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What Are Flying Trees?

There's a saying that there are two lasting bequests parents can give their children: roots and wings. Roots to ensure that they always know where they came from, and wings to enable them to fly off and practice what they've been taught when they're ready. (Author unknown but appreciated.)

Flying Trees Academy offers an innovative academic approach to supporting students in their educational, personal, and socioemotional journeys by helping young people develop strong roots and wings. We support students in learning how to learn, as opposed to sitting them in a desk and expecting everyone to learn at the same pace. We do all of this in ways that are consistent with historical and cutting edge research on child development and educational psychology. We love watching our students learn to soar! 

What grade levels do you serve?

At this time, Flying Trees Academy's multi-age classroom is a great fit for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. All applicants will go through a screening process intended to help determine readiness and to provide assistance in preparing children for our unique and innovative program. Our current students learn at a fast pace, so we've found that our classroom works best for academically advanced or gifted students. More information about admissions can be found on the Apply Now page.

Aren't all schools - and all educational models - based on the science of child development?

Absolutely not! The educational system used in public schools throughout the United States is similar to an industrial model, and most public school curricula are not based in developmental science. Even more progressive educational programs are often based on old science. For example, Maria Montessori was way ahead of her time in developing a child-directed academic approach, but her approach is more than 100 years old and most Montessori schools use her original work rather than keeping pace with advances in developmental science. Flying Trees Academy's unique, innovative, "fusion" approach cannot be found anywhere else! 

What does Flying Trees Academy offer that local public and private schools don't offer?

At Flying Trees Academy our primary goal is to help children grow to their fullest potential. We firmly believe - based on the science of child development - that when children's personal, social, emotional, and psychological needs are met, their brains are best equipped to learn. Developmental science tells us that children don't really need to be taught at. Think about it... did you need to teach your toddler to ask "Why?" Nope. And older kids, especially academically gifted kids, are just as naturally equipped to want to learn about the world around them. They simply need to be supported in a prepared environment that allows their natural curiosity and talents to flourish. Flying Trees provides an adaptive environment in which each child's needs are met, where they can learn at their own pace, where they will never be made to feel bad about themselves or their abilities, and where parents are supported as partners in their children's learning process. You can't find this transformational approach in any other school!

What curriculum do you use?

Flying Trees Academy places a very strong emphasis on math and reading achievement, and offers a well-rounded approach to all subjects, but we do not use a pre-packaged curriculum. We offer a constructivist learning environment where children play a key role in creating their own learning experience. We accomplish this by preparing the environment with developmentally appropriate learning materials and facilitating children's use of those materials. Children receive mentorship and scaffolding that helps them achieve Ohio's Learning Standards (see for details on the learning standards). Flying Trees Academy's approach is both universal and individualized in a way that emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and passion for learning rather than memorization or rote learning tasks. We ensure that our students are learning to their fullest potential by conducting ongoing formal and informal assessments in the classroom as well as individualized standardized testing each spring.

What are your values?

Thanks for asking! Here at Flying Trees Academy, kindness to self and others matters. We respect all people and celebrate the differences that make each of us unique. We teach students about these differences because we want them to understand how to promote social justice by advocating for themselves and others throughout their lifespan. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion of all people. We believe in science. We want children to learn to think critically rather than just memorizing facts or accepting someone's answer at face value. We emphasize the importance of self regulation and social competence. We value individual differences and do not compare students to each other based on their test scores or accomplishments. We respect each human being as a valuable individual, meet them where they're at, and help scaffold them to their highest potential through personalized mentoring.

What benefits can I expect to see if I send my child to Flying Trees Academy?

Isn't this really what we all want to know? Our flying trees are well adjusted human beings, the best versions of themselves, able to achieve their full potential, good leaders, good thinkers, learners who know how to learn and enjoy the process, and human beings who are well prepared for future academic, career, and personal success.

Do you serve children with special needs?

Although we would love to support children with special needs, we do not have the resources to do so at this time. We hope to add this capacity in the future. In the meantime, there are some really great schools in our community that are already doing this. For example, parents of children with special needs may want to look into the Rich Center for Autism at YSU or the ACLD School & Learning Center in Youngstown.

Are you a religious program?

Even though we're housed in a church, Flying Trees Academy is a religious neutral program. Although we are not a faith-based program, we respect and celebrate all religions and we have frequent, open discussions with our students about religion, values, culture, and respect for their own and others' beliefs and practices. We are grateful to be housed in the lovely Poland Presbyterian Church, which means that children in our program sometimes get to learn about the Presbyterian religion from a perspective of kindness and acceptance, but religious values are not placed upon them.

Do you accept EdChoice scholarships?

Not yet... but we will soon! Flying Trees Academy is pursuing a charter from the Ohio Department of Education. Once the charter is approved, all enrolled families who reside in Ohio will be eligible for an EdChoice scholarship. We have some other scholarship opportunities available in the meantime. Contact us for more information.

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