on Linkedin - linkedin.com/in/indrasofian

Indra’s newsletter - medium.com/@indrasofian/

Sora Schools - https://soraschools.com/

For Sora Schools updates, news, and events, scroll to the bottom of their page and subscribe to the school’s newsletter.

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Website: www.enrollhand.com

Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/