Past Portfolio Member

Verdi Eco-High

Melbourne, Fla.

Established in 2016, Verdi EcoSchool provides hands-on educational experiences for children in the historic Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne, Fla. Originally created to offer enrichment options for homeschool families, the Verdi EcoSchool quickly grew to become the first K-8 urban farm school in the southeastern United States. Founder Ayana Verdi extended her successful K-8 program into a new high school model launched in fall 2020. The 60 student micro school continues to build on the foundations of the urban farm K-8 that emphasize understanding ecology, community partnerships, and individualized learning. Students combine their required high school courses with a distinct program track of their choice in agribusiness, agricultural science/agronomy, and sustainability science. The project-based school incorporates hands-on, immersive learning through practical, real-world internships and features partnerships with universities and other institutions working to create sustainable agriculture and protect the environment. The school is participating in the Mastery Transcript Consortium to develop a mastery-based system of student evaluation and plans to use exhibitions as evidence that students have mastered the content. Ayana participated in The Drexel Fund’s Founders Program in 2019-20.