Shoutout of the Week: #30, Sarah Angrisani on The Advantages of Having a Hybrid Model of Learning

In a world where global events have upended traditional educational models, innovative approaches are not just a curiosity but a necessity. Sarah Angrisani, the trailblazing founder of a hybrid school on Florida’s famed space coast, has emerged as a beacon of innovation in this new educational landscape. Her story, achievements, and challenges were recently spotlighted in the “School Success Podcast,” hosted by Mitchell Slater, offering the audience an in-depth look at the future of education.

Sarah’s journey began in 2014, driven by a mother’s concern and a teacher’s insight. While exploring schooling options for her son, she reminisced about her time teaching at a hybrid school in Orlando and recognized a similar need in her local community. The hybrid model, blending traditional classroom experiences with home-based learning, offered a compelling solution. Determined to fill this gap, Sarah embarked on a journey that led to the birth of Coastal Community School. Her venture started small, with only 15 students, but word spread and enrollment swelled to 125 students in recent years.

This growth, however, hasn’t been without challenges. Post-COVID, the school anticipates its student body to burgeon from 120 to a possible 160. With this surge comes the need for more space and resources and the challenge of managing a diverse student body with varying educational backgrounds. Moreover, hiring teachers who fit the unique demands of the hybrid model is a continual hurdle. Despite these challenges, the school maintains its commitment to quality education and community building, evidenced by gestures like organized staff lunches and tuition discounts for teachers’ children.

What truly sets Coastal Community School apart is its commitment to three foundational pillars: faith, family, and academics. Amidst the national shift in educational preferences, with more parents seeking alternative, mainly private, education options, the school stands as a testament to the power of community involvement. Unlike traditional models that often sideline parents, Sarah’s approach welcomes them into the educational process, offering flexibility and support in their children’s education.

The concept of effective communication is central to Sarah’s philosophy, highlighted in her emphasis on keeping students at the forefront of all educational endeavors. She advocates for meaningful training for her staff, ensuring that professional development is purposeful and enriching. Furthermore, she acknowledges the importance of personal development for educators, encouraging self-reflection and growth. This philosophy extends to staff placement, challenging her team to embrace new roles that align with their passions and the concept of gradual responsibilities that mirror the developmental journey of the students themselves.

Under Sarah’s leadership, Coastal Community School isn’t just a place where academic knowledge is imparted. It’s a vibrant learning community that values lifelong learning, where every individual—student, teacher, or parent—feels valued, appreciated, and understood. The school’s mission transcends traditional academic goals, aiming to nurture responsible, well-rounded citizens for the 21st century.

Sarah Angrisani’s story is a clear call to educators, parents, and policymakers. It reminds us that within every challenge lies an opportunity to innovate and that at the heart of education, there should always be a community, compassion, and a steadfast commitment to nurturing the potential in every child.

 

Click here to listen to the full podcast episode.