We Inspire Learning

Our Approach to Academics

Our goal is to inspire learning within each student. We holistically support our students’ individualized academic, emotional, and social needs to create a setting that serves the learning and therapeutic care of each individual.

Our academic staff is adept at addressing issues such as poor study habits, anxious reactions, resistance to follow-through, and rebellion toward authority. We focus on topics that inspire each student and find the learning style that comes most naturally to them. Once they see what they are capable of, a student will often go from feeling hopeless about their high-school graduation to setting ambitious goals for their education.

curriculum approved for credit by AdvancedEd Cognia™

Makana Leadership Academy is an accredited Private School with a curriculum approved for credit by AdvancedEd (Cognia™). A variety of special-needs services are provided by consulting providers when necessary.

Our approach to academics
Michelle Anderson profile

Michelle Anderson

Our Academic Director, Michelle Anderson, is passionate about helping youth awaken their curiosity and find their vision of what’s possible for themselves. As an experienced special education director, she has a mastery of various learning modalities and has incorporated valuable life, social, and transitional skills into the Makana program.

Michelle and her team of experienced certified teachers do an amazing job of keeping students focused on daily progress toward their goals through experiential lessons, daily progress tracking, and coordination with our clinical team and the home staff.

“The joy of learning is as indispensablie in study as breathing is in running.”

— Simone Weil

Our Academic Program

Makana is an accredited high school with a campus that operates much like a typical school setting that is structured, nurturing, and moderate in size with up to 10 students per classroom. Students attend multiple classes per day, moving to different classrooms with different teachers and subjects. Core subjects are taught by our experienced and passionate staff and a large list of courses are offered online with teacher support.

Makana’s teachers are licensed by the state of Utah and have all worked in other alternative learning environments prior to coming to Makana. Our staff to student ratio is 1:4. Students are placed in one of six different class groupings based upon their academic and developmental needs. Each student begins with a Student Academic Achievement Plan which is created to help them with setting goals related to graduation, GED, ACT, and college-preparatory items.

Students with disabilities have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) that are used to assess and serve their individual needs.

Teacher-Led Courses
  • Art
  • Financial Management
  • Life Skills
  • Meditation
  • Music Theory (includes instrument building)
  • PE
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Transitional Skills
  • Woodworking/Carving
  • Yoga
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Project Management
  • Food Handlers Permit
  • Mavis Beacon Typing
Online Courses With Teacher Present
  • Advanced Math
  • Algebra 1 Honors
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II Honors
  • Algebra II
  • Algebra Readiness
  • Art History
  • Audio Engineering
  • Basic Math
  • Basic Reading
  • Biology Honors
  • Biology
  • Career Explorations
  • Career Planning & Development
  • Chemistry Honors
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Computer Applications
  • Concepts in Probability & Statistics
  • Digital Arts
  • Earth Science
  • Economics Honors
  • Economics
  • English Language Arts
  • Environmental Science
  • Expository Reading & Writing
  • Financial Math
  • Foundational Math
  • Foundational Reading
  • Foundations of Personal Wellness
  • French
  • Game Design
  • Geometry Honors
  • Geometry
  • German
  • Health Science Concepts
  • Healthy Living
  • Human Geography
  • IDEA Writing
  • Intermediate Math
  • Intermediate Reading
  • Intro to Business
  • Intro to Communications & Speech
  • Intro to Entrepreneurship
  • Intro to Health Science
  • Introduction to Art
  • Language Arts
  • Latin
  • Life Science
  • Lifetime Fitness
  • Literacy & Comprehension
  • Mathematical Models w/ Applications
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Microsoft Office
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Online Learning & Citizenship
  • Personal Finance
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Physical Science
  • Physics Honors
  • Physics
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Strategies for Academic Success
  • Survey of US History
  • Survey of World History
  • Trigonometry
  • US Government
  • US History Honors
  • AP Calculus
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Psychology
  • AP US History
  • AP World History
  • ACT English & Writing
  • ACT Mathematics
  • ACT Reading
  • ACT Science
  • GED Mathematical Reasoning
  • GED Reasoning through Language Arts
  • GED Science

Project Based Learning

Students at Makana participate in lessons that incorporate a variety of teaching methods that are systematically put together to help accelerate learning and retention. We apply the lessons in a practical setting as students research, design, plan, budget, strategize, and build a project. Each project integrates multiple courses to demonstrate how education can translate into real-life practical application. Students work together to calculate costs, measurements, design, resources, and timelines as they use foundational skills to problem solve and complete the various projects. Projects include owl boxes, 3D printing, chicken coops, custom birdhouses, BBQ grills, and many more amazing ideas.

Completed projects are donated or sold to the local community. Students who participate in these courses earn a true sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.

Our approach to project based learning
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Utah Department of Human Services
Utah State Board of Education
California Department of Education
The Joint Commission
Post Adoption Service
Greenwood Associates