An accredited program that ignites your child's passion for learning

4-8th graders at Prisma explore an exciting, hands-on curriculum with 1:1 support from a mentor coach, alongside a close-knit peer cohort

Middle school at a glance

  • Eligibility: 4-8th graders (approx. age 9-14)
  • Format: Full-time, flexible virtual school; mix of collaborative live workshops and personalized independent work
  • Philosophy: Learner centric, personalized, researched-backed, community driven, and relevant to the real world
  • Academics: Project-based, accredited curriculum in math, literacy, science, social studies, technology, arts, and more
  • Geography: Open to learners who can operate in time zones UTC-10 to UTC+2 or UTC+7 to UTC+12
  • Teacher: Tight-knit peer cohorts led by expert educators—Learning coaches who mentor, support and guide
  • Tuition: $9,750 full program with Prisma mentor coach (Scholarships available); $4,800 Parent-coach program
  • Socialization: Learner-led Clubs, coach-led Enrichments, social Lounges, and virtual and in-person family meetups
  • Calendar: Six 6-week learning cycles—organized by themes—plus a mini orientation cycle
  • Parents: Vibrant parent community; parent involvement matches learner needs; optional parent-coach program

A curriculum that prepares kids for a rapidly changing world

Learning at Prisma is organized into interdisciplinary themes. Our world-class curriculum team has designed a set of themes that cover all academic subjects—differentiated to match each learner's interests and needs—while growing the skills researchers identify as essential to future success. Each theme contains: 

  • Projects
    Learners use project-based learning to demonstrate mastery of each theme's key skills. Kids tackle a project of their choosing, from pitching an invention to building a history exhibit to writing a sci-fi story.
  • Workshops
    Coaches lead daily live workshops related to the theme. Learners give and get feedback on projects, collaborate, debate, and dive into fun simulations, like Shark Tank investing or re-homing an endangered species.
  • Badges
    Coaches give individualized feedback on each learner's progress and growth. Each project contains multiple opportunities for kids to earn Badges—from Data Analysis to Persuasive Writing—for mastering grade-level competencies and real-world skills.

At the end of each 6-week theme, kids celebrate their creations together as a cohort on Expo Day, where they present their projects to their peers and families. Beyond developing key skills, our themes ignite kids' enthusiasm about learning. 96% of our learners agree that Prisma themes are 'hard fun.'

Our promise to Prisma learners

Facilitated by dynamic, expert learning coaches

Instead of having multiple teachers who each have hundreds of students, Prisma middle schoolers are matched with a tight-knit cohort intentionally-matched peers and one mentor coach who they can stay with for multiple years. Coaches meet 1:1 with each learner in their cohort, provide personalized academic feedback, and facilitate engaging live workshops. 100% of Prisma parents are happy with their child's mentor coach. (Of the 200-500 applications we receive for each coach we hire, we handpick the most kind, supportive, and brilliant educators who are exceptionally talented at building beneficial, motivating relationships with kids.)

A real-world approach to teaching key academic skills

Developing a lifelong love of reading
In addition to fiction and nonfiction texts that are incorporated into projects, each learner reads a book of their choice and reflects in a literacy-focused journal each cycle. We provide a list of challenging options that connect to the theme (for example, mystery novels during Unsolved Mysteries and nonfiction biology books during Wild Inventions) and also encourage learners to deviate from our suggestions if they find something else that excites them!
Writing with a purpose
Many kids dislike writing because writing in school doesn't have an engaging purpose. By incorporating writing missions into each of our themes, kids see how writing is used in the real world. Past writing missions have included investigative journalism articles, business pitches, video game reviews, and advocacy letters to local governments. Through missions and our Literacy Lab workshop, learners are equipped with the writing skills they'll need for high school, including learning how to research and cite sources to produce strong arguments.
Math at your own pace
Learners complete daily practice using adaptive, mastery-based math technology that adjusts to their level and has been proven in research to accelerate growth. They also attend small group workshops where our expert math coaches provide instruction and facilitate fun games and collaborative challenges. Along the way, learners tackle Prisma math missions to apply the concepts they've learned to a real-world, hands-on math problem.

