We are often asked what our average student (we call them Learners) looks like. Well, there is no such thing as an average student, so we cannot describe what the average Abrome Learner looks like. But we can share some facts about the makeup of our learning space.
This month we’ve grown from five to eight Learners. Two of our new Learners are girls, which helped ameliorate our boy to girl ratio from 4:1 to 5:3. The boy we brought in is six years old, giving us an expanded age range of six to fourteen years old.
In terms of race and ethnicity, 50 percent of our Learners are considered students of color. We do not yet have any African American or Asian American Learners, nor do we have any foreign nationals or stateless Learners in our community. From a socioeconomic standpoint, three eights of our Learners are economically disadvantaged.
In terms of neurodiversity, we have one Learner on the autism spectrum who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. The rest would be classified as neurotypical; however, we recognize that those identified as neurotypical are by no means a homogeneous group, and that every person has a different learning style.
Religiously, we have Learners that come from families that range from Christian to atheist. We do not yet have any of the non-Christian major religions found in the United States (e.g., Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism).
Politically, our Learners come from families that seem to be more progressive or anti-authoritarian than the general population, although we have not formally asked them to identify their political ideologies.
In terms of prior schooling, 63% were formally public schooled, 50% were formerly private schooled, and 63% were formerly homeschooled. Five of the eight Learners experienced more than one type of schooling before coming to Abrome.
Because we have two sets of siblings, we have a total of six Abrome families. Four of those families live in the same neighborhood as Abrome, and two of them live a considerable distance away. The two families that commute come from Round Rock and Liberty Hill. Both families commit to driving over 30 miles each way twice a day for their Learners to attend Abrome.
Those who look into Abrome as a potential learning space for their children, or as a place of employment, often take notice of our stated emphasis on diversity in admissions, hiring, and daily practices. It stands in stark contrast to the efforts of most schools which tend to throw the word diversity around, but do little to embrace it. Abrome currently sits somewhere in between our ideal of a learning community that reflects the broad diversity of the wider population and the norm amongst public and private schools. At this point, only five months into our first year, we are proud of the diversity within our inaugural cohort, but intent to improve upon it.
1. Parents, teachers, and other interested in education should read Todd Rose’s stellar book The End of Average, which bursts the myth of average people.
2. Percentage of students that are African American, Latino or Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, Middle Eastern American, or Multiracial. International students are excluded. Does not include foreign nationals who hold citizenship with countries other than the US, unless they are naturalized or permanent residents.
3. See our blog post on leveraging empathy to combat school bullying for some of the myriad of reasons schools struggle with diversity.