Level Up Academy

Updated Mar 26, 2021
Type of autonomy arrangement: charter-tpp contract
Basic Profile

Opened In



Kindergarten through 8th grade




Select leaders
Determine learning program
Select colleagues
Determine professional development
Transfer or terminate colleagues
Determine whether to take, when to take, how much to count district/EMO/authorizer assessments
Determine tenure policy
Make formal arrangements with district/EMO/authorizer to allow multiple measures in determining school success (not only a mean proficiency score)
Evaluate colleagues
Set schedule
Set staff pattern
Determine teacher workday
Determine school budget
Set school-level policy
Determine compensation
Teacher Authority Is...
De Jure
The teachers’ autonomy is granted in both the school bylaws and in a contract between the board and the teacher team.

About the Learning Program

Our emphasis on personalized learning allows teachers to honor where each child is in their development and to guide them to mastery at their own pace. Our students will continually “level up.” This differs from the calendar and age driven model of social promotion.

Students are organized in mixed age groupings with small class sizes. We strive for Technology to be an intentional part of the methods and our curriculum will be aimed at high achievement and best practice aligned to the Minnesota State Standards. This does not mean your student is in front of a screen the entire day!

School Spotlight: Level Up Academy
A K-8 public charter school in White Bear Lake, MN, Level Up Academy is designed to be a personalized learning experience where students continually “level up.”

With intentional use of technology and an element of gamification, Level Up guides each child to mastery at their own pace. We use learner profiles and direct teaching of social emotional skills to help students develop lifelong habits of success. Through Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports and restorative practice, we create a positive, joyful environment in which children thrive.

Q: How does being teacher-powered impact student success?
A: Level Up Academy was founded three years ago with a vision for personalized learning in elementary and middle school. As a teacher-powered school, teachers were given the challenge and opportunity to develop methods for personalized learning that really work for kids. Teachers have selected all of our curriculum and online platforms and we have designed some of our own tools. We have come a long way toward our vision and regularly hear exciting stories of success from students and families. Still, we have a long way to go.

As a small school with a lot of staff turnover in our first three years, the biggest challenge is consistency. We’ve struggled to find time and energy to collaborate enough to develop consistent systems for personalizing learning across classrooms. Our next step is to develop an online platform in which teachers, students, and families can plan, track, and celebrate their own learning. We’ve applied for grants to help fund this work. We hope it will finally bring our name and vision into tangible, sustainable form.

Q: How is Level Up Academy structured?
A: As a new school, teachers chose to take on a few autonomies each year. Teachers currently have decision-making power in the areas of staff patterning, curriculum, and school culture. We have developed a five-year timeline to gradually take on even more autonomies.