A fun, uplifting community where kids become close friends

When considering online learning, the most common concern we hear from parents is that their child will have limited social interactions. We believe how connected kids feel to their peers and mentors impacts how they feel about learning, so we laser focus on building a safe, dynamic community where every learner feels seen and loved. Whether bonding through learner-led Clubs (Art Club, Chess Club, Prisma News), coach-led Enrichments (Songwriting, Cooking, STEM Extravaganza), or simply hanging out together in virtual gaming or social Lounges, we put tremendous emphasis on ensuring that every learner makes at least one close friend and finds an ongoing social experience they enjoy.

A day in the life at Prisma

Every child and family is different and has unique routines, schedules and priorities. Our schedule allows ample opportunities for learners to interact with and socialize with their peers, while maintaining flexibility.

Some workshops (like Standup) happen every day, and others once per week. What's listed here is a sample of what a day might look like.

Exact times vary by time zone and cohort placement.

  • Standup
  • Daily cohort bonding, goal-setting, and a meaningful day-starting activity like learning to organize your workspace, taking a group picture for the Yearbook, or writing thank you notes to an expert guest visitor from last week
  • Support Squads
  • Time to check in with your learning coach, work with peers on a group project, or sign off to begin independent work!
  • Independent Work
  • Most Prisma learners spend 1-3 hours per day independently working on their projects (including writing missions), reading their choice book, and completing math practice or missions.
  • Workshop
  • Depending on the day of the week, kids either have Project Workshop (support, feedback, and group activities related to the project); Literacy Lab (reading & writing activities at their level); or Co-Lab (challenge-based workshops that build teamwork & discussion skills).
  • Math Lab, Enrichments, or Flex Time
  • Kids attend a small group Math workshop at times & frequencies determined by math level. They can also join Enrichments or Electives like Foreign Language, Cooking, or Art.
  • Fridays
  • Fridays are flexible days to connect with other kids through Clubs; attend expert guest speakers; participate in special events like our annual Talent Show and Escape Room; or spend time exploring academic, social or personal passions.
  • Coach:Learner 1-on-1s
  • Learners meet biweekly with their mentor coach to set personalized goals, talk through their progress and growth, and to catch up and feel connected!
  • Kickoff & Community week
  • Aug 22 - 26, 2022
  • Fall
  • Aug 28 - Dec 15, 2023
  • Winter
  • Jan 3 Mar 22, 2024
  • Spring
  • Apr 2 Jun 7, 2024

A year at Prisma

Americas & Europe

From late August through early June, Prisma learners experience three Sessions (Fall, Winter and Spring), with breaks in between. Each session is divided into two 6-week cycles centered around a real-world theme. The first and last cycles of each year are slightly shorter. In the first cycle of the year, learners build a foundation of self-directed learning skills to set them up for success. The last cycle of the year is our annual Change Makers theme, focused on Service Learning.

East Asia & Oceania

Newly launched in January 2024! The Australasia Prisma year runs from January 29th - November 28th. Learners also experience three Sessions, each divided into two cycles. Holidays and breaks are aligned with the Australian holiday calendar.
Learn more

Technology embedded from the ground up to make learning better

We’re strong believers in the power of technology to create a more customized, adaptable and seamless educational experience and in the importance of kids understanding and being comfortable with technology. Many parents tell us that after a few months at Prisma their child can navigate, research and troubleshoot online better than they can! We use technology in two ways: we have our own suite of Prisma tools, which will grow over time, and we integrate best-in-class third-party solutions—be they adaptive learning apps, online simulations or time-management tools.

