EcoSchool partners with Brevard Zoo for mastery credits

Eco-High teachers Nikia Rice, Savannah McCay and Kristopher Reid are acclimating to the new location of the Verdi EcoSchool's high school program. Founded in 2016, the Verdi EcoSchool is a private, not-for-profit school for all ages expanding to the Brevard Zoo this year.

The Verdi EcoSchool in the Eau Gallie Arts District is reimagining high school.

Eco-High is an innovative school for students interested in designing their own educational journey through a project-based lens. Starting in January, the campus will be partially moving to the Brevard Zoo.

Students invited to join the program will spend three days of each school week learning, designing and working on the zoo campus. Students will spend two days at the campus in the Eau Gallie Arts District, where they mainly learn in nature and work on projects to better the community.

This unique high school program features three specialized tracks: Sustainability Studies, Agricultural Science and Agri-Business.

“Partnering with Verdi EcoSchool aligns perfectly with the zoo’s mission,” said Keith Winsten, the executive director of the Brevard Zoo. “It provides authentic learning experiences for the students while potentially inspiring the next generation of conservationists.”

The Verdi EcoSchool measures student achievement using mastery credits instead of traditional grades. These units are accredited by the Mastery Transcript Consortium, and students can earn a diploma if all foundational credits are earned.

“In our conversations with the Brevard Zoo, it became abundantly clear that we share a vision of what education could be. And we’re honored to enter into a partnership that will change what high school can be for students in our community,” said Ayana Verdi, the founder of the Verdi EcoSchool.

Tuition to attend the Verdi EcoSchool can cost up to $9,150, but scholarships are available.