Our Prisma Story

"Prior to enrolling our son, Major at Prisma, we struggled with his behavior at public school. He was getting into fights, was called a "distraction" because he learned at a different pace, and he was struggling with the one-size curriculum.  His spirit was broken, because he felt like a failure. He said “Mom, please don’t make me go back to that school.”

Since starting Prisma, Major has matured in his course work and at home. We don’t fight about chores or getting his work done, he is highly motivated to engage with his coach and peers, and he feels understood and supported. Hearing him laugh with his peers as I work in my office makes me smile. His engagement and motivation since joining Prisma is at levels we have NEVER seen when he attended public school. He never wanted to join any extracurricular activities, now he is in the cooking enrichment and taking Japanese!

Prisma has reignited the spark and joy in Major and has brought back the amazing human we knew was there all along."

-Latasha Harris, Prisma Parent
See full story

Prisma offers the best and most innovative private virtual online homeschool accredited program for kids in grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, and high school with full curriculum and live classes. We especially serve students with IEPs, autism, ADHD and gifted students.

Major's rekindling of joy

"Prior to enrolling our son, Major, at Prisma, he was called a "distraction" because he learned at a different pace, and he was struggling with the one-size curriculum.

Since starting Prisma, Major has matured in his course work and at home. His engagement and motivation since joining Prisma is at levels we have NEVER seen when he attended public school. He never wanted to join any extracurricular activities, now he is in the cooking enrichment and taking Japanese!

Prisma has reignited the spark and joy in Major and has brought back the amazing human we knew was there all along."

-Latasha Harris, Prisma Parent
See full story

Prisma offers the best and most innovative private virtual online homeschool accredited program for kids in grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, and high school with full curriculum and live classes. We especially serve students with IEPs, autism, ADHD and gifted students.

Parents at Prisma

Parents at Prisma get the best of both worlds: the joy of being involved with their child’s learning without having to tackle teaching and curriculum design by themselves.

You'll get to be involved by seeing your child present at Expo Day, receiving feedback from their coach in biweekly progress updates and Parent-Coach-Learner conferences every 12 weeks, participating in our vibrant parent community, and by providing us with feedback. Our leadership team loves connecting with parents!

Families gather at virtual events, from Theme Previews to Family Game Nights. Many Prisma families choose to organize in-person regional meetups, parties, and even trips. We love helping families connect with one another!

Some experienced homeschool families opt for our Parent-coach program, which included everything our full program offers, except that the parent serves as their child's mentor coach.  

Frequently asked questions

How flexible is Prisma with regard to scheduling?
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Aside from our live workshops (which take up 90 minutes on Monday-Thursday), families are free to schedule their days however they wish. Flexibility is one of the great benefits of our program. If families wish to travel during the typical school year, that's no problem. We have many kids who tune into Prisma while traveling with their family (or simply take some time off during the school year). If families wish to fit in extracurriculars during the day or get-togethers with friends, that's also no problem. Having said this, we do provide a suggested schedule for those families that want a clear structure for their child's day and many of our learners do follow this.

What does a typical day look like?
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There are as many different schedules as there are kids at Prisma! Learners live in different time zones, have a wide range of interests, and engage in varying outside commitments. Prisma allows for substantial flexibility while also prioritizing collaboration and community. You'll get to build your child's schedule collaboratively with your learner's mentor coach when you enroll.

If you are wondering whether Prisma could work with your family's schedule, the answer is likely YES! But if you want to have a sense of how you could build your learner's day, read on.

Sample Schedule: 

  • Standup (30 min): Daily cohort bonding, announcements, and a meaningful day-starting activity like learning to organize your workspace, taking a group picture for the Yearbook, or writing thank you notes to an expert guest visitor from last week
  • Optional Support Squads (30 min): Time to check in with your learning coach, work with peers on a group project, or sign off to begin independent work!
  • Independent Work Time: Learners have gaps in their days to complete independent tasks in math, reading, writing, and their theme projects. Tasks are managed through a custom Prisma start page, task lists, and chat platform with learning coaches. This time is flexible, and learners are encouraged to build the schedule that works for them and allows them to get outside, participate in extracurricular activities, and pursue their passions!
  • Workshop (60 min): Depending on the day of the week, this might be Project Workshop, Literacy Lab, or Collaborative Problem Solving. Coaches facilitate engaging, interactive workshops that connect to the current curriculum theme and build academic & real-world skills.
  • Math Lab (3x/weekly at time of day based on math grouping and preferences, 45 min): Math schedules & workshop lengths differ by your learner's math level. Our math workshops are fun—yes, really!—and ask kids to solve interesting, real-world problems in groups, while also making sure they understand the math missions they are working through independently.
  • Independent Work Time, Coach-Led Enrichments, or Free Time (Depending on how learners choose to organize their time, and if they choose to sign up for coach-led Enrichments such as Songwriting or Cooking or Foreign Language Classes, they may choose to add more afternoon workshops)

Chat with us 1-on-1 to look at how your child's current weekly schedule could line up with a well-matched Prisma cohort.

How does Prisma support learners with special needs?
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We have learners with a wide range of special needs thriving at Prisma, though we certainly don't claim to be the right fit for all learners with special needs. Our curriculum allows learners to go at their own pace, make choices about how to demonstrate their learning, and connect learning to their interests. Some learners with special needs need fewer supports at Prisma than in a traditional environment due to this flexibility.

Our learning coaches are experienced educators trained in supporting learners of all abilities. They will work with your family to understand what kinds of accommodations have worked and not worked for your learner in the past, any challenges they may face interacting with our curriculum, and what lights them up as a learner. They will collaborate with you to customize the Prisma experience to best suit your learner's needs. We also have a counselor available to work with learners who may need additional support.

Many families of learners with special needs report the Prisma peer community to be the most accepting of any learning environment they've tried. Prisma parents of learners with special needs also connect with each other to share resources, connect, or attend Prisma guest speaker events in topics like executive functioning.

What countries does Prisma operate in?
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A key part of Prisma’s mission is to create a global network of young people who learn and grow together in mutually enriching community. As such, we are expanding the time zones in which we operate as quickly as possible. For now, Prisma learners need to be fluent in English, and our program is available in all geographies aside from UTC+4 to UTC+8 (i.e. We are not yet able to offer our program in countries with time zones like India, Russia or China). 

Want Prisma in your time zone? Join our waitlist by filling out this form.

How much screen time is required?
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We believe that there are very valuable ways for kids to use screens (e.g. for research, learning about topics of interest and collaborating with kids from other places) and less valuable ways for kids to use screens. We (and a body of academic research) disagree with the idea that screen time is inherently bad.

Prisma learners use screens to participate in engaging live workshops with their cohort (an average of 1.5 hours per day), and they use screens for some aspects of their projects (e.g. to write responses and read materials, an average of 2 hours per day). We do believe there is great value to off-screen, hands-on learning, and we thus include as many off-screen options into our curriculum as possible. For example, this year's themes included projects where learners could visit a historical landmark in their area, conduct a hands-on science experiment, and choreograph & film a dance performance.

How will my child know what to do each day?
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At the beginning of each theme, families & learners are given a detailed guide to all of the academic work for the cycle. Tasks are managed through a custom Prisma start page, task lists, and chat platform with learning coaches. When your learner signs on for the day, they will see their upcoming due dates and be able to access all of their work from their start page. When your child finishes a task, they check it off their task list and submit it to their mentor coach for feedback. Support and reminders for upcoming tasks are given during live workshops, and coaches also send parents regular updates on their learner's progress.

It is our goal that all Prisma learners develop the Initiative & Follow Through to manage this process independently. However, especially when new to Prisma, some learners need more parent support in getting started on tasks each day and planning work time to comfortably meet deadlines. Our mentor coaches are experts in gradually building task management skills and will partner with you in this process! 

Is Prisma an accredited school?
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Prisma is accredited by Cognia, a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts, and education service providers around the world.

Cognia, formerly AdvancED, recognizes schools that meet rigorous standards focused on productive learning environments, equitable resource allocation that meets the needs of learners, and effective leadership. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that Prisma is accredited, and that Prisma is recognized internationally and in every U.S. state as a school that meets Cognia Standards of Quality, and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement. 

Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, stated, “Cognia Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school and its community on the primary goal of preparing lifelong learners in engaging environments where all students can flourish.  Prisma is to be commended for demonstrating that it has met high standards, and is making progress on key indicators that impact student learning.” 

Cognia is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).

Does Prisma prepare kids for success at traditional high schools and colleges?
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Kids who attend Prisma will be prepared with all the prerequisite skills to be successful in any rigorous academic program. They will also graduate with a unique portfolio of projects in all subjects, service learning experiences, and authentic writing assignments. Portfolios & projects are becoming increasingly recognized as essential in developing a standout college application.

Learners who have graduated from Prisma Middle School have been accepted to competitive private high schools and accelerated programs such as Cooke Young Scholars. In the words of one parent whose child was accepted to a competitive program after Prisma: "I firmly believe that her time at Prisma made that possible. The application questions were big open-ended things that she knew just how to digest, research, and respond to, and that gave her a real leg up. Plus all the cool hands-on, photo-worthy projects she had completed made her application stand out from the crowd!"

Prisma High School will graduate its first class of learners in Spring 2025. All high schoolers graduate with an official diploma and transcript that meets entrance requirements at major universities. Our innovative LaunchPad program prepares learners for the next stage of their lives through a rigorous college & career exploration process, preparation for tests like the SAT & ACT, and individualized college application support. Mentor coaches provide personalized letters of recommendation and advice. We also support learners in designing a Capstone project, completing an outside internship, and writing a dynamite college essay.

What social & extracurricular opportunities are there?
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When we surveyed new learners this year, 86% said that they had made friends at Prisma after just 6 weeks. Our program provides considerable opportunities for kids to form friendships, from our standups where kids meet daily with their coach to share their thoughts and have fun, to team challenges, small-group exercises and group projects.

We also have many popular learner-led Clubs and coach-led Enrichments, from Prisma Press to Dungeons & Dragons to Art to Cooking, as well as a highly engaged online learner forum. We also try to incorporate lots of one-off celebrations & extra events, from the annual Talent Show to the Prisma 100th Day Party to monthly Family Game Nights.

Many Prisma families also choose to organize in-person regional meetups, mini microschool-style learning hubs, and even trips. We love this and are happy to support and help publicize!

Does Prisma provide a transcript?
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Yes! Prisma middle schoolers get an updated transcript every twelve weeks when they meet for conferences with their parents and coach. Their transcript contains all the academic badges they've earned, which are understandable by other schools as a list of skills & topics they've covered and their mastery of each. It also contains coach narrative assessments for each cycle, which are an amazing way to look back on your learner's progress and development as an individual.

Prisma high schoolers get a more traditional-looking transcript palatable to college admissions officers with their GPA, grades for each theme, and list of electives and extracurriculars they've completed. You'll be able to see your learner's updated transcript at the end of each theme.

What equipment and materials do kids need to enroll?
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In order to participate in Prisma, learners need a strong internet connection and consistent access to a computer with a camera and a microphone—which can be built-in, like on a laptop. We also strongly recommend that learners have access to a quiet and private learning space that’s free from distraction. 

What computer and technology skills are needed to successfully learn at Prisma?
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Learners should be able to independently navigate online resources such as live video, learning websites, Google Suite, etc. While we provide each new learner with the tools to navigate the platforms that everyone at Prisma uses, if your child does not yet know how to type or independently navigate online resources, we may ask your child to complete personalized digital literacy training before starting Prisma.

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